He’d gotten used to the routine of filling out the job applications: name, address, past positions, done. But then came that deadly box, ‘Have you ever been convicted of a crime or felony?’
‘when I am dark/ when I am no more light/ when I am no / more an abomination/ when I am no more shame/ when I am face / again/ when the collective being of me worships god, family, / education and the collective administrative silver spoon, / then I will be back in the fold.’
‘When the Japanese were in power, I realized that the Dutch East Indies with all of its aristocratic ways, was finished. I must have the guts to say goodbye to it. And whatever fate befalls me, I will remain here.’
It was just the right and wrong moment to leave, to go to China, to live in a country where the weight of blackness might not hinder your breathing. And yet, there were things you were afraid of losing.
In Huan Hsu’s The Porcelain Thief, the search for a family treasure unearths the spell of nostalgia