Nevertheless, She PersistedThis is the first of a series of blog posts about the stories in the anthology, Nevertheless, She Persisted, available now from Book View Café!

The story “Sisters” has deep and personal meaning for me. I wrote the story as an assignment for a workshop, namely, to write about things our family didn’t talk about. I’ll never forget sitting and writing a bit of the story, then crying for a while, then writing some more. It was an intense process.

At least ninety, possibly ninety-five percent of the activities that happen in the story are historically accurate. For example, because an older person could not venerate a younger person, the Chinese of those times did not have funerals for children. Sometimes the names of dead children were struck from the census records. And so on.

Lin Han desperately wants to honor her dead sister. She is persistent, trying more than one avenue to make sure that her sister gets the respect she deserves, even if she’s a young person, even if she’s a girl. Lin Han defies her parents and her cultural upbringing in order to ensure her sister is taken care of.

I tend not to publicly post about politics. (Read: none at all.) I’m breaking that rule today in order to talk about this short story. I think it’s important to stand up and do what needs doing, even though everyone around us just wants us to shut up and sit back down and stop embarrassing ourselves.

Sometimes, they’re wrong. And we need to persist. We need to honor those who have been fighting for our rights, clearing the trenches, making it easier for us to continue. That’s what I truly think is the spirit behind this anthology. Persisting despite a culture that no longer honors us or our sacrifices.

If you need some stories of encouragement for these times, go pick up this anthology. Let it put a puff of air back in your sails, be a respite from the battles, encourage you to continue.

Because if we don’t persist, our lives will become tragic.

Leah Cutter




Sisters — 1 Comment

  1. Not only does Lin Han’s struggle encapsulate the theme of the anthology, but does so with an example that is the opposite of a soapbox lecture. It is a personal tale. It’s an expression of character. The protagonist has no power to wield — as society would define power — except her persistence, but with only that to work with, she shows how it should be done.