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caption: Author 'Anna Qu' 
During Elliot Bay Book Company Event & Book cover
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Author 'Anna Qu' During Elliot Bay Book Company Event & Book cover

Anna Qu’s fierce memoir grapples with child labor, immigration, and love

As a teen, Chinese American author Anna Qu was forced by her mother to work in their family's garment factory in Queens, New York. At home she was the family’s maid, and faced punishment for doing things like schoolwork. Qu contacted Child Protective Services to report her mother, but due to bureaucratic bumbling she was left her to fend for herself. Now as an adult, Qu reckons with life, family, and not so easy answers to past trauma in her memoir.

In this talk presented by Elliot Bay Book Company, Qu unravels the traditional immigration tale and transgenerational trauma in her debut memoir, Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor. Qu was also joined in conversation with fellow Author Melissa Febos.

Together they discuss how Qu was able to write her memoir in a way that not only humanizes the ‘traditional villain’ but highlights immigrants' experiences and their hopes for the American dream.

Melissa Febos is the author of Whip Smart, Abandon Me, and Girlhood.

Anna Qu writes personal essays on identity and growing up in New York as an immigrant. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Lithub, Threepenny Review, Lumina, and Jezebel, among others. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

This virtual talk was present by Elliot Bay Book Company on August 5.

Please note: This recording contains unedited language of an adult nature.