“Status in Flux”
by Weike Wang
from the June 26, 2023 issue of The New Yorker

It’s been a few years since we last got a story by Weike Wang in the magazine. In 2018 and 2019, after she won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her debut novel Chemistry, we got a couple. In the interim, she published Joan Is Okay in 2022. I thought “Omakase,” her first New Yorker story, in 2018, was excellent. I’m afraid I don’t remember her second, “The Trip,” just now, but I’m looking forward to this one. Here is how “Status in Flux” begins:

For two years, no one travelled. Countries closed their borders to other countries that had closed their borders first. When borders reopened, everyone began travelling again, in full force. There would always be another variant. Best to see the world while you could. Around this time, I developed insomnia and began driving by myself at night. The first night, I drove to a twenty-four-hour supermarket. I stood in front of the frozen-food section, occasionally opening a freezer door to grab something, then changing my mind.

I hope you’re all ready for the official start of summer, and that it is a good one. And I hope you enjoy this story! Please feel welcome to share your thoughts below.

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