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Home Events Art Art Exhibit Author Poetry Presentation Shopping Kao Kalia Yang’s WHERE RIVERS PART and THE ROCK IN MY THROAT

Grand Event Center


Grand Event Center
316 Washington St, Northfield, MN 55057


Apr 17 2024


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Content is thrilled to welcome award-winning Kao Kalia Yang back to Northfield for a reading from her new memoir WHERE RIVERS PART and her new picture book THE ROCK IN MY THROAT. Join us at the Grand Event Center on Wednesday, April 17th at 7 pm for an insightful reading and presentation.

On WHERE RIVERS PART: A mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful memoir about a Hmong family’s epic journey to safety told from the perspective of the author’s incredible mother who survived, and helped her family escape, against all odds.

Born in 1961 in war-torn Laos, Tswb’s childhood was marked by the violence of America’s Secret War and the CIA recruitment of the Hmong and other ethnic minorities into the lost cause. By the time Tswb was a teenager, the US had completely vacated Laos, and the country erupted into genocidal attacks on the Hmong people, who were labeled as traitors. Fearing for their lives, Tswb and her family left everything they knew behind and fled their village for the jungle.

Now, her daughter, Kao Kalia Yang, reveals her mother’s astonishing saga with tenderness and unvarnished clarity, giving voice to the countless resilient refugees who are often overlooked as one of the essential foundations of this country. Evocative, stirring, and unforgettable, Where Rivers Part is destined to become a classic.

On THE ROCK IN MY THROAT: At first, no one noticed when I stopped talking at school.In this moving true story, Kao Kalia Yang shares her experiences as a young Hmong refugee navigating life at home and at school. Having seen the poor treatment her parents received when making their best efforts at speaking English, she no longer speaks at school. Kalia feels as though a rock has become lodged in her throat, and it grows heavier each day. Although the narrative is somber, it is also infused with moments of beauty, love, and hope.

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American teacher, speaker, and writer. Her work crosses audiences and genres. She is the award-winning author of the memoirs, THE LATEHOMECOMER, THE SONG POET, SOMEWHERE IN THE UNKNOWN WORLD, and WHERE RIVERS PART. Yang co-edited the groundbreaking book, WHAT GOD IS HONORED HERE?: WRITINGS ON MISCARRIAGE AND INFANT LOSS BY AND FOR NATIVE WOMEN AND WOMEN OF COLOR. She is a librettist for the THE SONG POET OPERA (commissioned by the MN Opera). Her children’s books, A MAP INTO THE WORLD, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING, THE SHARED ROOM, YANG WARRIORS, FROM THE TOPS OF TREES, and THE ROCK IN MY THROAT center Hmong children and families who live in our world, who dream and hurt and hope in it.

Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards.

Yang is McKnight, Soros, and Guggenheim fellow.