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What the Movie Gets Right and Wrong about the 'Rich Asians'


What the Movie Gets Right and Wrong about the 'Rich Asians'

Source:Warner Bros.

Eileen Chow knows rich Asians. Her grandfather was a mainland China newspaper mogul that had fled Mao’s revolution to Taiwan. Chow talks with Journalist Tom Ashbrook about the dynamics and history of her own dealings with the 'Crazy Rich Asians‘, as well as her life at the intersections of several cultures.



What the Movie Gets Right and Wrong about the 'Rich Asians'

By Tom Ashbrook - Conversations
web only

With Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, director of the Cheng Shewo Institute of Chinese Journalism at Shih Hsin University in Taipei, Taiwan and co-director of Story Lab at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Eileen Chow knows rich Asians. Her grandad, Cheng Shewo, was a mainland China newspaper mogul. We look at the grand narratives between the United States and China. And recite some very beautiful late summer poetry.

Interviewer (hereinafter abbreviated as 'I') : Crazy Rich Asians is all over the news and movie house marquees lately. But it's just one way of telling a much bigger story about cultures and wealth and family. And once you dig in, there are so many kinds of wealth...billionaire bucks, sure, but philosophical wealth and literary wealth too, not least out of China.

Eileen Cheng-yin Chow grew up in her own crazy rich Asians story in Taiwan with a family that had fled Mao’s revolution and the mainland. Her grandfather was a Chinese press lord in the time of war lords, the William Randolph Hearst of China.

Now she tells stories at Shih Hsin University in Taipei and explores narrative itself at Duke University’s story lab. She's also an associate professor of Chinese and Japanese cultural studies at Duke. And she's a Twitter fave of mine with her #everynightapoem hashtag that has lit up many a night for me in the last couple of years. I spent ten years in Asia -India, China, Japan, all over. How the Asian narrative meets the American narrative matters to me, but it's all human narrative. Eileen Cheng-yin Chow joined me from Durham, North Carolina.


I: Let's turn a little bit toward Crazy Rich Asians; it’s had so much attention lately. Of course it's based in Singapore, but it's a Chinese community there. Your family, also pretty well off, very cosmopolitan, not Singapore-based, but Taiwan...How did your family end up in Taiwan?

Chow (hereinafter abbreviated as 'C') : Various strands of my family are there...I should say how they all first ended up in northern China. My family is a kind of typical gentry family where every strand lived in various parts of the south, or you know, Zhejiang, the Shanghai area, the Hunan area, and they all went north to seek fame and fortune, and a couple generations back, my maternal grandfather was a very self-made man.

He was a journalist, and he was known as China's Hearst, though I don't know if that's a compliment. He was actually sponsored by the two founding members of the Chinese Communist Party, Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, to go to Beijing as a young man. He was a young man from the provinces, and he was part of the communist party.

He was actually the first translator of the communist manifesto, parts of it, in vernacular Chinese. But he quickly decided that he wasn't communist, and he continued his life as a newspaperman and start owning papers and started publishing. So he ended up with 15 or 16 papers.

So that's a long way saying that, as the war progressed, he was of course covering the war in various provinces where his various papers were based, and in Hong Kong as well. And so after ‘49 when the People's Republic of China was established, he basically permanently retreated to Hong Kong for several years, and then to Taiwan, because, one oddity is he was actually the senator from Beijing, and was elected in ‘48, I think?

I: This is under the Kuomintang, Chiang Kai-shek?

C: Yes, so since there were no democratic elections, legislative elections in Taiwan till the eighties, he was basically the senator from Beijing for forty years, in exile in Taiwan. So that's one strand, and the other grandfather was a general who also was peripatetic and fought wars all through China and for the KMT and then ended up in Taiwan.

I: So this couldn't be much richer. It sounds like we could go deep there, but I think that that entitles you to some kind of status as the crazy rich Asians long before the movie...the William Randolph Hearst of China,  that's a mind-boggling title.

What were you thinking as you watched the film being so celebrated? Because it's got an all-Chinese cast and it allows an Asian story, a Chinese story to be told in a much more organic way with Chinese actors and actresses right there at the center of it. What were you thinking as you watched?

