July 6, 2021
When her father dies after a drawn-out illness, the unnamed protagonist of Ghost Forest (One World, 2021) wonders how one grieves if a family never talks about feelings. The father is one of Hong Kong’s ‘astronaut’ fathers, who stays there to work after the rest of the family leave before the 1997 handover, when Britain returns the sovereignty of Hong Kong to China. The protagonist turns to her mother and grandmother with questions about customs, religious traditions, and misunderstandings that occurred over the course of her life. Their answers, together with snippets of her own memories, help her understand her own actions. She also begins to understand her parents and why they made the decision to live a world apart for most of the year. And she realizes that even though they didn’t talk about love, it was always there.
Pik-Shuen Fung is a Canadian writer and artist living in New York City. She has received fellowships and residencies from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kundiman, the Millay Colony, and Storyknife. She has an MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts and a BA from Brown University. Ghost Forest is her first book. In her free time, she loves to cook, talk about food, and eat the delicious dishes cooked by her husband, who is a chef.