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Event Details

Curtis Chin: Author Reading & Discussion

Saturday, February 10
11 am - 12:30 pm
Durwood Film Vault
Central Library: Vault Level

14 West 10th Street, KCMO 64105

The event is free. Seating is Limited. RSVP Required.

Please join us for our Lunar New Year Author Event featuring writer and filmmaker Curtis Chin. Curtis will read from and discuss his new memoir Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant.

Nineteen eighties Detroit was a volatile place to live, but above the fray stood a safe haven: Chung’s Cantonese Cuisine, where anyone—from the city’s first Black mayor to the local drag queens, from a big-time Hollywood star to elderly Jewish couples—could sit down for a warm, home-cooked meal. Here was where, beneath a bright-red awning and surrounded by his multigenerational family, filmmaker and activist Curtis Chin came of age; where he learned to embrace his identity as a gay ABC, or American-born Chinese; where he navigated the divided city’s spiraling misfortunes; and where—between helpings of almond boneless chicken, sweet-and-sour pork, and some of his own, less-savory culinary concoctions—he realized just how much he had to offer to the world, to his beloved family, and to himself.

Served up by the co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and structured around the very menu that graced the tables of Chung’s, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is both a memoir and an invitation to step inside one boy’s childhood oasis, scoot into a vinyl booth, and grow up with him—and perhaps even share something off the secret menu.

Chin's memoir, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant,  was published in 2023 by Little, Brown and Company. The book is about growing up Asian American in the Black and white city of Detroit and coming out in his working-class immigrant community, as well as being a first-generation college student at the University of Michigan.

Graduating with a degree in creative writing, Chin has written for CNN, Bon Appetit, the Detroit Free Press, and the Boston Globe, as well as for shows on network television. Chin has received fellowships from ABC/Disney Television, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has won awards from the National Association for Multicultural Education, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, the American Librarians Association, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and served as a Visiting Scholar at New York University.

Chin has screened his films with over 600 entities in sixteen countries including the White House, Lincoln Center, Amnesty International, SXSWEdu, and the Government of Norway. Past media include CNN, MSNBC, and public radio, as well as the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Huffington Post. 

As an organizer, Chin co-founded the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the premiere non-profit dedicated to promoting Asian American writers. He has also worked as the Director of Outreach for the Democratic National Committee and served on Barack Obama’s Asian American Leadership Committee during his 2008 Presidential Campaign. 

Chin recently completed work on a short documentary on photographer, Corky Lee. The film, "Dear Corky" premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Film Festival in May 2022.

10 Feb 2024
11:00am - 12:30pm CST

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  • 14 W 10th St, Kansas City, MO 64105, USA