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An evening with Meghan O’ Rourke and Cathy Park Hong (via Zoom)

May 11, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free – $25.00

Please join us on zoom for an evening of prose as we welcome Meghan O’Rourke (The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness (Riverhead, 2022) and Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, (One World/Random House, 2020). They will each read from their most recent nonfiction, participate in a discussion, as well as answer questions from the audience.

NB: This reading will take place via Zoom. The link will be emailed after registration. (Please check spam / promotions folder for this email and email [email protected] with any questions.) This reading is free and open to the public. Donations toward the readers’ honoraria are greatly appreciated.

Meghan O’Rourke is a writer, poet, and editor. She is the author of The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness (2022); the bestselling memoir The Long Goodbye (2011); and the poetry collections Sun In Days (2017), which was named a New York Times Best Poetry Book of the Year; Once (2011); and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. O’Rourke is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Whiting Nonfiction Award, the May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize for Poetry from the Poetry Foundation, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes. She began her career as a fiction and nonfiction editor at The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry, among others. O’Rourke is the editor of The Yale Review.

Cathy Park Hong’s New York Times bestselling book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, was published in Spring 2020 by One World/Random House and Profile Books (UK). Minor Feelings was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and earned her recognition on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 list. She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton, Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Translating Mo’um. Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her prose and poetry have been published in the New York Times, New Republic, the Guardian, Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor of the New Republic and is a full professor at Rutgers-Newark University.

From the starred review in Publisher’s Weekly “With a poet’s sensibility, journalist’s rigor, and patient’s personal investment, O’Rourke (The Long Goodbye) sheds light on the physical and mental toll of having a mysterious chronic illness. “I got sick the way Hemingway says you go broke: ‘gradually and then suddenly,’ ” she writes before delving into the decades-long game of cat and mouse she played with symptoms ranging from rashes to exhaustion starting in the late 1990s. As she reflects on the labyrinthine system she had to navigate before eventually being diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, O’Rourke traces the history of Western medicine—from the “dramatic clarity” of germ theory to its murky treatment and dismissal of patients it can’t diagnose. As she writes, “It is a truth universally acknowledged among the chronically ill that a young woman in possession of vague symptoms… will be in search of a doctor who believes she is actually sick.” Wary of “late-capitalist” illness narratives that demand either wellness or wisdom from sick people, O’Rourke shirks a tidy recovery story and instead mines her abjection, astonishment, and vulnerability—and the radical illness writings of Alphonse Daudet, Alice James, and Audre Lorde—to offer a stunningly raw account of living with the existential complexities of a sickness that “never fully resolves.” Readers will be left in awe.

“Cathy Park Hong’s brilliant, penetrating and unforgettable Minor Feelings is what was missing on our shelf of classics….To read this book is to become more human.”
–Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen

“Minor Feelings is anything but minor. In these provocative and passionate essays, Cathy Park Hong gives us an incendiary account of what it means to be and to feel Asian American today. Minor Feelings is absolutely necessary.”
Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

“Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings truly delivers news we can use. It will educate some and inspire hallelujahs from others; by writing into the heart of her own discomfort, she emerges with a reckoning destined to be a classic.”
–Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts, and Bluets

“An electric intervention, a provocation and a renewal.”
–Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

“Hong is writing in agonized pursuit of a liberation that doesn’t look white—a new sound, a new affect, a new consciousness—and the result feels like what she was waiting for. Her book is a reminder that we can be, and maybe have to be, what others are waiting for, too.”
–The New Yorker

“Cathy Park Hong’s voice is urgent and raw as she unpacks what it’s like to experience prejudice that doesn’t fit into the exact mold of oppression faced by other minorities in the U.S…Hong is brutally self-aware and embraces her anger as she captures how she’s struggled to make sense of her identity.”

Minor Feelings is studded with moments [full of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness.”
–New York Times

Minor Feelings is a major reckoning, pulling no punches as the author uses her life’s flashpoints to give voice to a wider Asian American experience, one with cascading consequences.”

Meghan O’Rourke Author Photo by David Surowiecki.

This project is made possible with funds from ReStart the Arts, a regrant program of ArtsWestchester with support from the Office of the Governor, the New York State Legislature and the New York State Council on the Arts.


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May 11, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free – $25.00
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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