04. October 2013 · Comments Off on Omaha, Second Bassoonist, · Categories: Read Online

The unopened message stared at Wenmin Zhang like a dare.

Seven months ago, Zhang sat in his childhood home in Beijing and looked at a computer screen with his future on the line.

Good news meant that Zhang’s dream of joining a professional orchestra had come true. It meant jumping on a life-changing flight and taking residence in an apartment he already held more than 6,000 miles away in a city called Omaha.

Bad news meant no job, no flight and no Omaha. Worse, it meant the snide judgments of skeptical aunts and uncles would become his life’s narrative at age 27: that everything he’d done since the age of 5 to get to this point had been pointless. He had failed.

Zhang stared back at the message, afraid to open it.


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