Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomeFashionDelia Cai's poignant debut asks: Can you really go home again?

Delia Cai's poignant debut asks: Can you really go home again?

Throughout my life, especially while living in NYC, I talked about being from a small town in central Illinois The way I’ve been doing it has completely changed because I kind of figured out that if you really poke fun at yourself about it and tell people how you spend your day “driving a tractor to school” you’re going to be amused. But all these people that I talk to every day in New York after the 2016 election are saying, “Oh, I didn’t realize people thought that.” I think they Just kind of curious really; like, what I tell people is that the most different thing about me as an Asian in New York City is that I’m from this small town. People would ask me, “Can you tell me why you weren’t surprised when Trump won?” And I was just like, when Obama was elected, there were kids running through my school saying he was going to get assassinated . Like, I’m not surprised now that this has already happened.

Is there a book you really like or look for inspiration when writing Central Places?

I really I really like Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang. I was kind of like, “Wow, I didn’t know you could write about a very specific childhood and make it gross and disturbing and weird,” and I really like that. Obviously, it’s about growing up as Chinese-American and having very mixed feelings about it; I remember she wrote a character where she’s grown up but still deals with her brother and it feels like she’s not there for him, it’s just that A typical parent/adult child thing.

Write a post sharing some important biographical details with you but not Actually you?

Emotionally, the novel felt real; like, everything that happened on the way home, the background of the main character was very similar to mine. I’ve never brought my fiancé home to meet my parents, but I’ve gotten pretty close, so in some ways, it’s been like a mental exercise, I wonder what it’s going to be like. Let’s play with it. As I write, I become more and more aware that I’m almost substituting the white New York boyfriend role; the Ben role is applying a gaze that I’ve definitely imposed on my own life. He had a more judgmental, knee-jerk reaction to what he saw.




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