C: Well, I watched it with many different lenses, but that's basically how I live my life. I've lived in the U.S. long enough that I very much think of myself as Asian-American, and I'm very involved in Asian-American activism, so I feel that, on one hand I was just happy for a lot of young students and people who told me how much the film meant to them. I was happy for the actors, Constance Wu and all these Asian-American actors who are getting meaty roles, central roles, not the sidekick and not the tragic heroine like Anna May Wong, way back, and that was a feeling of gladness; I was happy for a kind of mainstream success, and this is how I felt kind of about the TV show Fresh Off the Boat, and full disclaimer: Jeff Yang is a college friend of mine, and his son is the main character in that tv series. So on that level I'm just glad that there was this opportunity to tell a kind of story.

But I also have very different lenses I wear, and one of them is that I very much identify as Chinese diaspora and also Chinese from Taiwan, Taiwanese in a sense too. And so there are things that made me cringe a little.

I: Such as?

C: Yeah, this is interesting because this is something that actually a lot of people have praised about the film, which is the Chinese that’s spoken in the film, the Hokkien, the Mandarin, but it's a little hard for me because I feel like they don't really match up to a kind of a verisimulatude...the grandmother for example, who is a great actress, Lisa Lu who's 91, she looks great. And she's wonderful, but she has a very northern Chinese accent, and that just came out of nowhere when everybody else had a know, stuff like that really just kind of made me...but I realized that was me, and the film wasn't exactly for me. And so those things...the other is just the more obvious that, um, this is not what Singapore looks like. Singapore is very multicultural. (Read: Singapore, Asia's Grand New Proving Ground)

(Image: Warner Bros.)

I: Lots of South Asians, Indians, Malays, of course.

C: Absolutely. And Singapore of course has a Chinese/Han privilege problem. But it's strange also when the absolute invisibility, you know, that really kind of grated a little bit.

But again, I feel that there are different ways of looking at it. Are you celebrating this, in some ways, milestone in the industry, or are you reading the text of the film? And so I feel like that brought different reactions out of me. And the final thing I mentioned to you in a message that, I mean, I was joking with friends that, you know, the crazy rich part actually seemed quite accurate. Not my family, but you know, having known a lot of rich people in Asia, ostentatiously are living their wealth, but I was saying, I don't know any assistant professors like that. So I was like, that's the fantasy, that's the wrong call for me.

I: Maybe, but isn't that a little bit in your territory? I mean, when you go home to the family, I guess it must be a little bit of that dynamic.

C: Oh, of course. I mean, I feel like, especially when everybody, uh, when they ask her what she does: Oh, you’re a professor. Oh, you must be very smart, or you read a lot, and then they turn away from you. That's basically been my whole life. You know in every situation with financial types, which is half my family. But yeah, you’re kinda dismissed.

I: I want to keep your hashtag #everynightapoem running through our conversation, and because I adore it and I went back to the beginning of it, which almost sounds like a, I don't know, a Song- or Tang-era poem in itself.

You wrote on Twitter: “Seeking respite from lies and obfuscation.” So, #everynightapoem. It's almost as if we're Japanese, it's almost haiku-sounding. And you start there with twelfth-century warrior-poet Xin Qiji, who, in his lifetime, you remind us, China was occupied, he fought against the occupiers, he got sidelined, so drifting through a decade and minor official posts and remote lands, and you began this at a time when you say you were seeking respite from lies and obfuscation. This was January of 2017. So this is not long after the election of President Trump. And you probably don't have it in front of you, but I do, and it begins, it says, in English, “In youth, I knew nothing of the taste of sorrow. I like to climb high towers.” I like to climb high towers to conjure up a bit of sorrow, to make new verse. He had to conjure up a bit of sorrow. Now he says, “Now I know only too well the taste of sorrow. I begin to speak, yet pause. I began to speak, yet pause and say instead, ‘My, what a cool and lovely autumn.’” And there's a scholar in exile with so much that cannot be said.

C: Absolutely. It's one of my favorite poems for that reason, and the best thing about poetry is of course returning to your favorite poems. There's no rhyme or reason. A lot of people have asked me why I tweet what I tweet, and I really tweet whatever comes to my mind there.

I'm not doing a Pete Souza, I don't tend to match exactly what's going on in our daily polity, but it's more what is inspiring me at that moment, and I think after the election, and, as you know, I co-direct a humanities lab called the story lab at Duke, and we focus on narrative, and we were deep in our various research groups on fandom in politics and storytelling and story world building, which is a course I teach, and suddenly I found myself, right after the election in the fall of 2016, unable to read stories, because I felt like I was thrust into a story world not of my making. So somebody else was directing this world that was created for me, that I defied. And it really upset me, and certainly not just for all the reasons that people who were upset by the election were upset, but it upset me because I felt intellectually I couldn't move on and do the things I do.

