The Sawyer Free Library is please to present talks with bestselling authors in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. To register for these upcoming virtual events, visit sawyerfreelibray.org.
Tastes Like War: An Author Talk with Grace M. Cho
Thursday, February 16, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
An insightful chat with award-winning author Grace M. Cho who discusses her memoir, Tastes Like War: Part food memoir, part sociological investigation.
Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They were one of few immigrants in a xenophobic small town during the Cold War, where identity was politicized by everyday details—language, cultural references, memories, and food. When Grace was fifteen, her dynamic mother experienced the onset of schizophrenia, a condition that would continue and evolve for the rest of her life.
Part food memoir, part sociological investigation, Tastes Like War is a hybrid text about a daughter’s search through intimate and global history for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia. In her mother’s final years, Grace learned to cook dishes from her mother’s childhood in order to invite the past into the present, and to hold space for her mother’s multiple voices at the table. And through careful listening over these shared meals, Grace discovered not only the things that broke the brilliant, complicated woman who raised her—but also the things that kept her alive.
About the Author: Grace M. Cho is Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of Staten Island. She received a PhD in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center and an MEd from Harvard School of Education. Her work crosses disciplinary boundaries and seeks to engage popular audiences. From 2005 to 2007 she was a contributing performance artist for Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the Forgotten War, a collaborative art project based on the oral histories of Korean War survivors and their children. Her participation in Still Present Pasts influenced the form and content of her first book, Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy and the Forgotten War (University of Minnesota, 2008) which combined fiction, performance, autoethnography and sociological research. It won a 2010 book award from the American Sociological Association for its innovative methodology. Her second book, Tastes Like War, was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the winner of the 2022 Asian Pacific American Literature Award for Adult Nonfiction.
To receive the link for this free online event register at sawyerfreelibrary.org
Author Talk with Sadeqa Johnson: Award-Winning Author of Yellow Wife and The House of Eve
Tuesday, February 28, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
An invigorating conversation with highly acclaimed author Sadeqa Johnson who will be speaking about her brand-new novel, The House of Eve!
In The House of Eve, Fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to becoming the first in her family to attend college, in spite of having a mother more interested in keeping a man than raising her daughter. But a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty and desperation that has been passed onto her like a birthright.
Eleanor Quarles arrived in Washington DC with ambition and secrets. When she meets the handsome William Pride at Howard University, they fall madly in love. But William hails from one of DC’s elite wealthy Black families, and his parents don’t just let anyone into their fold. Eleanor hopes that a baby will make her finally feel at home in William’s family and grant her the life she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done.
The lives of these two women collide in the most unexpected way as they both face life altering decisions. The House of Eve is a fast-paced, harrowing story that hinges on what it means to be a woman and a mother, and how much one is willing to sacrifice to achieve her greatest goal.
About the Author: Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels, including Yellow Wife. Her accolades include the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the USA Best Book Award for Best Fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children. To learn more, visit SadeqaJohnson.net.
To receive the link for this free online event, register at sawyerfreelibrary.org