The Asian American Literary Review

The Asian American Literary Review is a space for writers who consider the designation “Asian American” a fruitful starting point for artistic vision and community. In showcasing the work of established and emerging writers, the journal aims to incubate dialogues and, just as importantly, open those dialogues to regional, national, and international audiences of all constituencies. It selects work that is, as Marianne Moore once put it, “an expression of our needs…[and] feeling, modified by the writer’s moral and technical insights.”

Published biannually, AALR features fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, comic art, interviews, and book reviews. Discover Nikkei will feature selected stories from their issues.

Visit their website for more information and to subscribe to the publication:

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Instructions to All Persons of Muslim Ancestry

Presidio of San Francisco, California
May 16, 2012

Living in the Following Area:

All that portion of the County of King, State of Washington, within that boundary beginning at a point about midway between
the Cities of Tacoma and Seattle (east of Des Moines) at which U. S. Highway 99 intersects Washington State Highway
No. 5A; thence easterly along said Highway No. 5A to Green River; thence easterly and following Green River to the King-
Kittitas County line; thence southerly and following the ...


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From Gently to Nagasaki - Part 3

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The word “rape,” the word “murder,” the word “horror,” the word “atrocity,” the word “massacre,” none can adequately describe ‘that for which there is no word.’ Minnie Vautrin and Iris Chang were both, in the end, swallowed up in the quick sand. Iris Chang, a young woman of thirty-six committed suicide in 2004, driving away from home at 3:00 a.m. with a revolver, leaving a two-year-old son and a husband. I am told by a friend who knows a friend who knows the family of Iris Chang—three degrees of separation—that her suicide was ...


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From Gently to Nagasaki - Part 2

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Where, dear Goddess, on the arid landscape of the battle of words, does caring lurk? How, dear Cherry Tree, can we come to the place of caring? Is it in the flight of the wisp through curtains of stone words?

It is, she tells me in the spaces between words and stones, in the spaces within sound and no sound. Caring comes to walk with us in the cracks of the day and the night, as we stumble, as we fall, as we rise again. Caring is present at all times in all places in every dying ...


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From Gently to Nagasaki - Part 1

Marjorie Chan and I sat in the teal blue armchairs in my apartment nibbling rice crackers and sipping green tea. I’d seen her harrowing play, A Nanking Winter, a few months earlier. It addressed one of the roots of the ongoing animosity between China and Japan—the deep historical traumas of Nanking, 1937.

When we began the conversation, we were simply two writers, one young, one old, one of Chinese ancestry, one of Japanese, and from our great distance of time and space, we were far from The Rape of Nanking. Here in 21st century Canada, we could be ...


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The Orient Express - Part 2

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Why am I here? That’s a good question. I could say it’s the conference I’m attending, the one for H.R.s and diversity management, a few credits that might provide my stalled academic career with a few more options. Or I could say I needed to get out of Chi-town for a while, haven’t had a break like this from the family and missus for, well, I can’t really remember. I’m a good J.A. boy, someone had to be; though early on, for a while, I seemed in the ...