Taiwanese Soy Milk & My Transnational Story of Migration

BY ZIXUAN LIU / Feature Photo Credit: https://elizbeartravel.com/ From Yonghe District, New Taipei, to Shenyang, Manchuria, Bottled in 99 Ranch Markets During my first twelve years of growing up in the former capital of the Qing Dynasty, Mukden, now called Shenyang in PRC, I never skipped breakfast. For most of my childhood, my mother always took me to this one breakfast shop called “Yong-he Dou-jiang”, a chain in China that solely served Chinese breakfast foods for all meals. We always…

(Mostly Unserious) Reality Index for The Brothers Sun

Mostly Unserious Reality Index for Netflix’s The Brothers Sun Netflix’s The Brothers Sun is excellently written, acted and produced. More than just funny and entertaining, the show insightfully depicts trans-Pacific intergenerational relationships, Taiwanese American culture, and SoCal Asian American life. Though most of us have no experience in the criminal underworld and we obviously know the series is meant as entertainment, people have also been commenting on the series’ believability…

Betelnut, Soldier-Wolf 檳榔,兵狼: Fiction by YakuzaBaby

Grand Prize Winner, Middle School Category Betelnut, Soldier-Wolf: 檳榔,兵狼  Echo sat on the edge of the cracked leather seat, clipping a curler into her bangs. What the hell was she doing in this dingy-ass store, every surface plastered with slippery tiles in dire need of grouting, a flickering neon sign out front with the words 檳榔 五十年老店 and a drawing of a clawed hand faded into it. Though she could not read the words, she found the strange hand amusing. Her phone vibrated…

“One Order of Dan Bing, Please”: Creative Non-Fiction by Tristan Tang

Grand Prize Winner, High School Category 老闆, 我要一份蛋餅!  Summers in Taiwan are brutal. I mean, think of the thrashing Da’an heat, cooking you alive like a fried egg from a breakfast shop. Or picture an army of mosquitoes, all nosediving towards you with their suckers out, ready to unleash an unrelenting week of itchiness.  Buzz.  The irritating sound made me sigh.  A mosquito flew in circles around my ear, taunting me for not killing it before it’d injected its…

Atlantic Menhaden: Fiction by Nicholas Servedio

Honorable Mention, Adult Category The first time I saw all the dead fish was in early June. It was a rainy day, and my dad and I were walking along the Hudson River Greenway. The path was sandwiched between the flow of the river and the flow of traffic, and every so often a car or truck would pass by in the rightmost lane and spray muddy water and gravel onto the path. My dad was stressed out and walking quickly. He had recently been made chair of the Chemistry department, and while the new title…

Gravitational Pull: Fiction by Susan Lin

Honorable Mention, Adult Category In one of my earliest memories, my sister Lulu lies facedown on the living room sofa while our mother leans over her prone body, liberally applying a topical medication behind her ears. The skin there is puffy and raw, an open wound. “Your zǐzǐ pointed at the moon, and look what happened,” our mother says to me, though her gaze never strays from the task at hand. “Now you will know never to do the same.” Lulu whimpers into the seat cushion, and when…

Salty Like Tears: Creative Nonfiction by Grace Hwang Lynch

Grand Prize Winner, Adult Category March is the rainiest month in Taiwan. Not the afternoon cloudbursts of a tropical summer, nor the furious monsoons of early fall; in the time between winter and spring, the sky is a steady  stream of black. But this was the period when the boys and I could spend some extended time on the island. During that first family trip to Taiwan when the boys were seven and ten, the kids and  I stayed in Taipei after my husband flew back to the states for work. My job…

How Taiwanese Democracy Changed the Way I See My Life

I remember being in Taiwan with my Ama, standing in a convenience store on the verge of tears because she refused to leave with me if I bought a headband I wanted. A deeply Christian woman, I knew she wouldn’t understand but it was important for me to try to explain why I wanted it. I remember telling her about the diversity of sexuality and gender which got lost somewhere in a mind clouded by a language barrier and dementia/Alzheimer’s (my eccentric, triathlete, U.S. Navy veteran, e-bike…