In Search of Family History – Cara’s Story at 80 Minutes Around the World

“Old Mr. Ma” & Cara – Gong Hao, China (2008)

I’ve been moved by the audiences who’ve taken an interest in the stories of my search for the family history of my Mexican-Chinese Grandma. In 2021, I had a few opportunities to share the story of my journey to China to heal an old family divide. In case you haven’t seen the story, Old Mr. Ma, here’s a recording of the 10-minute version, which I told at the Santa Monica Playhouse. It appeared in 80 Minutes Around the World, produced by Nestor Gomez and M.J. Kang. If you like the topic, please keep your eyes peeled for news of my upcoming historical novel, Candlelight Bridge. 

The Dark Matter

Do you feel it, the desire to tiptoe into the New Year, lest you wake a new giant that might confront you with another endurance test of our humanity, our environment, our peace? Yet it was with unexpected joy I opened my mailbox this holiday season to find a reminder to never give up on the power of words to open us to the possibility of a better world. That reminder is Abrazos, the 10th Anniversary Anthology of DoveTales, which is the literary journal of the nonprofit Writing for Peace. Below is a copy of my essay, The Dark Matter, which I was honored to discover included. If you’d like to buy the anthology, full of the work of writers for whom words are conduits of peace, limited copies are still available at

The Dark Matter
Cara Lopez Lee

I’ve been feeling the loneliness that comes with the realization that not only do others not see the world the same way as I, but that nobody sees it the same way at all. Not a one. Not even the people who vote the same. Not even the people who like the same movies, books, and dances. Not the dearest of friends.

read more…

The Tamale Incident – Cara’s Tale of Family Feasts on The Otter Story Hour

The Tamale Incident – Cara’s Tale of Family Feasts on The Otter Story Hour

As my holiday gift to you, allow me to share a funny, touching story that originally aired on The Otter Story Hour’s show: Family Feast. Every Christmas, visions of tamales dance in my head. Actually, I eat tamales year-round, maybe because I’m a Mexican who grew up in Los Angeles. But don’t let that fool you – I have a fraught relationship with tamales, thanks to my family. Want to know what I mean? Go to the following Facebook link for a video of that November 2020 Show. You can find my story, The Tamale Incident, at 50:06, or grab snacks and watch the whole show as several delightful storytellers share tales of feasting.

Old Mr. Ma – Cara Tells a Story of Home for The Storytellers Project

As many of you know, I’m writing a historical novel inspired by family stories my Mexican-Chinese grandma used to tell me: tales of secret immigrants and mixed races, family loyalties and betrayals. I’m also involved in the world of live personal storytelling, and The Storytellers Project recently invited me to share a true story about my search for my ancestral past. Here’s a video of that virtual show on the theme of Home. You’ll see my 9-minute story at 19:34. Warning: In the story, I mention sexual abuse, though not in a graphic way.

About Cara

Cara Lopez LeeCara Lopez Lee is the author of They Only Eat Their Husbands. She’s a winner of The Moth StorySLAM and performs in many storytelling shows, including Unheard L.A., and Strong Words. Her writing appears in such publications as Los Angeles Times, Manifest-Station, and Writing for Peace. She’s a traveler, swing dancer, and baker of pies. Cara and her husband live in the beach-town of Ventura, California, where they enjoy tending their Certified Wildlife Habitat full of birds.
Cara Lopez Lee

Sign up for blog posts and to get my newsletter!

Pin It on Pinterest