Cathy Park Hong discusses her New York Times bestselling book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, (now in paperback!) a collection of honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original essays that explore Asian American consciousness. Time Magazine featured Minor Feelings as one of the best books of 2020, referring to Hong as “ an energetic and necessary voice in the dialogue surrounding racism in the U.S.”
Ms Hong is the poetry editor of The New Republic and is a full professor at Rutgers-Newark University. She will be in conversation with Chicago journalist Monica Eng. This program is presented in partnership with multiple Chicago-area libraries. To register for this free Zoom webinar, click HERE.
More 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.
“Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen
More About the Author: Cathy Park Hong’s New York Times bestselling book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, was published in Spring 2020 by One World/Random House and Profile Books (UK). Minor Feelings was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton, Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Translating Mo'um. Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her prose and poetry have been published in the New York Times, New Republic, the Guardian, Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere.
About Monica Eng: She is WBEZ’s Curious City reporter. She also reports on food, health, cultural and environmental issues at the station. Monica came to WBEZ in 2013 from the Chicago Tribune where she spent 16 years editing and reporting on food, culture and health. Before that she wrote and edited at the Daily Southtown and Chicago Sun-Times. Monica has won multiple writing awards and been nominated for the James Beard Award five times. Monica is a fourth generation Chicagoan whose children are fourth generation Chicago Public School graduates.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST - NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER - ONE OF TIME'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE - A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness