Nicole Chung is the author of the memoir All You Can Ever Know, published in October 2018 and named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, The Boston Globe, TIME, Newsday, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Real Simple, Paste Magazine, Chicago Public Library, and Seattle Public Library, among many others. All You Can Ever Know has also been longlisted for the 2019 PEN Open Book Award, shortlisted for the 2018 Reading Women Nonfiction Award, and nominated for the 2018 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Memoir/Autobiography.
Nicole’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, GQ, The Atlantic, Slate, Longreads, Vulture, Shondaland, and Hazlitt. She is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine and the former managing editor of The Toast.
What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?
Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From early childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes of giving her a better life; that forever feeling slightly out of place was simply her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as she grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.
With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
“[A] stunning memoir…. Chung’s writing is vibrant and provocative as she explores her complicated feelings about her transracial adoption…and the importance of knowing where one comes from.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Chung’s memoir is more than a thoughtful consideration of race and heritage in America. It is the story of sisters finding each other, overcoming bureaucracy, abuse, separation, and time.” —The New Yorker
Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of 22 books of memoir, memoir handbooks, middle grade and young adult fiction, corporate fable, and the autobiography of a river, Flow. She is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, was the editorial director of the Emmy®-award winning PBS arts and culture show, Articulate, is a frequent reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, and the co-founder of Juncture Workshops, offering memoir workshops and resources. A new book, the middle grade novel Wild Blues, was published in June, and new essays appear at LitHub, LARB, Ploughsharesblog, Woven Tale Press, and elsewhere.
Co-sponsored by Blue Stoop, Drexel University's MFA in Creative Writing Program, & the Writers Room at Drexel