A Mother’s Exchange for Her Daughter’s Future

A wonderful personal essay By Jiayang Fan in the New Yorker. (There’s an audio version, too.) I found myself thinking at times that this is really a prose poem, then a lyrical narrative. Regardless of classification, if there is one, it is sad, poetic, lyrical and beautiful.

Once upon a time there lived a woman who wanted to exchange her present for her daughter’s future. Little did she know that, if she did so, the two of them would merge into one ungainly creature, at once divided and reconstituted, and time would flow through both of them like water in a single stream. The child became the mother’s future, and the mother became the child’s present, taking up residence in her brain, blood, and bones.

Jiayang Fan in the New Yorker