This is a virtual event taking place via Zoom Webinar.
Third Place Books welcomes Kyle Lucia Wu—Programs & Communications Director at Kundiman—for a discussion of her debut novel, Win Me Something (Tin House Books). She will be joined in conversation by Washington poet Jane Wong, Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University and author of the collection How to Not Be Afraid of Everything.
About Win Me Something. . .
A Washington Post, LitHub, The Millions, and Books Are Magic Most Anticipated Book of 2021 and a Good Housekeeping, Shondaland, and Alma Best Book of Fall
A perceptive and powerful debut of identity and belonging—of a young woman determined to be seen.
Willa Chen has never quite fit in. Growing up as a biracial Chinese American girl in New Jersey, Willa felt both hypervisible and unseen, too Asian to fit in at her mostly white school, and too white to speak to the few Asian kids around. After her parents’ early divorce, they both remarried and started new families, and Willa grew up feeling outside of their new lives, too.
For years, Willa does her best to stifle her feelings of loneliness, drifting through high school and then college as she tries to quiet the unease inside her. But when she begins working for the Adriens—a wealthy white family in Tribeca—as a nanny for their daughter, Bijou, Willa is confronted with all of the things she never had. As she draws closer to the family and eventually moves in with them, Willa finds herself questioning who she is, and revisiting a childhood where she never felt fully at home. Self-examining and fraught with the emotions of a family who fails and loves in equal measure, Win Me Something is a nuanced coming-of-age debut about the irreparable fissures between people, and a young woman who asks what it really means to belong, and how she might begin to define her own life.
Praise for Win Me Something. . .
"A lovely coming-of-age story that will resonate with anyone who’s felt separate, or questioned where they belong."
—The Washington Post
"I’ve never read a novel quite like Win Me Something, which is to say that I’ve never seen the nuances of navigating a biracial identity put, so beautifully, in fiction. . . . Readers will recognize themselves in Willa’s loneliness, and they will feel that they are, finally, in good company."
"Masterfully reveals the fury, hope, and longing that come with trying to be seen in a world that never looks for you."
—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
Kyle Lucia Wu has received the Asian American Writers' Workshop Margins Fellowship and residencies from The Millay Colony, The Byrdcliffe Colony, Plympton's Writing Downtown Residency, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. She is the Programs & Communications Director at Kundiman and has taught creative writing at Fordham University and The New School. She was born in New Jersey and lives in Los Angeles.
Jane Wong is the author of How to Not Be Afraid of Everything (Alice James, 2021) and Overpour (Action Books, 2016). Her poems and essays can be found in places such as Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019, Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, POETRY, AGNI, Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney's, and Ecotone. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and residencies from Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room, the U.S. Fulbright Program, Artist Trust, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf, Hedgebrook, Willapa Bay, the Jentel Foundation, Mineral School, and others. Her first solo art show, "After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly" was exhibited at the Frye Art Museum in 2019. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.
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