Saved as Draft by N.D. Chan
Born in Chinatown, New York, Chan was sent to China after her father was murdered in a random street shooting. She lived with her grandparents in Guangzhou, until her mother sent for them after marrying a dentist and becoming a wealthy and successful businesswoman. Life should have been happy in the privileged enclave of Long Island, but with a distant mother and a feeling that she no longer belonged, Chan began to look for acceptance elsewhere—the relationships she shared with her family, her friends, her lovers.
Saved as Draft is that search for a sense of “rightness” and a place called home.
(A copy of this book was provided by the publicist in exchange for an honest review)
For those of you who don’t know, I went to UC-San Diego and majored in Literature-Writing which was a DREAM. I really enjoyed the program and my time at UCSD. One of the things I ended up really liking about the program (though I didn’t know this at all when I applied to UCSD) is that their program offered a lot of instruction around experimental writing. Basically, the kind of writing you won’t see at Barnes & Noble because rather than guiding the reader through a carefully orchestrated plot, experimental writers are pushing the boundaries of language, writing, and story-telling, charging you with the task of connecting with the story and pulling your own meaning out of it rather than telling you what to feel.
Saved as Draft instantly brought me back to those days at UCSD, where I was reading things that exploded what I knew about telling stories and challenged me to think differently. Saved as Draft is a memoir constructed of short notes and poetry, the kinds of things you would “save as draft” in an email or as a note on your phone. Unlike other memoirs that have a clear progression from Point A to Point B, Saved as Draft invites you to sift through the author’s pile of thoughts to extract meaning from her journey of self-discovery as a Chinese-American girl who doesn’t quite fit in. It explores issues of identity, parental abandonment, the death of a parent, and the author’s awakening sexuality as a queer woman.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and only wish it was much longer!