Mary Ann Key Book Club: Fall Events

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September 15, 2021

Fall events

Mary Ann Key Book Club: A Conversation With Cathy Park Hong

Tuesday, October 12, 7-8:30 p.m.

Join the Mary Ann Key Book Club for an exclusive evening featuring Cathy Park Hong, award-winning author of our fall 2021 book club selection Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. The author will be joined in conversation by Star Tribune columnist and book club partner Myron Medcalf. 

The talk will conclude with a live Q&A session with webinar participants.

Collaborator: Star Tribune
Sponsor: Friends of Hennepin County Library
Registration required. Sign up today!


Mary Ann Key Book Club Discussion

October 14, 19, 21, 23, 26 and 27

Join our discussion of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. Each small group discussion will be led by one member of our panel. Please register for only one small group discussion program. 

Collaborator: Star Tribune
Sponsor: Friends of the Hennepin County Library
Registration required. Sign up today!


A Community Discussion of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

Tuesday, November 2, 7-8:30 p.m.

Join columnist Myron Medcalf and moderator Lindsay Peifer in a virtual conversation with Asian American community leaders David Mura, Terri Thao and Anthea Yur. Panelists will discuss Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong, the Asian American experience, and how individuals can dismantle racism and make real change for a better future.

Collaborator: Star Tribune
Sponsor: Friends of Hennepin County Library
Registration required. Sign up today!


A short conversation with Myron Medcalf and Lindsay Peifer

Peifer conversation with Medcalf

Hear from Lindsay Peifer and Myron Medcalf in this short video (via YouTube, 07:52 duration).


Reflection and discussion

In the chapter “United,” Cathy Park Hong shares an experience where a white man said to her, “Asians are next in line to be white.” Hong reflects that when she hears that phrase, she replaces the word “white” with “disappear.” Hong says, “Asians are next in line to disappear. We are reputed to be so accomplished, and so law-abiding, we will disappear into this country’s amnesiac fog. We will not be the power but become absorbed by power, not share the power of whites but be stooges to a white ideology that exploited our ancestors...” What are your reactions to the opening chapter? What stood out to you?

In the second chapter “Stand Up,” Hong writes, “Writers of color must tell their stories of racial trauma, but for too long our stories have been shaped by the white imagination.” How does Hong propose writers of color get away from that proximity to whiteness? Is it possible? Why or why not?

Introducing our panelists


David Mura is a memoirist, poet, fiction writer, essayist and literary critic. His newest book is A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity and Narrative Craft in Writing. He is the author of two memoirs, Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, which won the Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book, and Where the Body Meets Memory. With Carolyn Holbrook, Mura is the co-editor of We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World, an anthology of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Minnesota writers which contains essays on the murder of George Floyd and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, for Twin Cities Public Television, Mura co-produced, wrote and narrated the documentary, Armed With Language, about the Japanese American linguists who served in the Military Intelligence Service during WWII. Mura has taught at the VONA writer’s conference for writers of color, the Loft, the Stonecoast MFA Program, the University of Oregon, the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, Macalester College, and Hamline University. He has also worked as Director of Training with the Innocent Classroom, a program designed by Alexs Pate to improve teachers’ relationships with students of color. 


Terri Thao

Terri Thao is passionate about building power with community. She is currently a program director at Nexus Community Partners, a non-profit community building intermediary where she runs the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI).  Terri has spent most of her professional career in the fields of community economic development, community building, leadership development and philanthropy. She also teaches classes on leadership and advocacy at Metropolitan State University. She serves on the boards of the F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Minnesota Housing and Voices for Racial Justice. She obtained her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota. She lives with her family in St. Paul and loves to read in her spare time. 



Anthea Yur is a passion-driven community activist and organizer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Previous to her work with local Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) activism, she was heavily immersed in BLM protests, working with multiple Black-led organizations including Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence (FSFAPV) and Twin Cities Relief Initiative. While still working with these organizations, she is currently the founder of the Kokoro Project, an APIDA-led collective of creatives that are focused on bridging allyship with other non-Asian communities, fostering anti-racism and bringing awareness to the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, as well as empowering, connecting, and celebrating Asian diaspora communities.




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 Hennepin County Library programs that may be of interest

Monday, September 20, 7-8 p.m.

Club Book With Qian Julie Wang

Qian Julie Wang is a prominent New York litigator and legal advocate for immigrants and people of color. She chronicles her own trials and traumas as the child of an undocumented Chinese family in the poignant and unflinching memoir Beautiful Country, which hits shelves on September 7, 2021. Collaborator: MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Agency). Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


Sunday, October 10, 2-3:30 p.m.

More Than a Single Story - The Suitcases We Carry: An Afternoon With Haitian Women Writers

In this More Than a Single Story conversation, we will engage with Haitian authors Beaudelaine Pierre, Gabrielle Civil, Valerie Deus, Marie Cerat and Jaira Placide on the themes in Pierre’s new book “You May Have the Suitcase Now,” a collection of essays that explores home and exile, and all that we carry with us in our physical and psychological “suitcases.” Collaborator: More Than a Single Story. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Registration required.


Questions about the Mary Ann Key Book Club? Email


Thank you, Friends.

Friends of Hennepin County Library Logo

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


Star Tribune Logo

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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