Academic journal article Chicago Review

Eggs

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Eggs

Article excerpt

When they were children, both my grandmothers had their feet bound; thereafter they had to learn to balance their feelings very carefully. The pain too will pass, Renoir said in 1903. Renoir was to become a friend of my mother Katherine who was not yet born at the time he first said these words; but he repeated every word in 1910 when she was two and they became friends. This time he was however not referring to the pain which accompanied Katherine's mother's bound feet when she was a child, but instead anticipated the alienation that Katherine was to feel later from the Tai Chung community for not binding her feet. Strangers sitting on the stoops of their houses and shops all over the city would point to her outsized feet and untethered walk and whisper comments along under their breath.

At five Katherine said to Renoir, I will never drop an egg from the high beam.

Later she went to school abroad and met her husband shortly after he had publicly cut his cue in a Berkeley demonstration.

Then the magical happened in 1944 in Chungking: overnight Katherine disappeared from our lives, followed by absolute silence. …

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