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Diversity and Inclusion

AAPI Heritage Month Commemorative Lecture with Hua Hsu

April 20, 2023 at 7:00pm9:30pm EDT

Huntington Beard Crouse Hall (HBC), Gifford Auditorium

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As part of the University’s celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the campus community is invited to attend a lecture by Hua Hsu.

A meet-and-greet and book signing will follow the event.

This event has been made possible by Co-Curricular Fee funding and the generous support of Tom MacDougall ’92 and Grace Wu. The event is co-sponsored by the AAPI Faculty and Staff Affinity Group, AAPI Heritage Month Planning Committee and Multicultural Affairs.

Our collective and individual identities are messy, amorphous, and impossible to define—but New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author Hua Hsu says that’s a good thing. Telling our own complex stories complicates the narratives that are told about us, and opens up new worlds of possibility. Hua’s memoir “Stay True”—which turned him into a “literary phenomenon” (The New York Times)—touches on the immigrant experience and growing up Asian-American; but more than that, it’s an exploration of grief, pop culture, being young and how friendship helps us discover who we are. Hua weaves his story with wider questions of diversity and culture, proving that “we aren’t alone, and we never have been.”

About Hua Hsu

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Hua Hsu grew up desperate to build an identity of his own. But despite his countercultural interests, he struck up a friendship with Ken, a seemingly mainstream San Diego native whose Japanese-American family had been in the country for generations. Hua’s memoir, “Stay True,” is the poignant story of that friendship and the marks it left on his life, as well as a moving reflection on identity, self-discovery, connection and the immigrant experience.

“Stay True” is a national bestseller, one of TIME’s 100 Must-Read Books of the Year, and one of The New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of the Year. It is a Publishers Weekly best nonfiction book of the year, a New Yorker best book of the year so far, and one of the most anticipated books of Fall 2022 at The New York Times, TIME, Kirkus and more. Ocean Vuong, New York Times bestselling author of “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” said that “Stay True” is “writing at its most open, meticulous, forgiving and tender—which is to say, this is writing at its best.” Hua pays tribute to his friend by bringing their shared memories to life, elevating the entire memoir genre “with a kind of athletic ease” (Vanity Fair).

A staff writer at The New Yorker since 2017 and a contributor since 2014, Hua has covered a range of topics, from immigrant culture and student debt to hip-hop and affirmative action. In addition to “Stay True,” he is the author of “A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific.” He currently teaches at Bard College and has previously taught at Harvard University and Vassar College. Hua serves on the executive board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Critical Minded, an initiative to create opportunities for cultural critics of color, and was formerly a fellow at the New America Foundation and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library.

Learn more

This event was first published on December 21, 2022 and last updated on March 13, 2023.

Event Details