So a week or two later after the election, I just put out a message to our lab. A lot of people in the community who are part of our lab and said, “Hope poems have been getting you through this period. So come to lab Friday afternoon and we'll just share our poems,” and it turned out to be, I think, out of the three years we've been running this lab, my favorite event, and we've had Ha Jin and we've had, you know, famous authors, but I felt like that was the best event we've ever held, because people just came in and read poems and wept, actually, or said actually there have been times when things were worse, which is what a retired staffer, an older African-American woman said to us; she's like, you guys are treating this like the apocalypse, but you know, things have been worse. And then she did us the incredible honor of reading the poem that she’d been embracing, which is, of course, Langston Hughes, you know, the America that has yet to be let America be America. And it was transformative for us, I felt. So that was really the kind of genesis of this kind of audacity of hope, right?

Thinking and poetry really allowed me to have this space where I wasn't trapped in somebody else's storytelling, that I couldn't get out of. And because poems, especially lyric poetry, are singular. You either agree or defy, but you're not sunk into it. The other was that words matter, and in a moment of obfuscation, I feel like the way of countering fake news is not by manufacturing more news or even correcting news, because that ends up in some ways constantly, say talking about Trump, which I avoid, but rather to say: No, words have meaning. Words have heft. And so if we look at modes of writing in which every word counts, then that's the way out. And so that was very important for me.

I: And throughout #everynightapoem, we're all reminded of that. I mean, it’s brave to embrace the audacity of hope after the time of the audacity and maybe essential too, and it's not just Chinese poets, of course, that you bring here, not by any means, not only poets for that matter.

Ursula Le Guin you had a couple of months back, with her saying, “There are two places: home, away. I lack a map that shows me anywhere but those.” And you put that up. But I found myself wondering what you mean by that. Because what is home and away for you? I mean, now I guess you're in Durham, North Carolina, a lot of the time. But you've also got a real life in Taiwan, and your family’s from the mainland of China. What's home and what's away for you, Eileen? 

(Image: Warner Bros.)

C: Always contextual. So always moving, a moving target. And perhaps that's why I like her poem that’s called GPS, which is always, if you think about how GPS works, always a kind of triangulation between where you are at and where you want to go. And that's how I feel often, and I think like most people who are fairly on the go from a young age, literature is home, writing is home, words are home, and then I return to them, and they always ground me in whatever place I happen to be.

You mentioned the Xin Qiji poem. The funny thing is, as you know by the poem, it's about being young and being older, but I first memorized the poem when I was probably three or four and knew the poem all through my life, and at every point in my life, it has meant something quite different.

I: Literature is home for you. And narrative is your subject. I want to bring it back to the literary view of that, but lean toward the political or the national for just a moment. And I know that's not your favorite; you like to get beyond those.

I saw you recently are working on this new Chinese channel for the Los Angeles Review of Books. And on there, you say pay less heed to cultural, disciplinary and national boundaries, including those contested ones within greater China.

But for just a moment, step back with us and help us think about the big narratives right now of China and the United States. And I know there are not singular narratives in either of those, and yet at the point that these two countries meet, it often gets reduced to some fairly flat narrative. How do you see the big narratives of each of these two countries? Maybe looking from the inside for what's the big narrative of China, now what's the big narrative of the U.S. to your eye?

C: I don't know if this would offend huge groups of people everywhere, but I actually think the big narrative of China, which is not to say the realities of China...the big narrative of China and the big narrative of the U.S. are actually quite similar. And which is why I think a lot of people don't...well, now, because of trade wars and such, but one thing that shocked me, and this was me very much as an Asian-American or a progressive American, I was shocked to how many people liked Trump in China when he was running. And I realized it's because one of the big narratives of China now is China's exceptionalism. And one of the big narratives of the U.S., frankly, has always been American exceptionalism, that we are special, we can do what we want. And you know, we have our reasons. And a little bit of “big man in town” quality. And I think those narratives actually align very similarly. (Read more: Make Taiwan Great Again?)

The other thing is, as I say, it doesn't match the realities, the lived realities, because there's so many different ways of being Chinese, just like there are different ways of being American. But in China, even on the level of linguistics, Mandarin, and now, you know, putonghua, or guoyu as it was known in Taiwan, was asserted as a kind of standard official language. And it doesn't actually map onto Beijing vernacular, but it's close to Beijing vernacular compared to, say Shanghainese, which is really a different linguistic language, like French and Italian, it’s a cognate but it's not the same language at all.

