Mary Ann Key Book Club: Our Fall Title Announcement

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August 1, 2021

Thank you for joining us once again in a collective effort to read, learn, discuss and foster the change we need to see in our community. Today we're excited to announce the Mary Ann Key Book Club's next title:

Minor Feelings Cover

This fall we will be reading and discussing Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong.


Reflections from Myron Medcalf

Portrait of Myron Medcalf

"As I thought about our next selection for the Mary Ann Key Book Club, I talked to some of my friends in the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community about identifying a book that might highlight the path they walk in this country. Multiple people pointed me to Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. After reading a few pages, I knew this was the book we should all read together. On Page 9, Hong says, “For as long as I could remember, I have struggled to prove myself into existence.”

If you are a member of any marginalized community, you feel that. I know my great-great-great-grandmother felt the pain attached to that reality as she worked in the fields of Georgia and Alabama as an enslaved woman. Repeatedly being asked to prove we exist -- that we are here and we matter -- is our bond. But the AAPI community’s experience with that reality is often overlooked. There are far more conversations about the role of the AAPI community in this country than dialogue that centers it and hears it. That’s why I think this book is important.

We are nothing together if we do not see one another; if we do not listen and ask, “How can I be your advocate?” I hope this book and our journey through it will allow us to collectively acknowledge, respond and act."

- Myron Medcalf


Reflection and discussion

How has this book helped you understand the steps you can take to recognize and unravel the caste system as it has been illustrated in your own life?


About the book and author

Cathy Part Hong

“Even if we’ve [Asian Americans] been here for four generations, our status remains conditional; belonging is always promised just out of reach so that we behave…” from Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong.

Cathy Park Hong’s New York Times bestseller Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to confront the Asian American condition and examine the complex relationships between race, family, heritage, and society in America. Published in spring 2020, Minor Feelings was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Hong is the poetry editor of the New Republic and is a professor at Rutgers-Newark University.


Share your feedback and questions

Tell us your thoughts as you read Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. Share your feedback, reflections or questions. Responses and questions may be shared with Myron Medcalf and library staff, and quotes may be shared with readers through our newsletter.


Upcoming programs

We are finalizing plans for fall events, including virtual book discussions and a panel discussion with community leaders. More details will be shared soon.


Resources for reading, listening, and learning


Catch the replay

Mary Ann Key Book Club Screenshot

Didn't catch our panel event for Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents? You can watch the replay on YouTube.


Thank you, Friends.

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The Mary Ann Key Book Club receives generous financial support from Friends of the Hennepin County Library. You can help expand access to more books, programs and resources, by supporting your library today. GIVE NOW


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The Star Tribune is a valued partner of the Mary Ann Key Book Club. Mr. Medcalf is leveraging his column to further engage our community on the truths of the past, our challenges in the present, and the possibilities of the future.

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