Paper Menagerie


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Cruising around on the Internet as I am wont to do, I ran across Ken Liu’s story,“Paper Menagerie.” It’s plainly written, there’s little to no character development, and the setting is suburban, literally, but by the end, I was in tears. You have to understand what growing up as a “foreigner” or an “outsider,” no matter how hard you try to fit in, is like. The criticism of the literary merits of this story are legitimate, but completely overpowered by the issues of identity, belonging, and unique magic. It’s the story of a lost boy coming home, and for me, as an Asian-American, it resonates. I hope that it winning the three major awards in fantasy is a reflection of the growing acceptance of multicultural writing.


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