[quote=“KMW”]I called my brother’s publisher…because that publisher had a couple of addresses on the web. I EXPECTED to talk to a receptionist who would just confirm the address. Of course that would be too simple! Anyway, a man answered, and when I asked what their mailing address was…and he asked too whom I was writing. I was kind of taken aback…and said I wanted to send a personal letter to one of their authors. He demanded to know what author. I said my brother’s English and Chinese names…and it turned out that the man that answered the phone was the actual PUBLISHER, and co-authored some stuff with my brother. He demanded to know what I wanted with him…he is working on a project for XXXX and is very busy right now.
Now, when I was younger, I could lie at the drop of a hat! If you asked where I spent the afternoon, I would say at a museum, even though I spent it at a library. But then I gave up lying…and became incurably honest. Honestly, it is kind of a drag.
So…I opened my mouth to say it was a Private Family Matter…but I live in a small place, Napa CA. Everyone knows everyone, and if you don’t know them, you probably have many friends in common. So, I suddenly didn’t want to say Private Family Matter…because that sounded ALARMING to me and it occured to me that Taiwan might be more like Napa CA than New York City. I said…“I think I might be his sister.” THEN…the publisher…who was also a friend say…OH! XXXX has an American father! He told me to email my info and he would get back to me. I sent the link to my father’s obituary and some information about myself.
The publisher who wrote back saying that when people want to get ahold of my brother, they have to fax a request to his private FAX number and he will call them back…eventually. He said that my brother speaks average English, doesn’t read English well, but his wife speaks and reads excellent English and Spanish…so translating a letter is unnecessary. The publisher also gave me his email and said he doesn’t check it much. The email is in the wife’s name, I believe.
I wrote back wondering if I should just drop the whole matter…we didn’t want to upset my brother or his mother in any way. Publisher/friend said my brother always wanted to know about his American father and that I should CERTAINLY contact him. His mother died three years ago.
Meanwhile…our family dynamics HERE are in total Melt Down. All relationships have changed…the whole thing is so freaking WEIRD. My psychologist finds it very interesting to watch the meltdown! For some reason, everyone is running around saying that we all just can’t write a letter and sign our names and addresses to it…we have to chose a Spokesman to write THE LETTER. To which I said, “Who is WE white man?” Of course the nominated spokesman is the most evil member of our family…who’s path of distruction is legend! But she has changed…and besides, she adopted a Chinese daughter 4 years ago, so she is expert. Right?
Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would anything to do with us…and am sorry I ever found the poor guy. My shrink says that I think our family and our history is worthless because I actually have it. She says it is unfair, especially to a male, not to have a clue who his father’s family was. We do have a kind of cool family history in California…but, frankly, I go by and kick the family tree (in a binder) every time I walk by it. But it is interesting to me to see that my brother is involved in an outreadh for depressed youth.
My stepmother says we should leave him alone…let sleeping dogs lie. I pointed out that my Taiwanese brother has a right to an American passport and citizenship, if he wants it, and it is doubtful that my father trotted down to the embassy to register his birth…since that is where he worked! My stepmother said, “Why would he want an American passport anyway. Why would he want to move here?” I said, “I don’t want to move to France, but if I had a right to, I would want to decide…not have a bunch of people I have never met decide.” Then my stepmother asked why I would want to preserve my right to move to France…and I shouted…“BECAUSE IT IS MY RIGHT, it is mine and you can’t have it!” Discussion goes downhill from there! Then the teenage daughter, who is a fiend for my brother’s particular form of art walks thru saying, “Mom, a quick way to starve, if you do XXXXX is to come to America.” Then I point out it doesn’t matter anyway, perhaps he wants to take an extended tour and the tourist visa won’t suffice.
Anyway, I am glad to know that it isn’t just MY family that rearranged itself at this news. The funniest thing is that most of the consequences have little if anything to do with my Taiwanese brother…it is all old stuff that has come to the surface!
Meanwhile…I assume that my brother’s publisher has let him know I contacted them. But maybe not? If the publisher I talked to was an American woman, my brother would have been notified in about 30 seconds and will have been waiting for MONTHS for his wretched American family to contact him.[/quote]
Is a movie coming out soon? I do think you are doing the right thing by the way. And I would think the publisher had immediately notified your brother.