Author Interview: Donna Miscolta on “Living Color”

Donna Miscolta’s two previous books each reflect one side of her ethnic background, a Filipino-American family in When the Dela Cruz Family Danced (Link) and a Mexican American family in Hola and Goodbye (LINK). Her latest book is Living Color (Link), a collection of stories tracing the life of a Mexican American girl, Angie Rubio, from kindergarten through high school. This book trailer provides a peak at the book’s protagonist and themes. (Link)

Donna and I spoke on Skype when she was at home in Seattle and I was at home in the Read More

Managing an Exchange Program in Laos

Katherine has just started a master’s degree program in Peace and Conflict Studies in Uppsala, Sweden. We spoke online. My thanks for the photos.

Katherine’s story

Why don’t you tell me how you happened to go to Laos, what happened, what worked out and what didn’t.

It wasn’t my goal to work and live in Asia. I did Peace and Conflict Studies as an undergraduate at American University in Washington, D.C. with courses focused on the Arabic language and Middle Eastern issues. I was preparing for work on peace-building, particularly with the relationships between the US and Israel/Palestine, Iraq/Afghanistan.

I … Read More

Expat Cats –Part 1, Korea

When I moved to South Korea in 1988, the country was recovering from the dictatorships of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan. In a week it would host its great coming-out party, the Seoul Olympics, which despite being well organized would be temporarily mired in controversy, with the national inferiority complex exposed.

My first impression of Seoul was that it was as militaristic, as nationalistic,  as drab and as prudish as post-revolutionary China could be. and far more misogynistic.  Pro-democracy student demonstrators battled with riot police, although it was clear from their own organizations that they didn’t know what democracy meant. … Read More

List of Opposites, East and West

List of Opposites, East and West

 

Guanxi

When I arrived in Asia in 1984, everything was so new that my mind simply would not take in what it saw. I wandered around bug-eyed, marveling at everything but feeling content. I thought, “Isn’t it wonderful that I’m not experiencing any culture shock.” Two things I was ignoring were the fact that the actual shock was not due until later—when it did come—and the fact that my nightly retreats into British murder mysteries certainly qualified as trying to escape from my environment.

Few seasoned

Read More