The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Synopsis: A gentle fantasy. Love, paper tigers, mail order bride, culture clash.
Note: You can read this short story for free by clicking on the title. This short story was originally published in a magazine hence the cover image.
My thoughts: This story was absolutely heart breaking and memorable. The writer of this story blends together the magic of the paper creatures and the life of a mail bride, her son and their struggling relationship with such skill. The narrator of the story is Jack, the son of the mail bride. I felt so angry with him at first because of how he treated his mother. He treated her with cruelty, disrespect, and only talked to her in english which she could not speak much of. I couldn’t bring myself to hate him though. All he really wanted was to fit in with the people of Connecticut. The message the mother wrote in her paper animals that the son discovered after her death was heart breaking. I just stared at the words with my eyes tearing up.
This story although very short with only fifteen pages was well written, emotional, meaningful, and thought-provoking.