Virtual Event: Kat Chow

presenting

Seeing Ghosts:
A Memoir

in conversation with BRYAN WASHINGTON

Date

Sep
16
Thursday
September 16, 2021
5:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes KAT CHOW—acclaimed journalist and founding member of NPR's Code Switch team—for a discussion of her debut memoir, Seeing Ghosts. She will be joined in conversation by BRYAN WASHINGTON, author of the award-winning story collection, Lot, and the novel, Memorial. 

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About Seeing Ghosts

Kat Chow has always been unusually fixated on death. She worried constantly about her parents dying—especially her mother. A vivacious and mischievous woman, Kat's mother made a morbid joke that would haunt her for years to come: when she died, she'd like to be stuffed and displayed in Kat's future apartment in order to always watch over her.

After her mother dies unexpectedly from cancer, Kat, her sisters, and their father are plunged into a debilitating, lonely grief. With a distinct voice that is wry and heartfelt, Kat weaves together a story of the fallout of grief that follows her extended family as they emigrate from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America. Seeing Ghosts asks what it means to reclaim and tell your family’s story: Is writing an exorcism or is it its own form of preservation? The result is an extraordinary new contribution to the literature of the American family, and a provocative and transformative meditation on who we become facing loss.

Praise for Seeing Ghosts

"How do we know our mothers? This seemed to me to be what this powerful memoir brought into focus for me. From the narrow window we have of them from childhood, expanding outward as we grow older, and then after their death, when they cannot keep their secrets from us, including that also, the result is a prismatic vision of the mother in these pages, of Chow's mother, but all our mothers. This is a book that asks us to consider if we allow our mothers to be human—and ourselves, too. A daring, loving, searing debut." —Alexander Chee, bestselling author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Seeing Ghosts is truly beautiful. A balm. There is such a deep comfort in Kat Chow’s writing, in her remembrance of small things. It is a love song to loss, to family, to the power of writing things down and remembering.” —Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning author of Red at the Bone

"With love and sorrow, Kat Chow's Seeing Ghosts takes up the daunting, difficult, essential task that falls to the children of immigrants—that of making visible the family histories that recede from us like a hazy shoreline, of pulling a lifeline out of the silence that compounds with acquiescence and loss and time. Uncertainty remains central and loss ineluctable, despite the doggedness and perspicacity of Chow’s efforts to uncover and recover; this might be the most human of all the truths in this beautiful, moving memoir.” —Jia Tolentino, New York Times bestselling author of Trick Mirror

Bryan Washington
Bryan Washington

Bryan Washington

Bryan Washington is a National Book Award 5 Under 35 honoree, and winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and The New York Times Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. His first book, the story collection Lot, was a finalist for the NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Lot was a New York Times Notable Book and on best-of-the-year lists from Time, NPR, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, and many more. He has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, BuzzFeed, Vulture, The Paris Review, and many other publications. He lives in Houston.

Photo Credit: Dailey Hubbard

Kat Chow
Kat Chow

Kat Chow

Kat Chow is a writer and a journalist. She was a reporter at NPR, where she was a founding member of the Code Switch team. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic and on RadioLab, among others. She's one of Pop Culture Happy Hour's fourth chairs. She's received residency fellowships from the Millay Colony and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She lives near Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Ariel Zambelich

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
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