I almost can’t believe I’m typing these words, but folks, I’ll be at the Jersey City Free Public Library next Saturday, 5/22/2021, at 2pm. Like physically. Like I will drive and park and walk over to Hamilton Park! I will not be sitting in front of a laptop. Me, human Sung, will be at the park to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month. If you are in the area, please stop by! They have a few more programs after me, so stick around. Check it out!
AAPI Heritage Month Celebration at Hamilton Park: Author Discussion with Sung J. Woo
May 22 @ 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm EDT
Sung J. Woo, author of Everything Asian (2009), Love Love (2015), and Skin Deep (2020) will talk about his experience growing up Korean American and his journey as a writer.
Join us for this event at Hamilton Park! Meet us by the gazebo (center of park) for some library fun.
Masks are required for all participants above the age of 2. Social distancing will be respected.
So here’s something that I don’t encounter very often — an academic paper on one of my books. This one is for Love Love, and it’s like…super academic. Like it’s got an abstract and everything. Here’s the gist:
Recently, new Asian American novels are using the trope of adoption in unconventional ways. Sung J. Woo’s Love Love and Bich Minh Nguyen’s Pioneer Girl both employ the motif of adoption in their plot, yet unlike the representative Asian American literary works featuring adoption such as Gish Jen’s Love Wife, Chang-Rae Lee’s Gesture Life, and Jane Jeong Trenka’s The Language of Blood, they portray cases of homoracial, inter-country adoption. Instead of visiting the country of origin in Asia with questions of biological relatives and reasons for adoption, both protagonists travel domestically to San Francisco in order to explore their identity. San Francisco becomes an intriguing city of origin for both Asian American protagonists who walk the city as flâneur figures with a postmodern sensibility. Kevin Lee in Love Love observes San Francisco as a cosmopolitan city. Lee Lien in Pioneer Girl considers it a place of reinvention in the West. While the history of Kevin’s Korean American birth father belongs to the social and cultural history of 1970s San Francisco, and not to the ethnic histories of Asian America, the adoption mystery of Rose Wilder Lane beckons Lee Lien deeper into an American literary history. As San Francisco is marked as “origin” or “birthplace” on the map of Asian American itineraries, not as destination of Asian migrations, narratives of adoption offered by these novels suggest the changing mode of Asian American literature that interrogates and problematizes the ways in which Asian American identity and experiences are defined, represented, and imagined.
Last year, one of the cities I visited on my book tour for Love Love was Magers and Quinn in beautiful downtown Minneapolis. I remember signing a release form at the end of that reading for something to do with audio — and guess what, that’s exactly what this is. Recorded on 9/21/2015, my reading and a short Q&A. Thank you, Magers and Quinn! You guys are aces.