Village Books is thrilled to welcome Jane Wong to present her highly anticipated memoir, Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City. She'll be joined by Brenda Miller and José Roach Orduña. Don't miss it!
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An incandescent, exquisitely written memoir about family, food, girlhood, resistance, and growing up in a Chinese American restaurant on the Jersey shore.
In the late 1980s on the Jersey shore, Jane Wong watches her mother shake ants from an MSG bin behind the family’s Chinese restaurant. She is a hungry daughter frying crab rangoon for lunch, a child sneaking naps on bags of rice, a playful sister scheming to trap her brother in the freezer before he traps her first. She is part of a family staking their claim to the American dream, even as this dream crumbles. Beneath Atlantic City’s promise lies her father’s gambling addiction, an addiction that causes him to disappear for days and ultimately leads to the loss of the restaurant.
In her debut memoir, Wong tells a new story about Atlantic City, one that resists a single identity, a single story, as she writes about making do with what you have—and what you don’t. What does it mean, she asks, to be both tender and angry? What is strength without vulnerability—and humor? Filled with beauty found in unexpected places, Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City is a resounding love song of the Asian American working class, a portrait of how we become who we are, and a story of lyric wisdom to hold and to share.
“I love the tenderness and ferocity of her prose, unsentimental and wrenching, that refuses easy triumph in its immigrant story and isn’t afraid of uncovering both beauty and brutality.” —Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus
The author of the memoir Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City, and the poetry collections How to Not Be Afraid of Everything and Overpour, Jane Wong is a Kundiman fellow and the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf, and others. Her writing can be found in places such as The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019, The Best American Poetry 2015, POETRY, McSweeney’s, Ecotone, The Common, and more. An associate professor of creative writing at Western Washington University, she grew up on the New Jersey shore and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
Brenda Miller is the author of six essay collections, most recently A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form. Her collaborative collection with Julie Marie Wade, Telephone: Essays in Two Voices, was selected by Hanif Abduraqib as the winner of the Cleveland State University Press Nonfiction Book Award and was published in 2021. She received the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award for her poetry book The Daughters of Elderly Women and the Washington State Book Award for her memoir An Earlier Life. She also co-authored Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction with Suzanne Paola and The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World with Holly Hughes. Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes.
José Roach Orduña is an essayist and educator. He earned an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and a BA in Film/Video from Columbia College Chicago. His essays appear in The Believer, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Nation, and elsewhere. His first book, The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration and Displacement, was published by Beacon Press.