Essays    Reportage    Marginalia    Interviews    Poetry    Fiction    Videos    Everything   
Passing Through

Fifteen pieces on the places that have held us

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.

We become intertwined with the places that hold us, even if we’re merely passing through. Places keep our memories, witness our becomings, and evolve, like us, over time. They are the settings against which we find and build community with others. To be in these places is to feel the pulse of the vibrant culture and day-to-day lives of Asian American communities. But for many, to be out there in the neighborhoods is to also be visible, vulnerable—despite, often, an aching sense of loneliness and isolation. Whether it be the diverse boroughs of New York City, or the faint recollections of our childhood homes, places are transformed by our experiences and emotions.

Read the full list below.

Pieces from top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Letter from a Hotel Room in Centum City
    by Alex Jung (2013)

  2. How Eighth Avenue Became Chinese
    by Tarry Hum (2014)

  3. Too Close to Home
    by Nadia Misir (2015)

  4. A House Made of Flames: Two Poems
    by Albert Abonado (2016)

  5. Men Loiter, Women Cloister
    by Chaya Babu (2016)

  6. A Living Room on Roosevelt Avenue
    by Jai Dulani (2017)

  7. A New Resistance in Brooklyn’s ‘Little Palestine’
    by Sumaya Awad (2017)

  8. Mapping Displacement and Resistance in Sunset Park
    by huiying b. chan (2018)

  9. Lemon Juice
    by Brian Cho Smith (2019)

  10. An Aquatic History of My Family
    by K-Ming Chang (2020)

  11. How to Dismantle an American Myth: An Interview with C Pam Zhang
    by Mimi Lok (2020)

  12. Asian American Loneliness and the Search for Solidarity: A Conversation with Jay Caspian Kang
    by Tamara K. Nopper (2021)

  13. ‘We’re not just protecting the community, but also each other’
    by Teresa Mathew (2021)

  14. I Swam in a Cold Lake and Watched My Body Convulse on Shore
    by Emily Lee Luan (2022)

  15. Manchester Chinatown 2022
    by Sokunthary Svay (2022)