Upcoming Event

Hyeseung Song at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Docile: Memoirs of a Not-So-Perfect Asian Girl

in conversation with JOANNA RAKOFF

This event includes a book signing

This event includes a book signing

Date

Aug
1
Thursday
August 1, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes HYESEUNG SONG—first-generation Korean American writer and painter—for a discussion of her new memoir Docile: Memoirs of a Not-So-Perfect Asian Girl. She will be joined in conversation by JOANNA RAKOFF—internationally bestselling and award-winning author of My Salinger Year and A Fortunate Age

About Docile

A daughter of Korean immigrants, Hyeseung Song spends her earliest years in the cane fields of Texas where her loyalties are divided between a restless father in search of Big Money, and a beautiful yet domineering mother whose resentments about her own life compromises her relationship with her daughter. With her parents at constant odds, Song learns more words in Korean for hatred than for love. When the family’s fake Gucci business lands them in bankruptcy, Song moves to a new elementary school. On her first day, a girl asks the teacher: “Can she speak English?”

Neither rich nor white, Song does what is necessary to be visible: she internalizes the model minority myth as well as her beloved mother’s dreams to see her on a secure path. Song meets these expectations by attending the best Ivy League universities in the country. But when she wavers, in search of an artistic life on her own terms, her mother warns, “Happiness is what unexceptional people tell themselves when they don’t have the talent and drive to go after real success.” Years of self-erasure take a toll and Song experiences recurring episodes of depression and mania. A thought repeats: I want to die. I want to die. Song enters a psychiatric hospital where she meets patients with similar struggles. So begins her sweeping journey to heal herself by losing everything.

 

Unflinching and lyrical, Docile is one woman’s story of subverting the model minority myth, contending with mental illness, and finding her self-worth by looking within.

Praise for Docile

"Docile is the rarest of things: a scorchingly honest, beautiful, hugely evocative memoir that’s also a proper pageturner: I read it breathlessly in a single sitting, transported and deeply moved. It's at one and the same time the story of a life and a meditation on identity, family, trauma, illness, and the nature of love, art, and success. It’s wonderful." —Helen MacDonald, New York Times bestselling author of H is for Hawk

"A revelation, a celebration of resilience, and a testament to the power of art to heal and transform. Docile has left an indelible mark on me." —Chloé Cooper Jones, two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and author of Easy Beauty

 

"A savagely beautiful memoir. Skillfully crafted and achingly heartfelt, Docile creates worlds through richly-observed details, told with a powerful narrative drive. Eloquent, often funny, and always unflinchingly honest, Song has created a Portrait of the Artist as a Young AAPI Woman which will be read and cherished for generations to come." —David Henry Hwang, author of M. Butterfly

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Hyeseung Song
Hyeseung Song

Hyeseung Song

Hyeseung Song is a first-generation Korean American writer and painter. She lives in Brooklyn and upstate New York. Visit her website at HyeseungSong.com.

Photo Credit: Jack Sorokin

Joanna Rakoff
Joanna Rakoff

Joanna Rakoff

Joanna Rakoff is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Salinger Year and the novel A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction, the Elle Readers’ Prize, and a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller. Rakoff’s books have been translated into twenty languages and nominated for major prizes in The Netherlands and France. She has written frequently for the New York Times, Vogue, Marie Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine, and many other publications.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

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mediainquiries@harvard.com

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access@harvard.com

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