Paper- Restricted to Campus Access
Anna Maria Hong
Having not written nonfiction since the beginning of my college career, I knew that I wanted to return to the genre in some substantial form, and this project is my attempt at that. While creative nonfiction can feel intuitive, that sense of ease can prevent one from writing in a way that challenges expectations, including one’s own; as a result, I am experimenting with both content and form in this project. This genre has its unique challenges—researching one’s own past, having to assemble narratives out of the messy and often inconclusive aspects of life, and figuring out how to recreate dialogue (my least favorite part of this process)—and this collection is my way of diving into these things and figuring them out the hard way. Additionally, this portfolio is part of a conscious effort to explicitly politicize and problematize my writing. These essays would have been sinfully boring had I not chosen to write about the more complicated parts of my life: family, religion, race, gender, violence, mental health. I’ve moved around many times and changed in notable ways with each relocation, meaning that stability and thematic consistency regarding my life feel contrived—but forcing myself to organize and write about my past with some degree of clarity has been as freeing as it has been challenging. To put it one way, this is my endeavor, as someone well-trained in the art of lying, to honestly confront and understand my past.
Hahn, Albert, "A Finely Indecisive Hypocrite: Essays on an Asian American Upbringing" (2017). English Summer Fellows. 12.