I’ve been away from sharing what I’m reading for what seems like a long time. But now I’m back, with #bookrecommendations!
I have major feelings—It’s so good! So smart and powerful! So beautifully written! So necessary! So insightful! Breathtaking!—about this phenomenal book, Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong (One World Books: 2020).
It arrived at my doorstep at the very beginning of our state’s stay at home orders. Were I not the mother of a young child I am suddenly now homeschooling, I would have read the book in one complete sitting. Instead, I spread the reading over 3 ravenous days. These pages burn with the fire of truth and necessary revelation. Cathy Park Hong understands America in the way Baldwin understands America, with the observant eye of a scorned but needed, even sometimes loved, child. Perhaps you know that feeling, when the world around you says everything is hunky dory, and you think, So why do I feel so dissonant today, like this isn’t all going as well as everyone else seems to think? Those are the minor feelings of which the book’s title speaks.
The subtitle of this collection is “An Asian American Reckoning” and much of Minor Feelings speaks specifically to an Asian American experience (I am careful here not to write THE Asian American experience) that is not mine and which I am grateful to learn more about. But for much of the book I was nodding along. Yes! Yes! Yes! I see you! And not only because I have lived many of the places and experiences the author has lived. Even when our lives do not overlap, she has drawn her world so well I cannot help but come to know it, feel it, see it. This is a work of honest, open wisdom. I am grateful to have the memory of reading Minor Feelings during these isolated, generally dissonant, times.