Vanessa Chan

Vanessa Chan is a Malaysian writer who writes about race, colonization, and women who don’t toe the line. Her writing has been published in Porter House Review, Atticus Review, Jezebel, and more. She is based in New York where she is an MFA candidate at The New School and a reader for the literary magazine One Story. This follows a 12-year career in public relations, including most recently as director of communications for Facebook in California. Her writing has received support from Tin House, Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, Aspen Words, and Disquiet International. You can find her at on her website or at @vanjchan. She is at work on her novel.

SCURRY by Vanessa Chan

As a killer pandemic swept through the world, my mother died from cancer, alone in a Minnesotan hospice facility. A thousand miles away, also alone in my Brooklyn apartment, I held my breath as my heart caved into itself, salted with guilt. A week later, I encountered my first common New York house centipede. He winked at me from the white walls of my apartment, wobbling on his many legs. “HELP ME,” I scream-texted at friends, paramours, anyone who would listen.  The centipede began dashing madly up my wall, pausing as if to catch his breath, then continuing his ascent….

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