When I was very young, my mother made me wear a clothespin at night to encourage my nose to form a salient bridge, instead of disappearing into the front of my face and emerging like a mushroom at the end of it. “Please God, give me a new nose, give me a new nose” was the nasal prayer I intoned, clothespin astride my face, feeling the futility and the force of my mother’s optimism at one and the same time.              As my mother recovered from Stephen’s death – the clothespin long since abandoned and my nose no less flat…

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My name is Isadora Myung Hee Sohn and I am eighteen years old. I was recently ninety-five days in a pediatric burn unit at Tri-State Medical Center, in Albany, New York, being treated for second- and third-degree burns on my legs, complicated by a recurring bacterial infection. The same fire that injured me killed my parents, Hae Kyoung Chung and Tae Mun Sohn, on June 11, 1976, at approximately 3:20 a.m.            It’s very isolating to recover from a severe burn injury. The pain requires a great deal of attention and inward focus. While your skin tissue rages and dies, you…

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Most of the time I am angry. Pissed off about small things: stockings marked "nude" that are four shades too pale for my legs; strangers who congratulate me on my excellent command of the English language, never assuming I could be a native speaker. Pissed off about big things: that my beautiful half-Korean daughter gets called a "Chinese alien" by playground bullies; that Asian Americans are not running major American publishing companies and paying lip service to multiculturalism by taking on one or two White writers a year.Anger fuels my work and drives me wildly through an imperfect life. It…

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