In Washington DC, Talk Story Events are monthly community gatherings usually held in DC Chinatown. Join our mail list at

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang — Review by Aida Guo

“The Poppy War” is a heavy, dark, and unprecedented debut by R.F. Kuang. The first fantasy war novel out of a trilogy covers topics of classism, colonization, and genocide through the experiences of its young female protagonist who survives in a world familiar of Chinese history. Shamans clash with plot points drawn from events like the Opium War, second Sino-Japanese war and an atmosphere of the Song dynasty.  The main character of the novel is Rin, a dark-skinned and poor war orphan. To avoid her…


Directors Discussion: Plague at Golden Gate

More than 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world and set off a wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1900 unleashed a similar furor. Join the Chinese American Museum DC in collaboration with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and the 1882 Foundation on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, from 6:00-7:00 pm ET to discuss the new AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film documentary, Plague at the Golden Gate and meet the film Director, Li-Shin Yu. Registration available for both…


Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jee Lee — Review by Audrey Sun

What does it mean to be successful? Can you be happy and successful? Min Jin Lee takes a stab at answering these questions, with the backdrop of her home in mind. Lee sets Free Food for Millionaires in Elmhurst, her hometown in Queens, and into the family of Casey Han, the daughter of Korean immigrants who run the local laundromat. The questions of success and happiness thus take on a different spin: how can one find success and happiness while making their parents’ sacrifices worthwhile?…