Free and open to the public
May 31, 2023
Join in the Smart Museum of Art’s virtual book club!
The Smart Reads series continues in May with Cathy Park Hong’s essay collection Minor Feelings. We invite you to read along with us and engage in a thought-provoking conversation with host Dorian H. Nash.
FREE. To help build a community of participants, capacity is limited and advanced registration is required.
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
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.
January 25, 6–7:30 pm
The Theater and its Double by Antonin Artaud
February 22, 6–7:30 pm
Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
March 29, 6–7:30 pm
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
April 26, 6–7:30 pm
Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
May 31, 6–7:30 pm
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
June 28, 6–7:30 pm
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
July 26, 6–7:30 pm
The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto
August 23, 6–7:30 pm
We Do This 'Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba
September 27, 6–7:30 pm
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
October 25, 6–7:30 pm
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
November 29, 6–7:30 pm
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
December 6, 6–7:30 pm
Year in books recap and reflection