When Worlds Collide

Wit, irony, and the imperial minister’s poignant gesture that helped forge my family

Aimee Liu
9 min readMar 19

Left: Photo of Liu Chengyu, 1903, courtesy of author. Right: “Portrait of an Official.” 1870s. Source: Wikimedia/ Loewentheil Photography of China Collection

My grandfather Liu Chengyu was a scholar revolutionary bent on overthrowing China’s Qing (aka Ch’ing) Dynasty in the early 1900s. He was also a poet and author. Alas, in keeping with the custom of humility in Chinese culture, he wrote little directly about himself. His anecdotes instead…

Aimee Liu

Author, Asian-American novels (Glorious Boy), nonfiction on eating disorders (Gaining), writing, wellness. Published @Hachette. MFA & more@ aimeeliu.net