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Grace Cho

Thursday, November 2, 2023

4:30 p.m. — Craft Talk
7:30 p.m. — Conversation and Q&A
Both events in the Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition

University at Albany

Grace Cho is the author of Tastes Like War: A Memoir (2021), a National Book Award Nonfiction Finalist that investigates the impact of the immigration experience, the aftermath of the Korean War, small town American life, the comforts of Korean food, and a mother’s battle with schizophrenia.

Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and a Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They settled in a small town in rural Washington State during the Cold War, where they endured xenophobia and stood out as an unusual family, while her mother descended into mental illness. TIME magazine and NPR named it a “Best Book of the Year.” (Photo credit: Patrick Bower)

Grace M. Cho is assistant professor of sociology, anthropology, and women's studies at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. She is a contributing performance artist for the art collective Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the Forgotten War.

Grace Cho, credit Patrick Bower copy.jpg
Grace Cho, Tastes Like War copy.jpg

Funding provided by UAlbany Professors Emerita in English, Judith Barlow and Judith Fetterley. Cosponsored by UAlbany’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.


“An exquisite commemoration and a potent reclamation.” —Booklist (starred review)

“A wrenching, powerful account of the long-term effects of the immigrant experience.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Grace M. Cho's memoir richly braids Korean meals, memories of a mother fighting racism and the onset of schizophrenia, and references ranging from Christine Blasey Ford's testimony to the essays of Ralph Ellison." — Vanity Fair

“Fascinating.” — Ms. magazine

“Somehow both mouthwatering and heartbreaking, Tastes Like War is a potent personal history.” —Shelf Awareness

"Powered by sharp, unflinching prose, Cho’s book is as much about her personal history as it is about the history of American hegemony in Asia — and the many scars it has left on the millions of people who have experienced it. By chronicling her own relationship with her mother, who struggled with schizophrenia, and many of the foods they shared, Cho offers an incisive portrait of how haunting these conflicts continue to be.” — Vox

“Terrific.” —Chicago Tribune

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