Aimee Liu

Novelist, Essayist, Teacher

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Aimee Liu Author Novelist

Aimee Liu

Aimee Liu is the bestselling author of the novel Glorious Boy, as well as Flash House; Cloud Mountain; and Face. Her nonfiction includes Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders and Solitaire. Aimee's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her short fiction has been nominated for and received special mention in the Pushcart Prize competition. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and many other periodicals and anthologies.
 
Aimee received her MFA from Bennington College and taught fiction and nonfiction in Goddard College's low-residency MFA PROGRAM IN CREATIVE WRITING.

For a comprehensive article about her career,
check out this post on @Medium: About Me--Aimee Liu

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About Me-- Aimee Liu

About Me-- Aimee Liu
by Aimee Liu

I recently discovered the Medium publication, About Me. Its whole m.o. is introducing writers, and it occurred to me that this might be a good addition to my blog, so here goes!

Full article @ authoraimeeliu.Medium.com

Yellowface in the Family

Yellowface in the Family
by Aimee Liu

I was cleaning out my father’s office after his death when I discovered the history of his movie years, stuffed into a soft red and gold Moroccan leather folio. This trove of yellowing newspaper clippings and gauzy headshots thrilled me. Here at last was the archive that would help me piece together Dad’s unlikely acting career 70 years earlier.

He’d never wanted to talk about his Hollywood days. MGM’s 1937 version of The Good Earth was the only movie he’d admit to being part of, which was odd because he hadn’t even made the final cut. His appearance as one of the uncles in the opening scene wound up on the editing room floor. He also worked as a technical consultant for the crews that shot in China. Dad had grown up in Shanghai, the son of a Chinese official who’d remained in Nanking after Dad’s American mother moved the rest of the family to California. My father doubtless was very useful to the production, given the various wars and political intrigues that were brewing in China at the time, but this role, too, was uncredited.

Not until late in his life, just a few years before he died, did I learn that both Dad and his sister Lotus performed onscreen with some of the biggest movie stars of the 1930s. On an idle whim, my brother had searched for their names on IMDb. According to his listed credits, our father, Maurice Liu, played the Hawaiian bridegroom in Waikiki Wedding, starring Bing Crosby. In Shadow of Chinatown, a Bela Lugosi vehicle, Dad appeared as a house boy. In West of Shanghai, with Boris Karloff, he was listed as a train conductor. Lotus had nine films under her name.

Full story @ Medium here.
 

The Foster Sister I Never Knew

The Foster Sister I Never Knew
by Aimee Liu

Why did my parents really let her go?


I was born three years after my parents gave my foster sister back. As far as my mother was concerned, I replaced her. My father, I’m not so sure. Josie would have been about six by then. My brother, Marc, was seven. I grew up without knowing the first thing about Josie’s existence.

Only as an adult did I trip across the one photograph that my parents seemed to possess of her. There, tucked into some ancient album, appeared a small blond stranger stepping down Fifth Avenue between my equally small older brother and our fashionable mother. Easter, 1949, the caption read. My mother wore a black veil, white gloves, and a fox stole with its jaws biting its tail to secure it around her shoulders. I recognized the fox, which still hung in the coat closet. I recognized my brother and mother, though I’d never known them so young. But who was that other toddler?

“That’s Josie,” my mother informed me. “She was our foster child.”

“We had a foster child?” Every word of that sentence sounded improbable.

Full article @ authoraimeeliu.Medium.com

Nostalgia for the East Coast Bonded Us in a West Coast ER

Nostalgia for the East Coast Bonded Us in a West Coast ER
by Aimee Liu

Hometown memories become a source of cheer during medical emergencies

 

The Dust Storm of First Memories: When you belong to a different world than the one you’re supposed to call home

The Dust Storm of First Memories: When you belong to a different world than the one you’re supposed to call home
by Aimee Liu

My first memories take me back to the rooftop terrace in Delhi where my family slept on hot summer nights when I was three years old. Part of me will forever lie awake under that ocean of stars, the desert sky stretching wide and deep and uncannily quiet, the darkness pungent with dung smoke infused with night-blooming jasmine. Around me, my parents and older brother form a protective ring of shadows.

Then, as if by the flick of a switch, the wind erupts. Dust howls out of nowhere, whipping us into action. We move in a panic of flapping sheets and hoisted cots, making for the stairwell and down to our white, sweltering flat, where the sand beats savagely against the shutters, like a stranger demanding to be let in.

I was not born in India, but as far as memory is concerned, Delhi was my first home. There my mind and senses awoke, chasing snails into pools of shade, hiding under the garden’s frangipani, or rising on tiptoes to watch the daily parade of cows and elephants and sadhus trudging the unpaved road below our balcony. I loved the long-lashed camels dressed in tassels and bright-colored blankets. Who knew where they were going, where they’d traveled from?

Full article @ authoraimeeliu.Medium.com