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Eastwind Book Club: Minor Feelings
October 25, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm PDT
About this Event
Eastwind Book Club is a community of readers connected by Asian and Asian American literature. Members gather once a month through a virtual meeting to discuss the month’s book selection. October’s book club pick is Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong.
The book club meeting will take place via Zoom on Sunday, October 25 at 2pm PST. Register to receive the meeting link.
Join our Book Club Facebook* group to engage in conversation throughout the month: www.tinyurl.com/ewclub
Book Club members can use coupon code BOOKCLUB2020 for a 10% discount at www.asiabookcenter.com
About the book:
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative–and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.
Binding these essays together is Hong’s theory of “minor feelings.” As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality–when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they’re dissonant–and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her.
With sly humor and a poet’s searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche–and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.
Cathy Park Hong is the author of three poetry collections including Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Engine Empire. Hong is a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in Poetry, The New York Times, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Boston Review, and other journals. She is the poetry editor of The New Republic and full professor at the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program in poetry.
Catherine Park Hong examines her development from a ‘model minority’ Asian American into new awareness of racial injustice and identification with people of color. The essays take us through her younger years with the 1992 burning of L.A. Koreatown, and as an adult enduring racist slurs and discrimination. Hong shares a growing criticism of white privilege and racial inequality through her essays. Importantly she discovered her rebellious influencers Richard Pryor, Yuri Kochiyama, Theresa Cha, among the race activists who helped define an Asian American movement and liberated their generation in unity with the long sixties Black Power Movement.
Book Club Reading Guide
How do you define your racial identity, and what are your major influences?
The Model Minority controversy has gripped Asian Americans. Has being defined as a Model Minority helped Asian American ethnicities attain opportunities, or is it an elusive gamble for white privileges?
As an Asian American, do you identify as a person of color? And how has racial discrimination affected you or your family?
We are challenged by the book to join Asian Americans in support of Black Lives Matter. What side of history should Asian Americans stand?
Eastwind Book Club is co-sponsored by OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates Bay Area Chapters, Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD) and AsAmNews (www.asamnews.com).