One Book | One Minnesota is a statewide book club that invites Minnesotans of all ages to read a common title and come together virtually to enjoy, reflect, and discuss.
Libraries are essential for connection, and through One Book | One Minnesota, libraries across the state will connect their communities through stories. The program aims to bring Minnesotans closer together during this time of distance and adversity.
One Book: Sixth Chapter
October 25 - December 19, 2021
The featured book for fall 2021 is The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father by Kao Kalia Yang.
About The Song Poet
In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses. He keeps the past alive, invokes the spirits and the homeland, and records courtships, births, weddings, and wishes.
In The Song Poet, Kao Kalia Yang retells the life of her father, Bee Yang, the song poet―a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by America’s Secret War. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. The songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a St. Paul housing project and on the factory floor, until, with the death of Bee’s mother, they leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has burnished a life of poverty for his children, polishing their grim reality so that they might shine.
About the Author
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She is the author of the memoirs The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang is also the author of the children’s books A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, The Most Beautiful Thing, and Yang Warriors.
She co-edited the ground-breaking collection What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color. Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards. Kao Kalia Yang lives in Minnesota with her family and teaches and speaks across the nation.
Get the Book
Get the Audiobook
Virtual Author Discussion
This statewide book club conversation will feature author Kao Kalia Yang.
December 9, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public. The conversation will take place using Zoom.
One Book | One Minnesota is presented by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, in partnership with State Library Services. Program partners also include Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators, Minitex (a joint program of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education), the Minnesota Department of Education, and Minnesota Historical Society Press.