Book Review // Memoir

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

Warnings: Drug Use, Racism, Violence, Discussions of Sexual Assault

My Thoughts

This book is quite simply incredible. It was so true to my experiences as an Asian American woman; I laughed during some parts, cried at others, felt enraged and melancholy all at once. It is a timely book to read now with the widespread hate crimes against Asians that has been raging in the United States after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hong presents a series of personal and political essays that detail the impact that racial perceptions of Asians and Asian culture have on various areas of the author’s life as a Korean American woman. I appreciated that the author was able to relate her own anxieties, her art, and the experiences that she and the people around her have gone through. The people presented in this book are flawed, multidimensional people, going beyond the popularly assumed stereotypes about Asian Americans as perfect and hard-working “model minorities.”

“By not speaking up, we perpetuate the myth that our shame is caused by our repressive culture and the country we fled, whereas America has given us nothing but opportunity.”

I could relate to Hong’s feelings of self-doubt, the hesitation to write about the Asian experience while also feeling the pressure to make her work “Asian” hit me hard. I too have gaslit myself into doubting the racism I have encountered in my personal and professional life. I too worry every day about feeling like I am not Asian enough but still feel like an outsider in the country that I was raised in. Hong gave words to feelings that have been bubbling up in me for decades.

The issues that are brought up had a great degree of intersectionality, from the tensions between Asians and Black Americans to the fetishization of Asian women and the silencing that occurs after sexual assault crimes come to light. The United State’s history of racism and imperialistic conquest has had a ripple effect that can still be felt by Asians today in and outside of the United States. Minor Feelings is easily one of the best books that I have read on the Asian American experience and I can’t recommend it enough, it opens up a necessary conversation about race that is long overdue.


I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.

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