Requiescat, Self-Portrayal at Samhain: Spiritisim is Annunciation, You Thought You Were An Opera Singer
You are engaging a meditation on your death. Perhaps you broke the law, but it was an old law, a lost aria, unenforced. You are held in the residue and ascetic disaffiliation. Sleep’s epitaph, your eyes guarded by sixpence, silvered shine of wolfhounds. At the feast, they set a place for you among the dead. Cold stars languish under your crane-skin dress. Hornet’s nest kept in your hair’s gust. Inexplicable speech. Moth light over gray meadow. You taste the hum in the walls where mule stood over the glass riverbank. Sparrow stasis. For each animal there is a trade. There is a wormhole upon the forehead, bonfire constellations, maggot conscience. You’d been walked between bonfire’s remains, the dappled throng. Through the small barn window you saw the blistered flank of the fur-licked cattle.
Belief in the body is attempted, form found without words, form given. Leaving the mind starts out as a little joke. Here, Spiritism is a woman riding a colt; the space toward which she is moving is an immeasurable dark. How did you think things would improve? She gives night the permission to erase the host. Your architectures had always been enough, and perfectly therein.
Amy Tan, Chinese-American writer–best known for her novel The Joy Luck Club, released a collection of letters and personal essays entitled The Opposite of Fate. As Tan is known as a primarily fiction writer, it is remarkable to get this very real and identifying insight into the mind of this author, her life, her real family, and her writing process.
If having a film made off her bestselling first novel is not enough to make Amy Tan a remarkable and important American writer, in addition, as of the beginning of this month (October 2008), an opera based off Tan’s novel, The Bonesetter’s Daughter has just completed its first run.
As a young, high-school aged writer, I myself received a signed copy of The Opposite of Fate as an inspiring present from my mother, and since then, the works of Amy Tan have held particular significance to me. As a student at Arizona State University, studying Creative Writing, as well as an intern at Superstition Review, I have found that Tan’s works have endured to hold valuable advice in my writing and advice. With great joy, keep reading for an excerpt of Tan’s words to writers…