Minor feelings : an Asian American reckoning

by Hong, Cathy Park,

Format: Print Book 2020
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Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER * A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness

"Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human."--Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen

One of Time 's 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year * Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, New Statesman, BuzzFeed, Esquire, The New York Public Library, and Book Riot

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.

Praise for Minor Feelings

"Hong begins her new book of essays with a bang. . . .The essays wander a variegated terrain of memoir, criticism and polemic, oscillating between smooth proclamations of certainty and twitches of self-doubt. . . . Minor Feelings is studded with moments [of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness." -- The New York Times

"Hong uses her own experiences as a jumping off point to examine race and emotion in the United States." -- Newsweek

"Powerful . . . [Hong] brings together memoiristic personal essay and reflection, historical accounts and modern reporting, and other works of art and writing, in order to amplify a multitude of voices and capture Asian America as a collection of contradictions. She does so with sharp wit and radical transparency." -- Salon
Contents
United
Stand up
The end of white innocence
Bad English
An education
Portrait of an artist
The indebted.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Title aside, nothing is minor about Hong's taut, sharp collection. The award-winning poet's prose debut will elicit comparisons to contemporary race-conscious luminaries think Claudine Rankine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Roxane Gay but Hong's singular voice expresses both reclamation and declaration: For as long as I can remember, I have struggled to prove myself into existence . . . Asian Americans inhabit a vague purgatorial status: not white enough nor black enough. Seven stupendous essays mark her journey toward claiming agency. She exposes collective Asian American history and spotlights today's racially charged complicity in United."" She channels Richard Pryor's raw energy and the manipulations of L.A.'s 1992 race riots in Stand Up. She unmasks white fragility in End of White Innocence, and she subverts language in Bad English."" Hong reveals intimate female friendships in An Education, confronts the brutal rape and murder of iconic artist Theresa Hak-Kyung Cha in Portrait of an Artist, and refuses to be grateful in The Indebted. L.A.-born to Korean immigrant parents, Hong creates a fierce amalgamation comprised of careful memoir, radical history, sociopolitical treatise, and revolutionary call-out. Being woke, she notes, is already a hashtag that's now mocked, when being awake is not a singular revelation but a long-term commitment fueled by constant reevaluation. Apologetic no more, Hong proves, We're everywhere now. --Terry Hong Copyright 2020 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this blistering essay collection, poet Hong (Engine Empire) interrogates America's racial categories to explore the "under-reported" Asian-American experience. Hong, a child of Korean immigrants, was born in Los Angeles's Koreatown, but moved from the neighborhood before the 1992 riots upended the area. Her topics include personal experiences, from learning English as a second language and obsessing over her scented Hello Kitty--branded erasers as a child, to mining the repertoire of Richard Pryor as a young woman entering the stand-up scene. She is both angry and wryly funny when examining her struggles with depression, hemifacial spasm disorder, and poetry peers who dismissed her first book as "hack identity politics." Assessing perceptions of Asian-Americans as "next in line to be white," as one man tells her, she observes that in fact they have the "highest income disparity out of any racial group" in the country. Her confrontational prose maintains a poet's lyricism in "The End of White Innocence," which recalls a childhood "spent looking into the menagerie of white children." Combining cultural criticism and personal exploration, Hong constructs a trenchant examination of race in America. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit. (Feb.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Hong, Cathy Park.
Asian Americans -- Biography.
Asian American women -- Biography.
Poets, American -- 21st century -- Biography.
Autobiographies.
Publisher New York :2020
Language English
Description 206 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781984820365
1984820362
9781984820389
Other Classic View