Grover, E. R. (2022). A Space Carved Out of Me. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2519
Hana will do anything to avoid going home. Growing up in Manhasset, Long Island with her younger sister, Chiyo, and their immigrant mother, her childhood was often shadowed by her mother’s own trauma, losing a sister to the Minamata Disaster of 1965, and Chiyo’s struggle with addiction. For Hana, her childhood home was often a haunted one, filled with the ghosts of her mother’s past and of her sister’s illness. She is finally able to escape when she is accepted into Stanford University and meets Steve; a wealthy archaeology student who is absolutely smitten with Hana. Now a twenty-seven-year-old woman, trapped in a disappointing marriage with her adoring husband, Hana’s mental health is at an all-time low. When she begins to suffer from insomnia, she goes on nightly walks around Manhattan and encounters a ghostly little child wearing a kabuki mask depicting the female onni, Hannya. As the child starts to follow Hana, popping up in the most unexpected places, Hana realizes that although she may be able to run away from her past, she cannot run away from herself. A Space Carved Out of Me explores the relationships between three women, Hana, her sister Chiyo, and their mother, diving deeper into what it means to be haunted, both literally and metaphorically. In a landscape of intergenerational trauma and the trials and tribulations of a family struggling to love one another despite their wounds, this novella is a story about healing and making peace with one’s ghosts.