300 short stories:: story 219

story: “And How Much of These Hills Is Gold”

author: C Pam Zhang

year: 2017

where: before work at work

note: This is a short story reworking of the first chapter of the forthcoming novel of the same name. Also, the portion about how the brother may ultimately inherit his father’s character reminds me of the father and son in The Night Tiger.

a line: “Sam’s shadow licks back at Lucy’s bare toes; in Sam’s mind the shadow is the true height, the body a temporary inconvenience. When I’m sheriff, Sam says. When I’m a wrangler. More recently: When I’m a famous outlaw. When I’m grown. Young enough to think desire alone shapes the world.’”

theme(s): Death, Frontier, Survival

 

 

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300 short stories:: story 187

story: “Five Questions for the Snake Charmer”

author: C Pam Zhang

year: 2019

where: read on my phone

note: something short and not sweet

a line: “Pinned under that false gold, he’ll look as much the good Chinese boy as I am the bad Chinese girl, the kind who makes a public spectacle out of alcoholism as if she’s white and blonde and carefree and doesn’t drag a whole race’s reputation behind her.”

300 short stories:: story 135

story: Are They Vampires, or Are They Just Chinese?

author: C Pam Zhang

year: 2017

where: airplane

note: from an interview about the story, Zhang said, “What’s creepy is my being haunted for years by the pressure to write a Sad Immigrant Story.”

a line: “We wear long driving gloves even when we don’t drive. And when we do: roof down, swinging over curbs, black hair flung back like silk, like bat wings, like flags snapping beware in language you’ll never understand.”