Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir

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Product Details
$30.00  $27.90
Little Brown and Company
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.2 X 1.1 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

A cofounder of the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York City, Curtis Chin served as the nonprofit's first executive director. He went on to write for network television before transitioning to social-justice documentaries. Chin has screened his films at over six hundred venues in sixteen countries. He has written for CNN, Bon Appétit, and the Boston Globe's Emancipator. A graduate of the University of Michigan and a former visiting scholar at New York University, Chin has received awards from ABC/Disney Television, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. He can be found at CurtisfromDetroit.com.

"The work Curtis Chin has done as a writer and organizer made so much of this current moment possible--a memoir from him is a cause for celebration."--Alexander Chee, bestselling author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
"Coming out and coming of age are hard enough for the average teen, but when they're in a Chinese American family, in a city in conflict with itself, it becomes an epic journey of self-discovery. As a kid who also ran around in the back of a Chinese restaurant, this book is literary comfort food, so delicious and good for the soul. Curtis Chin's story of coming of age and coming out is endearing and unforgettable."--Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of The Many Daughters of Afong May
"Curtis Chin's movable feast of a memoir dishes out everything you might want in a literary meal--savory reflections of our recent history, the sour-sweet tang of adolescent nostalgia, a little sauce, a lot of heart--and yes, plenty of hot tea. The real magic is in how a book that's so fulfilling still leaves you hungry for more." --Jeff Yang, New York Times bestselling author of The Golden Screen and Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the 90s to Now
"Vivid, moving, funny, and heartfelt, Curtis Chin's memoir showcases his talents as an activist and a storyteller. This is one man's story of growing up gay, Chinese American, and working class in 1980s Detroit, finding a place in a large and loving immigrant family and in a changing city--and in doing so, carving out a place in the world for himself."--Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

"Many are the pleasures of Curtis Chin's portrait of his family -- caught in between Ronald Reagan and Coleman Young, valedictory achievement and racist violence, shopping-mall suburbia in denial and Robocop metropolis in bad decline -- and himself as a flawed, funny, deceptively low-key young man stumbling through doubt, shame, and pride towards himself. Everything I Learned, I Learned In A Chinese Restaurant is an indelible page-turner."

--Jeff Chang, author of Water Mirror Echo: Bruce Lee and The Making of Asian America and Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

"A charming, often funny account of a sentimental education in a Cantonese restaurant...Chin is a born storyteller with an easy manner, and this memoir should earn him many readers."

--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"A captivating account of growing up gay and Chinese in 1980s Detroit...In lucid, empathetic prose, Chin mounts an elegy for a now closed community center that doubles as a message of compassion to his former self. Readers will be moved."--Publishers Weekly
"Chin's vivid writing makes it easy to imagine him and his siblings hanging out at Chung's and observing all the people who come in and out. Chin brings a combination of earnestness and levity to even more serious topics, like experiences of racism or denying his sexuality as a kid."--Eater
"Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is Chin's story, but it's also a love letter to the communal spaces that shape us."--TIME
"A candid, sometimes funny reflection on growing up Chinese American and gay in Detroit in the '70s and '80s."--Associated Press
"Chin captures how precarious and conflicted both the city around him and his own feelings were, but mostly he details what a welcome refuge the beloved family restaurant was to him and his entire neighborhood...Full of insight, passion, and humor, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is a deeply satisfying read about a boy finding his place in the world."--Apple Books
"Breaking new ground has been part of Curtis Chin's entire life, as his distinctive new memoir attests...In his bright, snappy voice, Chin traces his pioneering nature back to the Chinese restaurant his parents ran in Detroit, hospitable to all in a starkly divided city."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Exuberant, big-hearted...Chin also is a fantastic storyteller and his scintillating debut will have readers laughing, crying and laughing some more."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Curtis Chin's charming and contemplative debut memoir...is an engrossing chronicle of a city, a restaurant, a family and a boy's path from anxious uncertainty to hard-won confidence."--BookPage