Some of the questions I need to address in these first two chapters are:
- Where can I find and how do I situate mami's and papi's agency as children?
- Where am I missing the opportunities of my parents' attempts at loving? Why am I missing them?
- Am I seeing the complicated ways that my father was becoming a boy and a man? Am I doing enough to acknowledge more than, and see the parts of him beyond and underneath his capacity to hurt?
- Am I problematizing my mother's position as victim? Am I protecting her too much to see the moments where her choices perpetuated violence and were influenced by living in a culture of violence?
I think you will agree that Chris Abani has much to offer a writer who is digging for the heart of memories: