Each issue we feature pieces of prose and poetry from Asian women around the world. Here are this issue’s pieces!
“Looking for 故乡, or home, or something else” by Angela Dong
It is so humbling To be a foreigner in your homeland To meet strangers that should be family And to trip over a language that should be yours So I find myself homesick for places I have never called home
And nostalgic for places I have never visited
I wander the world Finding comfort in foreign lands And unfamiliar tongues Until airports become my second home (My first is the Earth itself) As I continue searching for A space in which I truly belong
Suitcase by Isabel Lee Roden
My mother repacks my suitcase for me –
I did it once, I am good at packing.
But not so good as her.
She re-rolls each shirt tightly, tightly wound, and crammed elegantly into a square. She finds symmetry
where I am more comfortable playing building blocks
with my own brand of disorder.
I pack and the suitcase nearly bursts with keepsakes,
dresses, flip flops.
She packs and my whole life flattens out – all but
As if she has made me smaller. I am easier to travel with now.
I was already all but packed, I did not ask her for help.
As if the lack of a request holds any weight.
She shows me how to fold my denim jeans
so that they will lay flat and unobtrusive.
She does not realize
she is showing me how to take the work out of my loved one’s hands.
We say “let me do that for you” and it is as close as we can get to
“I love you.”
We say “let me do that for you” and it means
“I think you are incompetent.”
For the women of my house, these sentiments are not mutually exclusive.
We are a legacy of women who believe they know best because they have always had to. Women who feel a responsibility to love because
love has always come with responsibilities.
We say “let me do that for you” because a long time ago,
though not as long as I might think,
my grandmother packed all our history’s hopes in a suitcase,
because it is what she was taught she owed to her future.
So that she could build a house, so that my mother could fill it.
This house, packed heavy with the weight of
Nearly bursting with what we owe to each other.
More than enough to fill a suitcase.
“To the lover…..” by Ashritha Muppidi
Amusement strikes my brain cells, heaviness strikes my heart. What a joy it is to offer you my thoughts, what a pain it is to fear they’d be less amusing to you. On rainy days (read: every day) I have the urge to be entangled within you and not make sense out of this world; some days you’re too much, other days I need more of you. I slip fast into the cascade of thoughts, and never for once, the depth of you was diluted; I don’t promise, I cherish, I cherish till you last, till this hurt becomes normal and till your fragrance smells like home. It was not easy knowing you, it was some days boring too.
Meet me in paradise, under the stars above the chaos, let’s live a lie this love has to offer; Your bare chest was a burial ground and I wanted to die before being born. This love of ours knows the space we fit in well, yet, gives us voids we devour till death
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.