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6+ Works 881 Members 29 Reviews

About the Author

Cathy Park Hong is the author of Translating Mo'um and Dance Dance Revolution, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. She lives in New York.

Works by Cathy Park Hong

Associated Works

Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction (2011) — Contributor — 30 copies
Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (2004) — Contributor — 20 copies


2020 (13) 2021 (8) 21st century (3) adult (4) art (3) Asia (3) Asian (8) Asian American (23) Asian Americans (9) audiobook (6) biography (4) culture (3) East Asia (3) ebook (4) essays (39) female author (3) fiction (3) goodreads (6) immigration (4) Kindle (8) Korea (3) Korean (4) Korean American (8) language (3) literature (4) memoir (44) non-fiction (71) POC (4) poetry (49) poets (3) race (27) race relations (3) racism (9) read (8) read in 2020 (3) social justice (3) to-read (143) unread (3) USA (4) women (6)

Common Knowledge

Los Angeles, California, USA
Rutgers University



I won a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway, but I would've gotten a copy of my own, likely (it comes out on 2/25/20 next week!)

These essays are autobiographical but also examine the place Asian Americans have in the American consciousness (and what does that term even mean, because while it began as a political statement of solidarity has it fallen into a banal umbrella grouping?)

There are so, so many chunks of essay where I felt seen to my core- how to grapple with being a minority, the only one in your class at school while also being treated as white-adjacent (I recall in middle school, a peer made a joke about tennis shoes being made by children in China and when I made a face he was like, "why should you care? You're American!"), or by noting the privacy of hiding our trauma (and yet, it seems like that's the only story we're allowed to tell even though to be frank, Asian American history *is* full of trauma). At the same time she ponders a broad history/consciousness, she is intensely personal- thinking about the parallel specificity between her family and [a:Theresa Hak Kyung Cha|52223|Theresa Hak Kyung Cha|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1286468056p2/52223.jpg]'s, between whether or not it is lurid or shedding light on Theresa's rape and murder.

I'm going to be thinking about this one for a while, and will probably revisit it during APAHM.
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Daumari | 26 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |
Intense. Complex. Complicating. Angry (but in a positive and reclaiming way which I understand as a woman if I can not understand as a white person) the Oberlin parts were…I’m not sure…interesting, but in a gossipy way about a toxic but important friendship in the way that many female relationships are portrayed—or maybe that’s a description of many female relationships? Our oppression can only ever be manifested as competitive and toxic. I’m not sure though. I’ll have to think on it. I will think a lot about this book. It is a familiar story of racism told in a very new and powerful way.… (more)
BookyMaven | 26 other reviews | Dec 6, 2023 |
Non-fiction; powerful, painful. The author taught me a lot that I did not know - how Asian Americans feel and are treated, what it is like to hide one's feelings because you know that no one gives a damn ... because your feelings don't correspond to feelings of white Americans - and what it is like to have parents who are immigrants, not white, and with backgrounds of great violence. Finally, what it is like for a Korean-American woman to learn enough of what has been hidden from her, and what she has hidden herself to be able write this book.
Very worthwhile.
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RickGeissal | 26 other reviews | Aug 16, 2023 |
This book blasted my heart to pieces. A complex set of essays about Asian American identity and Korean American immigration in particular, and art and poetry and history and racism and violence. Hong's ability to make the historical. the structural, the cultural personal and emotional is the through line through this collection. that veers between wide cultural moments, niche artists, viral videos, and her own life.

I read this during a readathon, and while it was amazing to sit down and read this in one sitting, I would love to come back to this someday when I can spend ore time with each essay, because there's SO MUCH to unpack here.… (more)
greeniezona | 26 other reviews | Aug 1, 2023 |



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