Jan 12, 2021 • 40M

A conversation with Jiayang Fan, author of “Motherland”

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Mark Isero
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Episode details

Hi there, Article Clubbers! This month, we’re reading, annotating, and discussing “Motherland,” by Jiayang Fan, staff writer at The New Yorker. Hope you’ll join us!

The article explores the relationship between Ms. Fan and her mother, who lives with ALS in a long-term acute-care facility in Harlem, with the support of two around-the-clock aides. When COVID-19 hits and New York closes down in early April, the aides are told they must leave the nursing home immediately, which prompts Ms. Fan, in an act of desperation, to seek help on Twitter. In trying to save her mother’s life, Ms. Fan faces an intense backlash from Chinese nationalists, calling her mother’s fate an appropriate comeuppance for Ms. Fan’s traitorous reporting of the Chinese government.

Last week, I got the chance to talk with Ms. Fan and ask her some of our questions. I hope you will take a listen! Most of all, I want to appreciate Ms. Fan for generously sharing her time and thoughtfulness with us.

After listening to the interview, please share your thoughts in the comments. What resonated with you? What surprised you?

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Want to join this month’s discussion? We’re meeting Sunday, Jan. 24, 2-3:15 pm PT via Zoom. Read this for more information, then feel free to sign up!

Article Club is an experiment in community reading in its second year. Every month, we read, annotate, and discuss one great article, and the author participates, too! If you’re interested, sign up and check us out. Article Club is part of The Highlighter, a weekly newsletter featuring the best articles on race, education, and culture.

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