Journalist and Essayist Wesley Yang coming to UAlbany Thursday, Feb. 6

ALBANY — We invite you to join us for a conversation on race, identity and America with National Magazine Award-winning writer Wesley Yang at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Multi-Purpose Room at the University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue.

One of the most provocative essayists on race and identity in America, Yang’s most recent book, The Souls of Yellow Folk (2018), contains a powerful collection of essays about the biases faced by Asian Americans and the peculiar racial anxieties awakened in the larger public by their successes.

From Yang’s book:

“The Asian man is an ‘honorary white’ person who will always be denied the full perquisites of whiteness.

An entitled man who will never quite be regarded or treated as a man; a nominal minority whose claim to be

a ‘person of color’ deserving of the special regard reserved for victims is taken seriously by no one.”

Earlier that same day, Yang will hold an informal talk at 4:15 p.m. in the Standish Room, Science Library, also on the UAlbany uptown campus.

The collection includes his prescient essay “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” in which Yang explores the deranged logic of the Virginia Tech shooter; and the National Magazine Award–winning “Paper Tigers,” a look at the intersection of Asian values and the American dream, and the inner torment of the child exposed to “tiger mother” parenting.

The collection was named among the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, and Spectator. Booklist praised his work: “Yang writes with elegance and a fearless interest in the uncommon and unsayable.” and Publishers Weekly wrote, “Incisive and provocative…Yang provides piercing, prickly insight into the challenges Asian-Americans face from racial and cultural bias, with literary style.”

The title of Yang’s book pays tribute to W. E. B. Du Bois’ 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folk. His work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Magazine Writing, Best Creative Nonfiction, and Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Both events are free and open to the public and copies of Yang’s book will be available for purchase and book signing.

For additional information, visit or contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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