in memoiors of a childhood among ghost by mxine hong kingston
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The narrator explains that when she was born, her mother supposedly cut the dividing tissue under her tongue so that she would be able to “pronounce anything.” There was no memory or physical evidence, but the narrator believed the story. Her mother had not cut any of her siblings’ tongues. Despite her “loosened” tongue, the narrator was very shy about speaking, especially in English. She was so reticent that she flunked kindergarten. “Chinese school,” which the Chinese children attended each day after “American school,” was a relief. There, the narrator did not have to speak in English and was more comfortable.