How to be Asian-American
By Jessica Jiang
This is a video inspired by an excerpt from my memoir piece. I wanted to create it for the same reason anyone wants to be a writer—to tell a story. More specifically, I want to tell my story. But as the video blossoms into something magical, I realized that in telling my story, I am also telling the stories of many Asian-Americans. This is how to be Asian-American.
This is a video of the first part of a memoir piece that Kelly and I are currently working on. The process was very hard and arduous and I had no idea that video editing could take so much time! Even though the video was only eight minutes long, it took me more than 10 hours to edit and re-edit and re-re-edit. In the end, I am so glad to have gotten the experience and proud to have something published that I worked so tirelessly on!
Meet the Pair
MENTEE JESSICA JIANG & MENTOR KELLY MOFFITT
Jessica’s Anecdote: I don’t believe in God, but I can believe, honestly, truly, that someone out there must be looking out for me, because Kelly has pulled me through my hardest times. From obsessing over chocolate-chip cookies to serious (Should we make eye contact? Awkwardddd, no thanks) conversations about family, Kelly has become more a friend than a mentor. Beside her, I can feel myself grow not only as a writer but also as a person as we shuffle through our childhood and as she (silently) judges me for not using a planner. As I plow through the world in the years to come, I’ll always remember her motto: “SUGAR IS KEY!!!”
Kelly’s Anecdote: I knew Jessica and I would get along the moment we met and geeked out over the Throne of Glass series and its tough-as-nails heroine, Celaena Sardothien. What I didn’t realize is that over the hours we’d meet each week at the Center for Fiction, I’d find a true friend in such a singular writer. Jessica constantly surprises me with her candor, specificity, vulnerability, and commitment to merging lyricism and philosophy in groundbreaking works of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Turns out Jessica is tough-as-nails, too, yet her writing cuts to the soft, beating heart of a generation.
Jessica Jiang is a high school senior heading to Williams College in the fall. She loves to read and is in love with Lin-Manuel Miranda. She is obsessed with stationery and is a pescatarian. She is working on a novel now about mental health, but also writes poetry, memoir and short stories.