This Sunday November 7th, if you’re in Dumbo Brooklyn, swing by The Asian American Literary Festival and catch Jeff Yang and myself do our Build A Hero Workshop!
We’ll be there trying to help raise some money for the Asian American Writers Workshop.
Here is some info on the Festival:
The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is proud to present PAGE TURNER: The Asian American Literary Festival. Our book bash is like the ideal boyfriend or girlfriend: that hot unabashedly lefty braniac with an awesome sense of humor and a great heart. Open to readers of all backgrounds, PAGE TURNER is the only event of its kind–a multi-day celebration of the best minds in Asian American arts and politics: Richard Price, Susan Choi, Monica Youn, Jennifer 8 Lee, Tao Lin, Tim Wu, Hari Kunzru, Das Racist, Hari Kondabolu, and nearly thirty other writers. We’re like the TED of Asian American literature, but with more booze and better battle rhymes. Come for the post-identity discourse, high-toned literary hoo-ha, and our warm sense of community. Stay for the cocktail receptions, haiku market, and drunken scrabble. Come back to aaww.org and pageturnerfest.org as we update our full schedule.
Founded in 1991, The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is the preeminent national nonprofit arts organization devoted to great writing by Asian Americans–many of whom are cut off from the arts. Not only do nearly all Asian Americans live in non-English-speaking immigrant households, the few Asian Americans who do become writers find themselves faced with a publishing industry that rarely publishes work by writers of color. Although nearly 1 in 20 Americans are of Asian descent–less than .01% of novels published each year are written by Asian Americans. This is why we want all Asian Americans to feel their stories matter. We want to nurture all Asian American writers, whether they’re Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, whose first book party we hosted, or a struggling young writer just graduating from school. We want every American, no matter the color of their skin, to understand how Asian America forms a central chapter of the American story. As National Book Foundation Executive Director Harold Augenbraum writes, we help many Asian Americans satiate “a hunger they never knew they had: a hunger for literature, cultural recognition, and a connection to their heritage.”
We are one of the most active Asian American groups and literary groups in New York–and we’re growing. In 2008, our more-than-weekly reading series consisted of 51 events featuring 124 writers–30% more writers than we did in 2006 and 2007 combined. These writers came from nearly twenty ethnicities, including those not usually thought of as Asian American (e.g., Iranian, Hmong, Sri Lankan Americans). The authors we have hosted in the past include some of the finest writers in America: Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje, National Book Award winner Maxine Hong Kingston, and Nobel Prize nominee Bei Dao. Described by our survey participants as “quirky” and “thoughtful,” our literary programming is interactive, community-based, and innovative. An authority on Asian American literature, we sponsor the Asian American Literary Awards, have published award-winning journals and anthologies, and run the only Asian American reading room. The United Asian American Organizations recently named us one of the top five Asian American groups in the country.
So come by and check us out if you can.
I think that the AAWW does some great necessary work. And I’m honored to be a part of this event.
I’ll be doing some sketches afterwards for anybody that wants one for a little bit.