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
New York City through Marlon James’ Booker Prize-winning novel
An imaginary setting gave me, a child of immigrants, the authority to write about belonging unquestionably to one’s surroundings
Sustainable eating can often feel like the privilege of a well-heeled elite, but how do the appetites and labor of New York City’s immigrant communities fit into the picture?
As George Takei’s Allegiance makes its way to Broadway, a look back at how choreographer and dancer Michiko Iseri went from the Heart Mountain incarceration camp to the first production of The King and I in 1951
‘My father had seen us wrestle the men, had seen our bodies thrown into the sea of their desires, had seen my mother part the waves: Samira en Moses, minus divine intervention.’
‘For me, who grew up and became an adult during the New Order period, I was conscious of a historical and political absurdity. I began to feel that there were some Indonesians who had become invisible.’
19 writers respond to Michael Derrick Hudson’s yellowface
‘We saw innocence and wisdom in the dark, leather-faced fishermen in Colaba, their broken down canoes resting ashore amidst tin shanties with colorful blankets bleached by the sun and salt of the Arabian Sea’
Modern Indian artists looked westward after Partition, away from the nation. An exhibit of two periods of avant-garde Indian art juxtaposes their work with contemporary artists, who ask how India can awake as a nation.
What recent race scandals by avant-garde poets Kenneth Goldsmith and Vanessa Place have to do with sunglasses, the invention of the fingerprint, and the atom bomb.
How the feel-good politics of multiculturalism have blinded the literary world to the roots of racial inequality
Amarnath Ravva’s American Canyon gravitates between Northern California and South India as he reenacts rituals and shares histories of both his homes.
With alluring and peculiar prose and a playfully erratic approach to structure, Ghalib Islam’s debut novel mirrors the anxiety of buckling under the burden of surveillance.
“I fear that we’ll remember Fred’s evocative style, but forget his penetrating political substance.” On remembering what not to forget.
“Fred Ho flooded my ears with essential facts about the history of Afro-Asian political and cultural struggle”
Shyam Selvadurai’s latest novel reckons with the violence that haunts the lives of many in post-war Sri Lanka.
What the marginalization of Asian Americans in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery says about the appropriation of “cool.”
“It’s always easier to fast with another person. We feed each other our hunger.”
A look back at the history behind ‘American Born Confused Desi’ and where it’s gone since
Yuri’s indefatigable effort to build solidarity among all activists and oppressed people is what many will likely see as the hallmark of her legacy.
In response to the Tiananmen Square protests and crackdown of 1989, the Asian American Arts Centre organized a landmark exhibition of artworks. To commemorate the protest’s 25th anniversary, The Margins partnered with Creative Time Reports to interview the artists involved.
“…I was more apprentice than student, and he was more family than friend. Our time together bridged the waters of music and delved into politics, healing, life, and death.”
In 1999, Fred Ho reflected on his political and musical evolution, from the Asian American Movement on.
“Spock was good in math and science; so was I. Spock tended to suppress his emotions (his human side), and so did I.” Fred Ho on coming of age.
A former student recalls the ups-and-downs of Ho’s cult of personality.
Colleagues, collaborators, and friends remember political and musical visionary Fred Ho.
A review of Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know
Gaiutra Bahadur unearths buried stories of indenture—those of women who battled rigid patriarchy on either side of the black water.
Lessons on how life in the US was worth much more if spent in solidarity with those who suffer at its heel
“Asian American Poetry” is not a manageable category—it is not a list.
How fear of the “the mob” turned into racial exclusion. Excerpts from a recently published archive of anti-Asian fear
Where the “Yellow Peril incarnate” meets one novelist’s depictions of China and its diaspora in the early 20th century
Remembering Agha Shahid Ali, 12 years after his passing
Salman Rushdie’s multitudes, from his visionary early work to the celebrity he has become
100 years on, how lessons from the Ghadar movement show the limits of civil rights efforts in the US today.
On the centenntial of its founding, a short history of the Ghadr Party, and the ghosts that live on
Rahul Mehta and new pathways for the hyphenated writer
The legacy of an intellectual friendship in an age of Islamophobia—on the 10-year anniversary of Said’s death.
Notes for a hypothetical interview with the author re: Taipei, living in the present, memory, moral responsibility, technology, zen, etc.
Bill Cheng, Anthony Marra, and the freedom to write what you don’t know.
Where Asian Americans fall in our broken criminal justice system
Scholar Vivek Bald chronicles an early lost history of a time of Black-Bengali racial solidarity
“I logged onto the Internet and searched for others like me. I never found them, but I invited them over to my hotel room anyway.”
In an excerpt from a forthcoming book, English professor Min Song reflects on undergraduate “Great Books” courses, the Helen Vendler-Rita Dove debate, and the first time he read a Siu Sin Far story.
Following in the footsteps of Dorothea Lange, who photographed stoic, suffering faces during the Depression, the Chinese-born artist traveled across recession-worn America, capturing a different sort of face.
Buwei Yang Chao’s famed 1945 cookbook helped coined the phrase “stir-fry.” “Wrapling” and “rambling,” her words for the simple and ruffle-edged dumplings, were less successful.
It’s the year 2352, and the Walrusoids are at it again, speculating over divorce, SB 1070, some tall Asian guy named Jeremy Lin, and movie theater masturbation.
The veteran comedian, actor and director was the epitome of Hong Kong’s ’90s-era mo lei tau subculture.
Poet and journalist Luis H. Francia journeys through Japan, bearing witness to the devastation wrought by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami—and to the creativity arising from these very areas.
Diver Vicki Manalo Draves won two gold medals in rations-enforced London. To celebrate, she ate horse.
Matthew Salesses on the power of words and appearances.
How did a multinational corporation like Nike appeal to diverse markets without violating the principle of colorblindness that became increasingly and insidiously sacrosanct in the U.S. in the 1990s? A deconstruction of two infamous Tiger Woods ads sheds some light.
A new documentary about the famed Chinese artist and dissident focuses on his activism more than it does his art.
Can a movie that explicitly demonstrates the darkest grotesqueries of pornography actually function as a refusal to condemn it? Tsai Ming-Liang’s The Wayward Cloud hints at this possibility.
Former Marine mess cook John Gun Pin knew how to handle a cleaver. Harley Spiller (a.k.a. Inspector Collector) remembers his old friend, and the last dish he prepared: cured crab, or ha cha.
Over the course of the ’90s, Filipino American scratch crews transformed the realm of hip-hop DJing.
On the domestic terror of the 1990s, and avoiding cultural amnesia.
A Grantland writer and Nirvana fan ponders the quintessential ’90s question.
An up-close and personal take on the hip-hop group’s love of kung fu.
Spy novels as Asian kitsch.
A love letter to the magazine that defined a generation.
It was a banner year for Asian American narrative films.
In the year 2352, they scratch their heads over Instagram, Mitt Romney, Kony, and Siri.
The British desi band’s kitschy, three-chord hit appeared on episodes of Friends and in a Gap commercial.
The ‘90s saw Western designers outsourcing not just manufacturing, but inspiration, to Asia.
Author, professor, and provocateur Amitava Kumar has a very specific question for New York City book clerks.