NEA Big Read: 2020 Fox Cities Reads Selection
The NEA Big Read: 2020 Fox Cities Reads title is The Late Homecomer by Kao Kalia Yang. Kao Kalia Yang was born in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand and moved when she was six with her family to St. Paul, Minnesota, home to the largest concentration of Hmong in the country. They began their life in the U.S. living on welfare in public housing until her parents took on multiple jobs to feed their family. To fill her time, especially during the long winters and because she couldn't afford to attend movies or concerts, Yang would read. While she loved books like the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Yang recalls asking the librarian for books about people like her. "She gave me a book about the Chinese, the Japanese, the Vietnamese, but she couldn't give me a book about Hmong kids." That was one of her first callings to write, which was easier for her than speaking English. Yang will be speaking in the Fox Cities April 16 & 17, 2020. Click here for more information on Kao Kalia Yang and the Fox Cities Book Festival.