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Short Girls

by Bich Minh Nguyen

This is the story of two American-born Vietnamese sisters, told from both their very different perspectives. The girls have never been close, but they discover that their lives have many parallels and so reunite and find strength in each other. An interesting, touching and, at times, humorous dissection of Asian-American life, focussing on the struggles of second-generation immigrants dealing with the complexities of culture, duty and ambition.

Extract

Now Linny noticed again the sad bagginess of Van's pants and how they seemed to weigh her down. Stand up straight, she wished she could say, the way their mother used to command them... Linny noticed, too, that Van was wearing rings again, gleaming above the jade bracelet. The jade bothered Linny, as if Van were somehow trying to arm herself with jewelry. Did she know about that woman in Chicago, that Grace? How could Linny ever bring it up? They didn't talk the way true sisters did; their conversations barely ventured above the mundane, the argumentative. They had gone from sharing a sofa bed, clothes, toys, a whole imagined universe, to where they were now, with such swiftness that Linny couldn't track how they had changed.

Parallels

 

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