But one of the things is I do feel like people who are in the heart of things in China are like Americans in the sense that people speak your language, and I mean language in the sense of narrative and culture and the stories that surround your culture, and so people have to kind of adapt to you. And I think that people in the center of things in China, people who control in some ways the main narratives have a little bit of that same problem, one which here we often call white privilege. Maybe it's a kind of Han privilege, they're used to people coming to the center. (Read:The Dilemmas Those "Asians" Really Face)

I: Which in China means the north.

C: That actually has shifted. So kind of central...Chiang Kai-shek’s family comes from Zhejiang, which is where my family comes from, but that central plains area, and then Beijing, which is really the Manchu Dynasty, right? But that general, you know, which means people from, you know, including Cantonese, including, the now more complicated stories about Xinjiang and Tibet and Taiwan, they're asked to kind of come into the center and tell that story, right? And call that their own. And I think that in that sense, there's a kind of orthodoxy and centralization to both narratives that are quite similar. So not as different as people would like to posit it as a sort of freedom versus authoritarianism, which is one version of the American way of looking at China. Right?

I: But in the U.S. I'm sure we'll have a lot of listeners who will say, ok, you can talk about orthodoxy, but right now we don't have an orthodoxy.

C: We don’t?

I: Well, I mean there's a Trump view of the world, but there's also quite a vigorous hashtag resistance of many different flavors out there right now that's not prepared to buy into the Trump view of the world as orthodoxy, while others are.

What about in China? We've seen recently some very prominent scholars writing very critically about Xi Jinping, and in a way writing very critically about exactly the big narrative you're talking about, exceptionalism in China, striding out into the world and saying no, stop that! Is it stronger?

C: What is amazing is how brave people are, to be honest. Because as you know, some of these scholars have been arrested or have been silenced (Read: Causeway Bay Books Moving to Taiwan). But as a student of Chinese history and literature, one thing that's always impressed me is that people continue to speak out. I mean, this is from the grand historian Sima Qian, and you're writing your history two thousand years ago. There are always people who are willing to speak, despite bodily danger, but also danger to their families and communities. And it continues. And so that's one thing that is an incredible legacy.

I run this institute on the study of the history of Chinese journalists. And I'm amazed. I mean, so many of them get executed along the way. I shouldn't be laughing, but you know there's a kind of dark humor to it, and my grandfather himself was also, like, you know, minutes away from being executed. I'm saved by the fact that the warlord who was about to execute him was marrying again, his sixth concubine, and didn't want to ruin a bad moment. He was told by advisers that it would be bad luck on his wedding day. I mean that that, even with those kinds of structures, this is in the twenties in China, people felt like they still had to do their job. And that got seen as I think, persists, even now in the moment where you can say we live in a kind of panopticon, surveillance everywhere, right? So it's so amazing that people are willing to say things. (Read: China’s Journalists Get Up off Their Knees)

I: What what about those parallel American and Chinese narratives now of exceptionalism, I mean, the American narrative on those lines we’re so used to for so long that we take it as the air we breathe, we’re not...yes, there are Americans who are critical of it, but in the minority, I would say, overall, but now China’s adopting that too. And of course, for a century and more, China had quite a different view of itself. There was always that deep root, a very deep root of exceptionalism. But it wasn't manifested in the world. Now it is. How does it work when you have two great powers, these two great powers, and they're each riding on a narrative of pumped-up exceptionalism. Is that the recipe for inexorable conflict?

C: Yeah, I don't know. I think the “coming war with China” narrative is actually one I don't really buy into because I feel that real politique will win out; frankly, the people driving these narratives at the top are perhaps more cynical than they are ideological, meaning people want to make money. And so it's really about rich people around the world rather than, say, nationalism, a sort of stark nationalism. And so that's why I can't see it becoming this conflict where everybody loses, because in some ways, they're still going to be parties both here and there who want to preserve their wealth and power, so I think there will be compromises. But does that result in a lot of suffering along the lines for people aside from those small groups at the top? Yes, I think so. I think there could be a lot of damage done, whether it be in form of war or poverty or environmental harm. And so I think there is a conflict, but I think the people at the very top are not going to suffer from that conflict, neither here nor there.

(Image: Warner Bros.)

