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A Day in the Life

Fifteen pieces on work and labor

Ten Years of The Margins
September 12, 2022

This list is part of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of The Margins, which highlights portions of the magazine’s archive organized around a theme.

From dyeing jeans in a factory to caring for kids to typing ad copy for a software company, daily survival takes many shapes. Published during the first ten years of The Margins, these fifteen pieces viscerally describe the work we do as well as the invisibility and inequality that often characterize jobs available to Asians and Asian Americans, especially women. By looking at the labor of Asian communities, many contributors also trace the histories of imperialism and Asian migration. These writers show us what we have built and made and who we have cared for and propped up. And they spotlight those who have organized to change labor practices and improve life in their local communities and beyond.

Read the full list below.

Pieces from top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Four Poems from The Boss
    by Victoria Chang (2013)

  2. What Kind of New World Would This Be?
    by Gaiutra Bahadur (2013)

  3. A More Fundamentally Caring Economy: An Interview with Ai-jen Poo
    by Humera Afridi (2014)

  4. Women Worker Blues
    by Tanwi Nandini Islam (2014)

  5. Setting a Place
    by Rohan Kamicheril (2015)

  6. Why I Will Never Celebrate Indian Arrival Day
    by Rajiv Mohabir (2016)

  7. The Quiet Ones
    by Glenn Diaz (2017)

  8. How Chinese American Women Changed U.S. Labor History
    by huiying b. chan (2019)

  9. The Promise of This Union: On the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike
    by Paisley Rekdal (2019)

  10. We Lead the World’s Liberation: A Conversation with Sex Work Activists SX Noir and Kate Zen
    by Kate Zen and SX Noir (2020)

  11. Peeling Off | 剝落
    by Hsin-Hui Lin 林新惠, translated from the Chinese by Ye Odelia Lu (2021)

  12. When the Reporter Asks You Why There Are So Many Filipino Nurses in the U.S.
    by Catherine Ceniza Choy (2021)

  13. A Day in the Life of a Software Engineer
    by Jefferson Lee (2021)

  14. Blue
    by Xueyi Zhou (2022)

  15. The Hands That Feed You
    by Sophia Tareen (2022)