Fireside Reading Series: Kao Kalia Yang
Wednesday, January 20th | 7:00pm
Somewhere in the Unknown World: A Collective Refugee Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
About the Book
All over this country, there are refugees. But beyond the headlines, few know who they are, how they live, or what they have lost. Although Minnesota is not known for its diversity, the state has welcomed more refugees per capita than any other, from Syria to Bosnia, Thailand to Liberia. Now, with nativism on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang – herself a Hmong refugee – has gathered stories of the stateless who today call the Twin Cities home.
Here are people who found the strength and courage to rebuild after leaving all they hold dear. Awo and her mother, who escaped from Somalia, reunite with her father on the phone every Saturday, across the span of continents and decades. Tommy, born in Minneapolis to refugees from Cambodia, cannot escape the war that his parents carry inside. As Afghani flees the reach of the Taliban, he seeks at every stop what he calls a certificate of his humanity. Mr. Truong brings pho from Vietnam to Frogtown in St. Paul, reviving a crumbling block as well as his own family.
About the Author
Kao Kalia Yang is an award-winning Hmong-American writer. She is the author of the memoirs The Late Homecomer, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. She has also written children’s books A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, and The Most Beautiful Thing and co-edited the essay collection What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Indigenous Women and Women of Color. Yang’s literary nonfiction work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA Literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, and garnered three Minnesota Book Awards. Yang is a recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Prose, the International Institute of Minnesota’s Olga Zoltai Award for her community leadership and service to New Americans, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts’ 2019 Sally Award for Social Impact.
Fireside Reading Series
Great authors by the (virtual) fireside
Wednesdays | January 20th– February 24th, 2021 | FREE
Cozy up in the comfort of your own home for six weeks of readings. Fireside Reading Series, ongoing in partnership with Hamline Midway Library for 27 years, highlights the work of some of Minnesota’s finest writers who have published new work the previous year.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.