The Translator's Daughter: A Discussion with Grace Loh Prasad


Today’s book is: The Translator’s Daughter: A Memoir (Mad Creek Books, 2024), by Grace Loh Prasad, which is a unique immigration story about the loneliness of living in a diaspora, the search for belonging, and the meaning of home. Born in Taiwan, Grace Loh Prasad was two years old when the threat of political persecution under Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorship drove her family to the United States, setting her up to become an “accidental immigrant.” The family did not know when they would be able to go home again. This exile lasted long enough for Prasad to forget her native Taiwanese language and grow up American. Having multilingual parents—including a father who worked as a translator—meant she never had to develop the fluency to navigate Taiwan on visits. But when her parents moved back to Taiwan permanently when she was in college and her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she recognized the urgency of forging a stronger connection with her birthplace before it was too late. As she recounts her journey to reclaim her heritage in The Translator’s Daughter, Prasad unfurls themes of memory, dislocation, and loss in all their rich complexity.

Our guest is: Grace Loh Prasad, a finalist for the Louise Meriwether First Book prize. Grace writes frequently on the topics of diaspora and belonging. You can find her work in many publications including The New York Times, Longreads, Catapult, Jellyfish Review, Blood Orange Review, KHÔRA, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Grace received her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, and has attended workshops at Tin House and VONA, and residencies at Hedgebrook and Ragdale. She is a member of The Writers Grotto and Seventeen Syllables, an Asian American Pacific Islander writers collective. She is the author of The Translator’s Daughter: A Memoir.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, the producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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