I: But nationalism and boundaries, whatever you think of them, they can be pumped up in a hurry. From your #everynightapoem, you've got Alberto Rios, and his is: “The border is a rusted hinge that does not bend, the border is the blood clot in the river’s vein, but we all know how those borders can be...” I tell you, I saw when you were a couple of months ago mourning the passing of the great modernist Hong Kong writer Liu Yichang. And a couple of his short stories set the stage for Wong Kar-wai’s fabulous movie In the Mood for Love, which is just one of my all-time favorites, the score for that I just love, and Anthony Bordain, when he was in Hong Kong for one of his last, or very, very late ones of his very last year.

And of course he was there, and Wong Kar-wai was for him a framing aesthetic for Hong Kong in a very powerful way. I watched him crossing the Hong Kong harbor on the Star Ferry, which back in the day I'd done, you know, a million times. It used to be one of the great beautiful choke points for the world where, if you stood there long enough, you'd see everyone come through. Talk about Liu Yichang and that view of the world for so many decades out of about a cosmopolitan setting of Hong Kong, and setting a tone!

C: I'm also similarly obsessed with Wong Kar-wai, as you probably noticed, and the film, and part of this is because that vision of women and men in Hong Kong living kind of in their own bubble in Shanghai, in some way a kind of Shanghainese Hong Kong was basically my family, but actually my paternal grandmother was from Shanghai, but in Taipei they all wore their cheongsams, they played their mahjong, they very much kept within themselves, they spoke Shanghainese, and so part of it's just nostalgia for me; this is how I remember grownups from my grounds I viewed as a toddler, but the other is that this a bourgeois story, or an elite story of China. But it doesn't get told as much, and right now, I'm writing about my family, and it's actually very difficult because in some ways it doesn't fit into the grand narratives.

One grand narrative of course is the revolutionary narrative, the China becoming stronger and stronger or maybe more conservative narrative of the history of China, going back thousands of years, and people are always wanting to add another millennium to that. (Read: Yesterday’s Red Guard Has Something to Say to Today’s Taiwan)

But there's another, which is, like many members of my family studied in France, went to St. John's in Shanghai, people who were very much on the border of what it meant to think of oneself as a citizen in global modernity. That you're part of this changing world that now has tram cars and telephones and films and literature from all over the world that you're reading. You can be a francophile sitting in a cafe in 1920’s shanghai.

Actually my grandparents met in a cafe in Paris. And the reason is because my maternal grandmother came from a very traditional land-owning family from Jiangxi, and her father was a traditional official, actually a Confucian official, wanted to send his eldest son to Edinburgh to study philosophy, and sent my grandmother to the Sorbonne to study literature. So even for someone in the 1910s, I've always tried to understand the mentality of this older Confucian gentleman...and they weren’t sending them to study engineering, right? So he wanted them to write. And of course that's a luxury and that's of a particular property class, but I feel like that is a story that also is true for a lot of people and as a reality, and like Liu Yi Chang and his hundred years on this earth.

I: You quote him from “The Drunkard” saying “All memories are sodden.” There's something, yes, negative and dismissive of memory there, or in part at least. But there's also something very hopeful, saying lighten up, look forward, which is just fantastic.

You recently had just a little fragment of a poem and a marvelous bit of the water painting Summer Cherries, and I have to admit, I couldn't translate it, I just went to Google Translate, and it was so fragmentary; tell us about it. It said, “streamer is easy to throw people, red cherry, green bananas,”...I felt like Bill Murray reading that. We get the gist of it, but tell us.

C: I'm really glad that I have not been replaced by Google Translate. That's kind of interesting to know that the poem defied Translate. I was going to return to it and provide the translation. I just forgot about it, but it's actually very simple, like Xin Qiji. It's a poem by Jiang Jie who's actually from about the same period and also in some ways in exile; he wrote many poems.

I posted another one of his poems, I don't know if you remember it, but it says listening to rain. So when he was a young man, he listened to rain in a kind of a brothel, basically, with red candles flickering. In middle age, he listened to rain on a passenger ship in the middle of the river far away from home, and in old age now he listens to rain in a monastery, listening to the rain drops hitting the roof till daylight.

So he was already mentioned home in a way. This is someone who, especially in that period...maybe that's why I like poets of that period. With the decline of the Northern Song Dynasty and really the beginning of the Southern Song and then the Yuan Dynasty of course, mongols coming in, a lot of them were very displaced. They were elites who were displaced, and even if they found positions, they were not really doing what they thought they would be doing, and they were often posted far away from home.

