Nicole Chung in conversation with Danielle Evans: "All You Can Ever Know"

Wednesday October 30, 7:00PM

@ Red Emma's

What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?

Nicole Chung was born severely premature in the United States, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.

With the same warmth, candor, and startling insight that has made her a beloved voice, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.

“This book moved me to my very core. As in all her writing, Nicole Chung speaks eloquently and honestly about her own personal story, then widens her aperture to illuminate all of us. All You Can Ever Know is full of insights on race, motherhood, and family of all kinds, but what sets it apart is the compassion Chung brings to every facet of her search for identity and every person portrayed in these pages. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever had, wanted, or found a family―which is to say, everyone.” ―Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

"Chung’s memoir is more than a thoughtful consideration of race and heritage in America. It is the story of sisters finding each other, overcoming bureaucracy, abuse, separation, and time." ―The New Yorker



Nicole Chung's memoir, All You Can Ever Know, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award, and named a Best Book of the Year by nearly two dozen outlets, including The Washington PostThe Boston Globe, NPR, TimeNewsday, and Library Journal. Chung has written for The New York TimesThe New York Times MagazineGQThe AtlanticNew York magazine, Longreads, and Hazlitt, among many other publications. She is the editor in chief of Catapult magazine and the former managing editor of The Toast.

Danielle Evans is the author of the story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, winner of the PEN American Robert W. Bingham prize, the Hurston-Wright Award, the Paterson Prize, and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 selection. Her stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies including The Paris Review, A Public Space, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, New Stories From the South, and The Best American Short Stories. She teaches creative writing at Johns Hopkins University.

More upcoming events

@ Red Emma's

ON INSTAGRAM!

This Vibe will occur in the midst of the 2020 election season, a dire time—no matter who wins the Office of President.  We will want—NEED—poetic cleansing, a space to process trauma, express ourselves, and be in a supportive, creative space!  Join us for an online open mic of justice, conscious thought, spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village!  In the tradition of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine, come drop some rad “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and energy.  Our theme is “Peace, Justice, Poetry!”  By the way: it’s a non-erotic venue, so rather than a love & erotica evening, we focus this night on justice and other matters of life.  And, almost needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary ish outside! 

This event will take place on Instagram Live @redemmas.  Sign up for the open mic will be posted on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 72 hours before the event.  If time permits we will take names onto the list during the event as well, after those who have signed up have performed.  One piece/five minutes.

Our feature this evening is one of the pillars of the Connecticut poetry scene!  Baub (pronounced “Bawb”) Bidon is a Haitian/African American poet, actor, writer, and playwright based in New Haven.  He has worked on sets with artists ranging from Busta Rhyme, Black Rob, and Pharaoh Monch to Missy Elliot, Nas, Eve and Mary J Blige, naming a few.  Inspired by poets such as Ngoma, James Baldwin, Gil Scot Heron, and Saul Williams and playwright August Wilson, Baub chronicles urban life.  He writes to tell the stories often marinated in ghettos and jails throughout the United States.  His poetry speaks of injustice and poverty, and he hopes that his work uplifts and empowers those who are, and have been, victims of oppression.  Baub has worked in prisons alongside Lyrics on Lockdown, in schools and after-school programs, and more.  Delivered with Hip Hop and Jazz fused with Blues, Baub’s work conceptualizes the idea of a better tomorrow, and a brighter day.  He is a member of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) and was a member of the 2012 Connecticut slam team, Verbal Slap.

Baub is the author of “A Glimpse: Spoken Word in Back Pockets (Collected Poems),” and has produced a CD by the same name.  As a member of the Blackout Arts Collective, he was a writer for the production of What It Iz: the Spoken Wordical, a Hip Hop/Spoken Word adaptation of the 1970s musical and film, “The Wiz.”  He has appeared in various film and theater projects and has contributed to written anthologies.  Baub Bidon is the founder and Host of FREE 2 SPIT (www.facebook.com/free2spit), a poetry open mic and potluck which takes place every first Friday of the month (except for January) at the New Haven Peoples Center.

goodgrafix@gmail.com

Twitter: @baubbidon

www.facebook.com/likebaub

Instagram: @0negod 


Holdin’ it down for the evening is Analysis—poet/spoken word artist, rad minister and bookseller, educator, justice & human rights theoretician… Y’all know what’s up! 

www.facebook.com/analysisthepoet 

Twitter and Instagram: @analysisthepoet

www.artistEcard.com/analysisthepoet

CashApp: $AnalysisThePoet

In lieu of our usual in-person collection to support the feature, PLEASE support the artist directly (methods to be announced) and the host in order to ensure the continuation of the venue.  SUPPORT THE ARTS! 

The evening is brought to you by Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, a worker-owned and collectively-operated restaurant, bookstore, and community events space located in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood that is dedicated to putting principles of solidarity and sustainability into practice in a democratic workplace!  You can continue to support us during this time by purchasing books online or donating to our worker support fund!  Thank you.  

http://redemmas.org   https://www.facebook.com/redemmas  Twitter & Instagram: @redemmas

Remember: PEACE, JUSTICE, POETRY!!  Will we see you there?  :)