The short story “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu has a non-chronological structure that mainly revolves around the conflict between Jack and his Chinese mother

The beginning of the story introduces the main characters and hints that the narrative has some magical realism features:

I reached out to Mom's creation. Its tail twitched, and it pounced playfully at my finger. ‘Rawrr-sa,’ it growled, the sound somewhere between a cat and rustling newspapers. I laughed, startled, and stroked its back with an index finger. The paper tiger vibrated under my finger, purring.

In this example, Jack notices that the origami tiger comes alive when his mother blows into him. The idea that the origami animals are magic is reinforced later on when Jack talks about his mother’s “special” kind: “She breathed into them so that they shared her breath, and thus moved with her life. This was her magic”. This intrigues the readers and makes them want to find out more about the mother’s...

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