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Sunday, March 21, 2010
"Mei Ling Qian" ~ Slice Magazine
Last winter, I was living for about six weeks in a city in southern Henan province, named Xinyang city. I was there to meet and hopefully earn the approval from the father of a girl I've been seeing (still waiting). Though I've been in China for almost three years, picked up enough survival Mandarin to be able to have small, localized conversations at stores, on taxis, or on trains and buses--and studied northern-style kung fu, Chinese kickboxing, and learned fundamental strikes with the Chinese waxwood staff--I will perhaps always be a signal to homeless or needy folks here of someone who can spare a yuan or five mao.
I wrote a story while I was in Xinyang, trying to embody the perspective of a homeless woman toting along a daughter she was looking to rent out to men in hotels. I wondered what, seeing me, she would think. The result was a kind of poetic but also anguished flow of words into a narrative, a story entitled "Mei Ling Qian," which kind of means "I don't have small change" ... "change" here meaning money.
Slice Magazine picked up the story, and it is forthcoming in Issue 6. The theme is Metropolis.
Anyone interested in this issue, this theme of Metropolis, might consider pre-ordering.