Mothers and Girls: A Fake Memoir


Meng Jin is a novelist whose stories explore the ways in which the self fractures and attempts to cohere in times of hallucinatory social, political, economic, environmental, and technological change.

Artist Bio

Mothers and Girls is a novel or “fake memoir” narrated by the daughter of a Chinese poet and a white American translator/scholar of Chinese literature. The narrator tells the story of the discovery of a fictional text, also titled Mothers and Girls, which interrogates the reliability of text, and conceives of and enacts authorship as performance. By playing with narrative expectations of autofiction—questioning a form that has itself arisen out of a questioning of form—Meng Jin complicates narratives of motherhood and girlhood, expands imaginaries of mental illness in non-Western contexts, and illuminates the lives of minority-written texts.


Award Year
2021
Status

In Progress

Meng Jin

San Francisco, CA

Meng Jin is a novelist whose stories explore the ways in which the self fractures and attempts to cohere in times of hallucinatory social, political, economic, environmental, and technological change. Jin is obsessed with form and how the novel can bend, break, and expand to realize the stories writers need to tell today. Her first novel Little Gods was published by Custom House. The New York Times wrote that it “expands the future of the immigrant novel” and NPR’s Gabino Iglesias called it “one of the most complex character studies I’ve ever read.” Jin is a Kundiman fellow, a David TK Wong Fellow, Elizabeth George Foundation Grantee, and Steinbeck Fellow. Her short prose appears in Best American Short Stories 2020, Pushcart Prize XLV, The Threepenny Review, Guernica, Ploughshares, Vogue, and elsewhere.

Photo: Andria Lo