Culture Vulture

Reclaiming my mother tongue

I want to be Lang Leav in Chinese, I tell my publisher. He takes me seriously and I am now trying to revive a language dormant for decades

I sleep with the television on.

It reassures me to wake to its incandescence, to hear the nattering of Asian variety show hosts and surgically perfected actors at a low volume.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'Reclaiming my mother tongue'. Print Edition | Subscribe