Minor Feelings Information

From Wikipedia
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
Minor Feelings.jpg
First edition
Author Cathy Park Hong
CountryUnited States of America
GenreNon-fiction / Autobiography
Publisher One World, USA
Publication date
February 25, 2020
ISBN 9781984820365

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning is a 2020 autobiographical book of essays written by the Korean American author Cathy Park Hong. It was published by Penguin Random House (under its One World imprint) in the United States and Profile Books in the United Kingdom and is composed of seven essays about growing up as an Asian-American in a Western capitalist society, more specifically in the United States of America. [1] This book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography in 2020. [2]

Hong defined the title of the book as the emotions felt by marginalized minority groups in a predominantly white society, feelings that are not only disregarded but also considered excessive. The author stated that these feelings of marginalization come from a long history of systemic racism and economic discrimination in society. Although the book is in English, and has yet to be translated, Hong frequently describes Asian-American sentiments with Korean words. [3] [1] [4]

General theme

Throughout the book, Hong used her own experiences to support her arguments on the marginalized community feelings such as: shame, irritation, melancholy, and paranoia. Each of Hong's essays tackled different acts of racial discrimination. [5] [6]


Minor Feelings is separated into seven essays: "United," "Stand Up," "The End of White Innocence," "Bad English," "An Education," "Portrait of an Artist," and "The Indebted."


Minor Feelings' first essay addresses the racial self, racial awareness, and structural racism. [3] Hong discussed depression, the feeling of Asian-Americans having to prove themselves in a predominantly White society, and the hatred within the Asian-American community itself, leading to separate oneself from the race instead of being supportive of one another. In this essay, Hong examined societal racism towards minority groups within a university.

Stand Up

Minor Feelings' second essay involves Hong's relationship with poetry, an art form she became interested in at the age of fifteen. [3] Hong states how she became aware of inequalities between Whites and artists of colour in the publishing industry. Publishers insist that artists of colour write about pain they have experienced because of racism, and books that do not talk about personal racial trauma are not considered worthy of being published. This led Hong to abandon writing and attempt stand-up comedy. She described it as a way to bluntly talk about racism. [7] [8] In Stand Up she also included a discussion about the hatred between the minorities themselves. Hong focused on anti-blackness within the Asian American community, and the racial unfairness showed by the predominantly White society of the United States of America towards black and Brown people compared to Asian-Americans. Hong acknowledged that Asian-Americans are regarded as a model minority in the country, a reference group for other minorities to follow. [9] [10]

The End of White Innocence

Minor Feelings' third essay Hong addressed her childhood experiences growing up as an Asian-American child in a White society and the trauma she endured because of it. [3]

Bad English

Minor Feelings' fourth essay discussed minority groups' tendencies to not be taught proper English until they are much older (6 to 7 years old) and also addressed Asian-American accents as seen on the media compared to reality. Hong also examined cultural appropriation and how important one's own culture is for minority groups. [3]

An Education

Minor Feelings' fifth essay talked about female friendships and Hong's education in art school. Hong described how her friendship with two other Asian-American art students progressed and went through some challenging periods. [4] [3]

Portrait of an Artist

Minor Feelings' sixth essay critiqued the lack of media exposure on murders and assaults of Asian-Americans, specifically women, and discussed Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and her book Dictee. [3]

The Indebted

Minor Feelings' the seventh and final essay, covered 4 different topics: activism, politics, white supremacy, and the contrasts between living in South Korea and the United States of America. [3]


Minor Feelings received a starred review from Booklist, [11] as well as positive reviews from The Chicago Review of Books, [12] The Columbia Journal, [13] The Georgia Review, [14] Guernica, [15] Kirkus Reviews, [16] Library Journal, [17] The Los Angeles Review, [18] Los Angeles Review of Books, The Nation, [19] The New York Times, [20] The New Yorker, [21] NPR, [22] and Publishers Weekly. [23]

Booklist's Terry Hong wrote, "Hong creates a fierce amalgamation comprised of careful memoir, radical history, sociopolitical treatise, and revolutionary call-out." [11] Writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Cassie Packard said, "Dry and delightfully off-key, Hong’s sense of humor is anchored in self-mockery, if not self-flagellation." [24] Kirkus called Minor Feelings "[a] provocatively incisive debut nonfiction book." [16]

Hyphen's Ananya Kumar-Banerjee provided a mixed review, saying, "I didn’t find Hong’s ruminations on the inconsistency of the Asian American political identity on which 'the paint."

Sophia Nguyen, writing for The Washington Post, also offer a mixed review, initially saying, "'Minor Feelings' could serve as a Cliff Notes to Asian American existence for anyone new to the subject (white or otherwise)." [25] However, Nguyen notes that, even when discussing injustices Hong faced, "Her tone is astringent, stripping the memories of any ennobling tragedy or nostalgic fuzz. The anger can’t be prettily plated." [25] Nguyen further noted that while Hong intended to discuss anti-Asian racism, "the book takes up much of its word count discussing others" and eventually,"this tactic seems avoidant." [25]

The New York Times, [26] the New York Public Library, [27] and Esquire [28] named Minor Feelings one of the best books of the year, regardless of genre. TIME, [29] NPR, [30] and Book Riot [31] named Minor Feelings one of the ten best non-fiction books of 2020.

