Current Issue

Stories & essays will be released on our website weekly starting in July/August.

Letter from the Editors
Aleksandra Hill, Kanika Agrawal, and Rowan Morrison

Special Content

Interview with Cynthia Zhang
Questions by Aleksandra Hill

Excerpt: After the Dragons
Out from Stelliform Press, 8/19

Fiction
Sin Eater
T. M. Hurree
 

Where Secrets Lie
Cindy Phan

 
Joshua Tong
 
J. C. Changmore
 
M. E. Bronstein
 
 
 
Non-Fiction
Art

“The Sunbird”
Iryna Iaroshenko

Where Secrets Lie

Edited by Rowan Morrison || Narrated by - || Produced by Lian Xia Rose
Racism and racial slurs, abuse, child abuse/incest, child neglect, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, death and dying, snakes
3900 words

Of all her duties helping her parents manage their small grocery, Alice dreaded picking vegetables the most: the way the grit and dirt that covered the leaves and stems of the bok choy, napa, and watercress stained her hands with the grime of faraway places (PRODUCT OF CHINA, PRODUCT OF THAILAND, PRODUCT OF MALAYSIA) and stuck painfully under her fingernails. 

Worse was when the kids at school made fun of her “dirty Chinese hands.”

Dirty Chinese hands! Dirty Chinese hands! Dirty, Dirty Chinese, they sang in their discordant, grade-school voices. 

I’m not Chinese! Alice screamed at them. Such a lame comeback. But what else could she say? That her family owned the store downtown that sold the weird, smelly food? That she worked there every day after school? Things were bad enough. 

Business, at least, was brisk. Alice’s mother often congratulated herself for her foresight in opening one of the few Asian groceries in the tri-city area, a hot spot for its immigrant enclaves.

“See? Mom is smart! Always do what Mom does,” she often boasted to Alice and her younger siblings, ten-year-old Linda and seven-year-old Bruce. 

Yet despite Mrs. Nguyen’s repeated avowals, the family often found themselves tending to customers and stocking shelves while their mother napped in the back office or went on one of her many walks around downtown. 

Alice often wondered what was behind her mother’s wearisome behaviour.

Want to read more?

Our stories appear free on our website every two weeks after each issue launches (the 15th of March, June, September, and December). Can’t wait to find out what happens next? Want to support a magazine dedicated to immigrant and diaspora voices? Head to our store to purchase an issue or a subscription.

Aleksandra (Ola) is a Polish-Canadian writer of speculative fiction and the founder and editor-in-chief of khōréō magazine. She earned a Ph.D. in computational biology from Columbia University, and is currently pursuing an MFA in fiction at the New School. She is also an alumna of the Odyssey Writers Workshop. She lives in New York City. You can find her on Twitter at @_aleksandrahill.
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