Dear Wigleaf,

It's my birthday and I've just spoken with my mother on the phone. I'm a little awkward talking to her just now, on account of the column I wrote for foto8, a photography magazine, about a picture taken when she was five. In the picture she's sitting between her mother and father, looking very solemn. It's the first time the family have been together in two years. It's the last time they will ever be together. My mother was a child internee of the Japanese, who took her prisoner shortly after her second birthday. She was freed by Allied troops as she turned six. Her father died in the prison camp. She remembers hardly anything of her four years in captivity. I've uncovered a lot, with the writer's insatiable appetite for a story. I wish I could feel I was restoring her past, instead of unsettling her present. The most she'll say is that it's odd I know more about those four years than she does. 'Odd' doesn't sound so bad, to a writer, but I'm not sure it's what I wanted to achieve.

Kind regards


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Read SH's story, "The Rocket Laundry."

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