This excerpt from Hua Hsu’s memoir offers a glimpse into his parents’ generation of immigrants from Taiwan to America, and the faxes they sent to each other about homework, zines, and Nirvana.

My parents had fond memories of listening to the station when they were teen-agers, back when it was Armed Forces Radio. In time, my father became less interested in new music, and listening to the countdown was, in part, my attempt to connect with him, to remind him of the American splendors to which he might one day return. It took me a while to understand that this was our life now—that my parents had worked hard in order to have a place in both worlds. Becoming American would remain an incomplete project, and the records in my father’s collection began to seem like relics of an unfollowed path.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.