by Bian An

  • Released: February 2023
  • Genre: Memoirs

Exeter. China.
I come from New Hampshire.
I come from China.
I come from nowhere exactly.

In memoir, they say the value is not just in the words but in the author’s identity. What claim does the writer have, what claim on this story involving China? Are these just the words of an American with some exotic background? Or of a half-Chinese whose roots are breaking through the western culture paved over top? Whether Chinese or American, or both, I lived this story. You can decide for yourself.

I was born Bian An to a Chinese mother and an American father. They’d met as college students in Beijing during the invasion of China by Japan. Then came World War II, the Chinese civil war, and later the Vietnam War. In these pages I bridge the two halves of my upbringing, to reach my mother’s American descendants, my children, who were too young to know their Chinese grandmother, and who live wholly American. This bridge is complex and time is short.