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Cancelled: Cathy Park Hong with Vanessa Hua / Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

March 12, 2020 @ 7:00 pm PDT

Please note: this event has been cancelled.


Booksmith hosts Cathy Park Hong for her new book, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, a ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human. She’ll be in conversation with Vanessa Hua (Deceit and Other Possibilities and A River of Stars). Please join us!

“Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.” – Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen

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 by Beowulf SheehanCathy 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 TimesThe Paris ReviewMcSweeney’sBoston 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.Vanessa Hua by Andria Lo
Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestseller, A River of Stars, and a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities.  For more than two decades, she has been writing, in journalism and fiction, about Asia and the diaspora. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and among other publications. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she teaches at the Writers Grotto in San Francisco, Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and elsewhere.

This event is free and all ages.

RSVP appreciated but not required.

As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Minor Feelings, order below and be sure to put your request in the comments field.

Accessibility is important to us! If you have special needs please let us know and we’ll do our absolute best to accommodate you: events@booksmith.com.


March 12, 2020
7:00 pm PDT
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