So the poem itself that you just mentioned, the fragment, is really just almost kind of flirtation, very much in keeping with the genre. It’s kind of a song-and-dance thing and says basically that the passing of time often leaves one behind. So now the cherries are reddening and the banana leaves are greening. So it seems very simple. But what I like about poetry is what is unsaid, what is between the lines. He titled this poem, even though the main title of the poem is just the metric form, so it would be like “to the tune of Greensleeves,” so they basically just told you how you should sing it. But he actually had a subtitle that said, “Written on a boat crossing the Wu river.”

And if you knew anything about his biography and you knew anything about that particular moment in history...and the study of Chinese poetry is really the opposite of new criticism, the T.S. Eliot camp. It is really very much about thinking of the whole person. So thinking of the biography, thinking of the history, thinking of the moment in time, you would know that Jiang Jie is writing this in exile. I mean that he's traveling. But what he's noting is the banana leaves and the cherries and the passing of time. So that's kind of what I love about this period of poetry. And maybe all the poems I choose are like this in that they touch upon the intensely personal, intensely lyrical in a time of national crisis.

I: It makes translation so interesting. I've often sat or stood next to Chinese friends, asked them to translate something and watched as they turned inward for such a deep journey to come back out with a full translation. Not just a word-by-word, the translation that gives the context of exile or a moment of national crisis that runs through; of course, I suppose that's true in any language. Sometimes there's not time for that. A little fun, and then I hope you'll read a poem with me, but a little fun. Tell us about the time...I'm going back to our subtitling days and our dubbing days of Chinese films and Western films. There's a story of you: Somehow the classic film with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand was thrown into your lap. The film was Let's Make Love, and you had to translate this into Chinese in a single afternoon, and it was multilingual. Tell us that story.

C: Oh gosh, that was a really a silly phase in my life. It was right after college, and I was back in Taiwan for a few months, and so I took on this translation agency. They would just toss things at me, and this was the age of VHS, and they would just basically say, we're getting this out. Of course, this film was made in 1960, so what was the hurry, really? But they they were like, we're releasing this film, so let's go.

I: But it's got French and Italian and German!

C: I know. I thought well, hey, I'm kind of multilingual and the queen of first-year languages; I've taken a lot of languages, I just don't know any of them well. So it was just making it up as I went in some ways. But I think that was part of the fun, and as you know, subtitling is all about actually fitting the words on the right number of seconds, and so it's also just a kind of improvisation.

I: We used to write the script to fit the lips.

C: Precisely, so there is this moment of just panic and just writing things to make sure, and usually I would be very charmed by that, but I was just like no, no, stop speaking multiple languages, I'm going crazy! But yeah, so that's the kind of thing I often did. They were often highwire acts, and I got paid very little.

I: Fair enough then, fair enough. This has been so great. I've enjoyed it just enormously. I wonder if we could close, maybe reading a poem together. On your again, #everynightapoem, one of my faves on Twitter, you've got, and it's great for this season we’re in, a poem by Margaret Atwood, Late August. I wonder if we can read it. If we just dive in, I'll start and let's do alternate stanzas. Here it is, Margaret Atwood, Late August. “This is the plum season, the nights blue and distended, the moon hazed, this is the season of peaches

C: with their lush, lobed bulbs that glow in the dusk, apples that drop and rot sweetly, their brown skins veined as glands

I: No more the shrill voices that cried need need from the cold pond, bladed and urgent as new grass

C: Now it is the crickets that say ripe, ripe slurred in the darkness, while the plums

I: dripping on the lawn outside our window, burst with a sound like thick syrup, muffled and slow

C: The air is still warm, flesh moves over flesh, there is no

I: hurry. And that takes us to the special place. Eileen, It's just been fantastic talking with you. I don't think you know which i've enjoyed it. Eileen Cheng-yin Chow at Duke and also at Shih Hsin University in Taipei, Taiwan. Let's talk again, it's just been wonderful. Thank you very much.

C: Thank you.

Edited by TC Lin, Sharon Tseng
Transcribed from the original podcast "Beyond Crazy Rich Asians"on Tom Ashbrook - Conversations

Additional Reading

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Daughter of Cheng Shewo: Lucie Cheng – May Her Spirit Live On
Opinion: Harvard Needs to Address Concerns on Bamboo Ceiling
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