Another Chinese immigrant author, Yiyun Li, has a very interesting interview, in which she comments on William Trevor: "He doesn't carry a message in his writing, he's an observer, and I like that because I know so many writers who are not observers but who have an agenda. He doesn't have an agenda, he's very curious about human beings. I share this curiosity and I share his interest in the mysteries of human nature."
As a fiction writer I find this observer attitude without an agenda especially resonant. Coincidentally, I mentioned a similar attitude in an interview on Peking Duck early this month.
My memoir piece "On Becoming an American" also appears in this issue. It opens with the following passage: