Common Book: 2013–2014
CEHD Reads Common Book for Fall 2013 will be The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, by Kao Kalia Yang. Yang’s memoir tells the story of her family’s journey from Laos to St. Paul, a story that is familiar to thousands of Hmong families who fled massacre in Laos after collaborating with the United States during the Vietnam War. Yang brings her family’s journey to life with detail that illuminates the challenges they faced and the sources of their strength, inspiration, and comfort. CEHD first year students will read Yang's story in PsTL 1525W, as they explore various ways to respond to the question How Can One Person Make a Difference?
Watch a video of Kao Kalia Yang talking about her book, The Latehomecomer, and her upcoming visit to the U for this year's common book event.
The common book provides rich material to engage students, faculty, and the larger CEHD community in discussions about education, youth, family, social justice, the development of individual and collective identities, the power of history, and the shaping of the present. The Latehomecomer is in part an international story, but also an intimately local story. Continuing our growing Common Book tradition, we look forward to working in and out of the classroom with Yang's story -- with book tours at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a panel discussion with college and local community members that explores book-related themes, and another exciting author event. Please consider ways that your class, program, or department might contribute to programming and conversations around Yang’s memoir.