cover image Though I Get Home

Though I Get Home

YZ Chin. Feminist, $16.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-936932-16-0

Fourteen short stories intertwine in Chin’s beautiful, visceral collection. In the early 21st century, Isabella “Isa” Sin, 28, wants to be a writer. Instead, she’s imprisoned in her native Malaysia for writing an obscene poem that supports the leader of the young people’s political movement against the corrupt government. Her grandfather served the British colonizers when the country was still known as Malaya (“The Butler Opens the Door”), and though things have changed by Isa’s time, there is still great political unrest in Malaysia. After her arrest, the youth movement gains national attention, the country irate over her imprisonment (“Though She Gets Home”). The guards interrogate and demean her while she maintains that she wrote the poems out of love for her country. Isa’s imprisonment gains wide attention as the nation faces the impending election. The younger generation is hopeful for change, the older skeptical (“A Malaysian Man in Mayor Bloomberg’s Silicon Alley”). A surprising, pivotal fact about Isa’s arrest comes to light, showing the sad truth of what it often takes to bring a small, developing nation’s problems to international attention (“So She Gets Home”). Some stories fit more seamlessly into the main narrative than others, but together, they powerfully call into question what it means to be free. (Apr.)