Celeste Ng, Novelist

In many ways, Celeste Ng’s hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio, was all about conformity. When the best-selling author of Everything I Never Told You was growing up there, she says the affluent town’s rules included mandatory lawn mowing (infractions were penalized with a $100 fine) and a regulation putting only one mailbox and one street number on two-family homes, to disguise them as single-family homes.

On the other hand, it was relatively diverse–at least in terms of black and white–and racial prejudice was frequently discussed and dissected. But when the 37-year-old Ng was growing up, there were few Asian families like hers, and slights were not uncommon. “If there was an Asian boy, the other kids would be like, ‘Oh, you two are going to have an arranged marriage,’” she tells TIME. For her parents, immigrants from Hong Kong who came to America for graduate school and moved to Lafayette, Ind.; Chicago; and Pittsburgh before settling outside of Cleveland, racially charged incidents in the Rust Belt could be more serious. In Pittsburgh neighborhood kids would put cherry bombs in their mailbox, and in Shaker Heights prank calls happened regularly. “At the time I thought, Oh, they’re just playing around,” Ng says. …read more

Source:: Time – Science

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