He recognized that Americans valued emotional forthrightness in business and developed a particular way of speaking at work. “Thanks for getting those orders in,” Hong remembers him saying on the phone. “Oh, and Kirby, I love you.”
At Iowa, Hong noticed other writers of color stripping out markers of race from their poems and stories to avoid being “branded as identitarians.” It was only later that Hong realized that all of the writers she had noticed doing this were Asian-American.
🔗 “Minor Feelings” and the Possibilities of Asian-American Identity