Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

December 2020

A well-aimed spear of a book, Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (Penguin Random House) has as much to say about artistic interpretation as it does about the exhausting arithmetic faced by every human raced as Asian in America. Touching on topics such as credential accumulation, racial divides, and the complexities of ethnicity and transnational movement, this collection of essays quickly, if sometimes unevenly, articulates the pursuit of credibility whose stakes are nothing less than survival. Evoking the just barely suppressed exasperation Adrian Piper displays in her marvelously unsettling 1988 work Cornered, Hong recounts some of the most egregious acts of anti-Asian violence in US history. But it is when she turns her powers of description on the harms inflicted beyond the reach of law, commonly presumed ethics, and even consciousness itself that

— Joan Kee

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