Marianne Chan Leaving Biddle City

Friday, September 20 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us for an evening with Marianne Chan, in conversation with Sylvia Chong.

Join us for an evening with Marianne Chan, who will read from her new poetry collection, Leaving Biddle City. A conversation with Sylvia Chong will follow. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.

About the Book: A coming-of-age narrative, Leaving Biddle City details one Filipina American speaker’s experience of growing up amid a white, Midwestern suburbia mythologized as “Biddle City.” Through prose poems, pantoums, ballads, flattened haikus, and thematic autobiographies, Chan maps a territory of intergenerational conflict, racial alienation, and memory and forgetfulness. What’s achieved is a work of play and meticulous beauty, a collection that reframes how we may understand ourselves, our histories, and the places where we are from.

About the Author: Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens (Sarabande Books, 2020), which was the winner of the 2021 GLCA New Writers Award. Her second collection, Leaving Biddle City, will be published in 2024. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Best American Poetry, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at Old Dominion University.

About the Moderator: Sylvia Chong is an associate professor in English and American Studies at the University of Virginia, and the director of the minor in Asian Pacific American Studies. She is the author of The Oriental Obscene: Violence and Racial Fantasies in the Vietnam Era (Duke UP, 2012) and the coeditor of (Re)Collecting the Vietnam War (AALR, 2015), and has written articles on Charlie Chan, American exceptionalism, hopelessness, orientalism, the Virginia Tech shootings, and Samuel Peckinpah. She is currently working on a history of cinematic yellowface and racial performance.

Leaving Biddle City will be released on July 30. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.

"Marianne Chan’s Leaving Biddle City proposes a rare and unflinching poetics of immigrant suburban life, inventively evocative of both the monotony and wild audacity of a demographic of experience that is at once mundane and vital, hidden and clambering for utterance."

—Jennifer S. Cheng

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