The first thing I want to say is that this story isn't true. This story isn't nonfiction. It is 100% fiction.
The second thing I want to say is that this story is completely true.
The story I'm talking about is "Taiki-chū No Chinmoku (The Silence of Waiting)," which was published at Litro on July 6th. It is not a story about my Japanese grandmother at the end of her life, and it does not revolve around her long and complicated journey from being in love to being in hate, from being interned during WWII and overcoming discrimination, from raising a family and the difficulties in doing so, and to the final end of her independence and the facing of death with the same strength as she lived her life. It is none of those things.
Of course, it is all of those things. But it is fiction, for that gives me license to make it a complete story, change the things that needed to be changed, and fill in the untold gaps. To put myself into someone else's shoes and imagine what it would have been like to go through the things that she went through, even though I hadn't been born yet.
This is for my grandmother. It is for all the stories she told me.
Now, I am the one who will tell her story - or, at least, a small, small portion of it.
I love you, grandma.
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Alberta, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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