Dream Pop Origami is a beautiful, ambitious, interactive, and engrossing lyrical memoir about mixed-race identity, love, travel, AAPI masculinities, and personal metamorphosis. This experimental work of creative nonfiction examines, celebrates, and complicates what it means to be Asian and white, Nisei and hapa, Midwestern and Californian, Buddhist and American at the same time. In this stunning collection of choose-your-own-essays and autobiographical lists, multiracial identity is a counterpoint of memory, language, reflection, and imagination intersecting and interweaving into a coherent tapestry of text, emotion, and voice. A stylized, modern retelling of Sei Shōnagon's Pillow Book!
One of the most revolutionary aspects of Dream Pop Origami is the way it gives readers the agency, the freedom, and the responsibility to choose what the next chapter is but also what the memoir becomes based on the decisions they make and the chapters they read. In a literal sense, readers direct this memoir. They decide the level of heartache, nostalgia, joy, infatuation, and melancholy it contains. They decide when to follow the rules of autobiographical storytelling and when to transgress them, when to harness the narrative technology of the personal essay and when to embrace the simplicity of the autobiographical list.
At its heart, Dream Pop Origami is a powerful, vulnerable, audacious, and cyclical process granting author, narrator, and reader their own complex subjectivity, contradiction, and irreconcilability. Each new reading of this memoir is simultaneously an affirmation of the inherent contradiction of the self: there can be no singular, static narrative subject or singular, static narrative object. There can also be no singular, static reader. Author and reader, narrator and interpreter are all part of an important dance for the construction of meaning and identity.
About the Author
Jackson Bliss is the winner of the 2020 Noemi Book Prize in Prose and the author of Counterfactual Love Stories & Other Experiments, Dream Pop Origami, and the speculative fiction hypertext, Dukkha, My Love. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Ploughshares, Columbia Journal, Guernica, Longreads, Antioch Review, and elsewhere. The son of Japanese immigrants on his mother's side, he lives in LA with his wife and their two fashionable dogs.