Awards and honors for Minor Feelings
Year Award/Honor Result Ref.
2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Longlist [32]
Booklist's Best Memoirs of the Year Top 10 [33]
Goodreads Choice Award for Nonfiction Nominee [34]
National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir Winner [35] [36] [37]
Reading Women Award for Nonfiction Nominee [38]
2021 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction Finalist [39] [16]


  1. ^ a b Yale University (October 26, 2020). "Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning".{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status ( link)
  2. ^ Alter, Alexander. "National Book Critics Circle Names 2020 Award Winners". Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Hong, Cathy Park (2020-02-25). Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN  978-1-9848-2037-2.
  4. ^ a b O'Rourke, Meghan (2020). "Cathy Park Hong: On the major weight of minor feelings". The Yale Review. 108 (2): 143–152. doi: 10.1111/yrev.13639. ISSN  1467-9736.
  5. ^ Teo, Sharlene (2020). "On Minor Feelings: Cathy Park Hong". Wasafiri. 35 (3): 69–73. doi: 10.1080/02690055.2020.1760491. S2CID  221361033.
  6. ^ Szalai, Jennifer (2020-02-17). "'Minor Feelings' Rescues Personal Experience From the Expectations of Others". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  7. ^ McCluskey, Audrey Thomas, ed. (2008). Richard Pryor: the Life and Legacy of a "Crazy" Black Man. United States of America: Indiana University Press. pp. 23–39. ISBN  978-0253220110.
  8. ^ Pryor, Richard (1997). Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences. ISBN  037570048X.
  9. ^ Park, Kyeyoung (2019). LA Rising: Korean Relations with Blacks and Latinos after Civil Unrest. United Kingdom: Lexington Books. ISBN  978-1498577052.
  10. ^ Tolentino, Jia (6 March 2020). ""Minor Feelings" and the Possibilities of Asian-American Identity". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  11. ^ a b Hong, Terry (2020-01-01). "Minor Feelings". Booklist. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
  12. ^ Luling, Todd Van (2020-02-21). "minor-feelings". Chicago Review of Books. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  13. ^ Iwai, Yoshiko (2020-02-29). "Review: Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong". Columbia Journal. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  14. ^ Beyer, Tamiko. "on Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong". The Georgia Review. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  15. ^ Shah, Sejal (2020-04-17). "Cathy Park Hong: I'm So Sick of the Fact That It's Not Changing". Guernica. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  16. ^ a b c "Minor Feelings". Kirkus Reviews. 2019-11-05. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
  17. ^ Schroeder, Sarah (2020-01-01). "Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning". Library Journal. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  18. ^ Carmody, Kate (2020-05-20). "Review: Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong". The Los Angeles Review. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  19. ^ Hu, Jane (2020-05-18). "How Does One Tell the Story of Asian America?". ISSN  0027-8378. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  20. ^ Szalai, Jennifer (2020-02-17). "'Minor Feelings' Rescues Personal Experience From the Expectations of Others". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  21. ^ Tolentino, Jia (2020-03-06). ""Minor Feelings" and the Possibilities of Asian-American Identity". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  22. ^ Hu, Elise (2020-02-27). "In 'Minor Feelings,' Asian American Racial Trauma Is Laid Bare". NPR. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  23. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. One World, $27 (224p) ISBN 978-1-984820-36-5". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  24. ^ Packar, Cassie (2020-05-09). "Cathy Park Hong Reckons with Minor Feelings". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  25. ^ a b c Nguyen, Sophia (2020-03-27). "Review | Asian Americans' uneasy place in the national narrative". Washington Post. ISSN  0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  26. ^ "The 10 Best Books of 2020". The New York Times. 2020-11-23. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  27. ^ "Best Books for Adults 2020". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  28. ^ Ovenden, Olivia (2020-06-10). "The Best Books Of 2020 (So Far)". Esquire. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  29. ^ "The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020". Time. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  30. ^ NPR. "Best Books 2021: Books We Love". NPR. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  31. ^ Burton, Alice (2021-05-18). "7 of the Best 2020 Nonfiction Books to Read Right Now". BOOK RIOT. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  32. ^ Albanese, Andrew (2020-10-29). "ALA Announces Longlist for 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  33. ^ Seaman, Donna (2020-06-01). "Top 10 Memoirs: 2020". Booklist. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
  34. ^ "Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning". Goodreads. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  35. ^ Beer, Tom (2021-03-25). "National Book Critics Circle Presents Awards". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  36. ^ "2020". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  37. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Winners". Powell's Books. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  38. ^ Reading Women (2020-11-18). "Announcing Reading Women's 2020 Nonfiction Award Shortlist". Literary Hub. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  39. ^ Freeman, Abigail (June 11, 2021). "Pulitzer Prizes 2021: The Full List Of Winners". Forbes. Retrieved June 12, 2021.