Jack is central to the short story ‘The Paper Menagerie’. His mother immigrated to America from China, and Jack is bi-racial. Jack’s mother has created an origami menagerie of animals that comes alive with her breath. As he gets older, he becomes ashamed of his mother’s heritage and creates distance. Only after her death does he come to appreciate her and the complexity of her life. The story has been written with the same delicate bitter-sweet feel as ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennessee Williams. Each short story is a compelling, heartfelt experience that explores how “We are defined by the places we hold in the web of others’ lives.” Liu has written these stories beautifully.
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