"took out a sheaf of papers and shook them in the miners’ faces"
September 6, 2020 8:58 PM   Subscribe

"'I am in desperate country,' she said, after swallowing, 'and I need all the bravery I can get. But I will have nothing of resignation.' She spat out a wad of wet pulp." "What I Assume You Shall Assume" by Ken Liu is a short fantasy story published in June, about 1890s Idaho, Chinese and Chinese-American experiences, violence, the magic of words, solidarity, and grit.
posted by brainwane (3 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
This is a lovely bit of writing.

Beautiful call out to Walt Whitman in that last line: The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:19 PM on September 6, 2020

I love Ken Liu’s writing. Thanks for sharing this!

For those who don’t know, in 1870 more than a quarter of Idaho’s population was Chinese (primarily men), and the laws that forbade mixed-race relationships meant that eventually the entire population died out. So the power of words as described in this story was quite real, in its own way.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:16 AM on September 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I did not know that and holy shit that is dark.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:36 PM on September 7, 2020

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