Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

Who Writes Peru: Asian Peruvian Writers

September 2020

Image:Eduardo Tokeshi, Lost Objects (cropped), 32 X 60 in, 2000. By arrangement with the artist.

This month we present work by Asian Peruvian writers. Members of the second and sometimes third generation of Peru’s diasporic Chinese and Japanese communities, these writers draw on both their heritage and the material of contemporary Peruvian society as they stake out new ground for the country’s writing. Augusto Higo Oshiro chronicles a deceptively simple life. Siu Kam Wen sees an elderly woman reject the vulgarity of her nouveau riche son and his family. Journalist Julio Villanueva Chang sketches the career of the world’s oldest nude model. Tilsa Otta tracks a young woman seeking how best to deploy a supernatural gift. And in poetry, Doris Moromisato pens an elegy to time and place, Julia Wong Kcomt confirms her identity, and Sui Yun addresses the eternal mother. We thank our guest editor, Jennifer Shyue, who contributes an insightful introduction as well as several translations.

A Slice of Writing by Nikkei and Tusán Peruvian Writers
By Jennifer Shyue
Some of them have often called upon their Chinese or Japanese roots; others have alighted upon the topic only a few times, if at all.
Simple Heart
By Augusto Higa Oshiro
Nobody knows why he went to such great lengths.
Translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue
The Red Rooster and Inevitable Saint
By Julia Wong Kcomt
“She was hot, your aunt Carmen, / she didn’t look Chinese.”
Translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue
Life Is a Pose
By Julio Villanueva Chang
In his spare time, he wears clothes.
Translated from Spanish by Nicolás Medina Mora
Here in Chorrillos
By Doris Moromisato
My eyes fill with rowboats
Translated from Spanish by Margaret Wright
The Final Stretch
By Siu Kam Wen
The old woman refused to wear any clothing she had not sewn herself.
Translated from Spanish by Julie Hempel
Four Short Poems
By Sui-Yun
I have licked the tip of evil
Translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue
The Golden Children of Sexual Alchemy
By Tilsa Otta
Ever since our orgasms became supernatural, we’ve been taking better care of our energies.
Translated from Spanish by Jacob Steinberg