The University of Iowa

Author of 'The Latehomecomer' to speak Sept. 23

September 11th, 2012

Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir will speak at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, in C20 Pomerantz Center. Her book is this year’s choice for the One Community, One Book annual reading program, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR), which invites community residents to discuss the same human-rights related text. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition to Yang’s talk, community discussion forums on the book will be held at various locations around Iowa City from Oct. 3-25. For times and locations of these discussions, please visit the One Community, One Book Web page.
Kao Kalia Yang was born in a refugee camp in Thailand but Minnesota became her first true home. The book tells the story of her family’s journey from the jungles of Laos to the neighborhoods of St. Paul, Minn., after the Vietnam War.
She describes the hardships of the refugee camps, their dangerous journey to America, and the long process of assimilation as they struggled to raise their family in an unfamiliar land.
Yang is a graduate of Carleton College and holds a master’s degree in Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Columbia University. She is the co-founder of Words Wanted, an agency dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. She has also released a documentary film, The Place Where We Were Born, which describes the experiences of Hmong American refugees.
The main sponsors for this event are UICHR and International Programs. For more information and a full list of sponsors, please visit or contact Liz Crooks at or 319-335-3900.