Minor Feelings$27.00 BUY THIS BOOK
The subtitle is important: the reckoning lands in ways both personal and societal as Hong exposes her friendships and poetry career in order to explore the ways racism is internalized and ennacted by Asian-Americans. One gets the sense that Hong is a poet who has been forced into an essay collection, having no other choice but be as direct as possible. Whereas Rankine employs form and structure to complicate her book’s ideas, Hong is utterly naked with her confessions and shameful moments, and her frankness leads to the book’s most Sedaris-like moments of gutting hilarity (her recounting of a school rivalry, especially). Both Rankine and Hong’s books are only secondarily instructive—the primary mode of both is the ecstasy of revelation: seeing one’s world clearly, no matter how ugly or self-incriminating.