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ONLINE – Minnesota Writers Series: What We Hunger For

April 25, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm CDT

Composite image of author Sun Yung Shin and the cover to her book, "What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories about Food and Family."

Join the Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) for readings and a discussion around the book, “What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories about Food and Family.” This book is the first text featured in MHC’s new Minnesota Writers Series, which amplifies recent publications from Minnesota authors.

The book’s editor, Sun Yung Shin, and contributors V.V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthan, May Lee-Yang, and Ifrah Mansour will read excerpts from the book and participate in a discussion around food, community, and the immigrant and refugee experience in Minnesota. Panelists and audience members will also be invited to take part in an object-based storytelling circle. Please bring an object, or have one in mind, that helps tell the story of the role of food in your culture. It could be a kitchen tool, spice, photograph, or anything else that connects to your story of food, family, or community.

Although this event was designed with members of immigrant and refugee communities in mind, all are welcome. This event is held in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library’s Read Brave program. A limited number of free books are also available. Contact karen@mnhum.org to reserve a copy.

This event is free but registration is required.

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea, during 박 정 희 Park Chung-hee’s military dictatorship, and grew up in the Chicago area. She is the editor of the new collection: What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories About Food and Family and the best-selling anthology A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. She is the author of poetry collections The Wet Hex (2022), Unbearable Splendor (finalist for the 2017 PEN USA Literary Award for Poetry, winner of the 2016 Minnesota Book Award for poetry); Rough, and Savage; and Skirt Full of Black (winner of the 2007 Asian American Literary Award for poetry), co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and author of bilingual illustrated book for children Cooper’s Lesson and the coauthor with John Coy, Shannon Gibney, and Diane Wilson of Where We Come From, an illustrated book for children (2022).

V.V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthan, a fiction writer and journalist, is the author of Love Marriage, a novel set in Sri Lanka and its diaspora communities. The book was longlisted for the Orange Prize and named one of Washington Post Book World’s Best of 2008. She is the cohost of Literary Hub’s Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, which is about the intersection of literature and the news. Excerpts from her second novel, forthcoming from Random House, have appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, and Best American Nonrequired Reading.

May Lee-Yang is a Minnesota-based Hmong American writer, performance artist, and teacher. Her theater works include The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman, and Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star. Her artmaking has been supported by the Playwrights’ Center McKnight Fellowship, the Jerome Foundation, the National Performance Network, the Bush Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Loft Literary Center. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota.

Ifrah Mansour is a Somali, refugee, Muslim, multimedia artist and an educator based in Minnesota. Her artwork explores trauma through the eyes of children to uncover the resiliencies of blacks, Muslims, and refugees by interweaving poetry, puppetry, films, and installations. Her work includes the play How to Have Fun in a Civil War, the exhibition Can I Touch It, the visual poem I Am a Refugee, and the mixed-media installation My Aqal, Banned and Blessed.


Registration Questions: registrations@mnhum.org




April 25, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm CDT
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Karen Sieber

Funders and Supporters

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