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Sandi Tan

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Thwack!

Raymond van der Holt pondered the catalog. Would a seven-candle chandelier look good in the front room? The Restoration Hardware sale seemed too good to pass up. Then again, if he could just wait it out, there was the discount weekend in November or December... This was how Raymond had......

10 Unexpected Ways Your Hard Heart Was Moved Last Year

1. Tsunami footage on Fox News. 2. Your least-favorite aunt’s hands gnarled with arthritis. 3. Richard Simmons, in sparkly tank top, sobbing and hugging Katrina victims on Extra. 4. Your grandmother sending you a webcam and asking you to download Skype so she can see you and talk to you......
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Lost Even Before Translation

Illustration by Erik Sandberg “He’d described himself as white and stocky and looking a bit like Ed Harris in profile,” the Japanese narrator tells us of his new American client. But Frank shows up looking nothing like Ed Harris, and that’s just the first bit of misinformation that fills Ryu......

Dragon’s Daughter

Long before ’60s Eurasian tease Nancy Kwan and chopsocky Angel Lucy Liu, Anna May Wong — rediscovered this month in a retrospective presented by the UCLA Film and Television Archive — was the Chinese face lighting up screens around the world. Often referred to as “the little Chinese girl” in......
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From California to Colorado to Kathmandu

The first 10 pages of Sandra Newman’s debut novel hint at delights to come. She has the gift of the haiku. Her canny, funny sketches of the dysfunctional Moffat family had me keenly anticipating more from the book’s alienated heroine, Chrysalis, who narrates the story like the dislocated love child......
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The Fourth World

Illustration by Tavis Coburn In the old days, when planning a trip to a distant land took more energy than a few keystrokes on a laptop, writers savored every encounter with the foreign. They wanted to break on through to the other side. But in recent years, it's become perfectly......
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The Global Soul

In his funny, poignant novel Nowhere Man, Sarajevo-born and Chicago-based Aleksandar Hemon (The Question of Bruno) takes the conflicted heart of immigrant imagination -- hawk-eyed reportage in the placid Now versus lush memories of an intense Then -- and turns it outside in. His portrait of Bosnian refugee Jozef Pronek......