She can just make out the words in the fading sunlight: ‘The only good system is a sound system.’ The concrete façade is marred in patches, but several stretches are still pristine grey, damaged only by the salt air and bird droppings – the vandals defeated by its sheer length. Most of the graffiti is in German, but language here is no badge of authenticity. Everyone Joy has met seems eager to parade their English before her. Even the older residents, the ones who learnt Russian at school, pepper their dialogue with it. ‘Auf meinem To-do List stehen drei Urgent Emails.’
Jeremy Tiang’s short fiction has appeared in the Istanbul Review, the Philippines Free Press, Fleurs des Lettres and QLRS, and has been shortlisted for the Bridport and Iowa Review Prizes. He has also translated several novels and plays from the Mandarin, including Zhang Yueran’s The Promise Bird and Yeng Pway Ngon’s Unrest. His adaptation of the eighteenth-century novel A Dream of Red Pavilions will soon be staged off-Broadway by Pan Asian Repertory Theater.