All posts filed under: Books

Saymoukda Vongsay unpacks family, migration and identity in debut children’s book

Photo credit to Saymouka Duangphouxay Vongsay When writer Saymoukda Vongsay first wrote “When Everything Was Everything,” a poem depicting the Lao refugee experience, she didn’t expect it to transform into what it is today. In her first children’s book of the same name, Vongsay reveals glimpses into her childhood as a young Lao girl navigating America with her displaced family. Touching on universal and present topics like refugee experiences, class, and family,  the story connects with children and adults of all ages. Although the book was just released this past month, its inception spans even farther. Vongsay said she wrote “When Everything Was Everything” around seven years ago at a writers workshop for women of color as a last-ditch “hurrah” before quitting her writing career. One prompt asked the group to think of a time in their lives that involved a lot of movement or migration and Vongsay said she thought back to her early years. “I just created this list of all the times I felt my family moved or migrated,” she said. “I was …

Staff Favorites: June – Who Is Your Favorite Fictional Father?

There are so many events and holidays that June brings around, but because we celebrated Mother’s Day (in our Little Laos way)…we felt it was only fitting that we also celebrate Father’s Day…with one twist. So, we asked our staff, “who is your favorite fictional father?” It goes without saying that, while mothers seem to instinctively know how to heat our tempers up, fathers are more of an X factor. Roll that dice! Is it a 5 hour long lecture where you become comatose and need mom to come give you a heart attack to revive you or did you roll a 6? Six is no good–that’s “do not pass go, do not collect $200” territory. Oh, a 3? Insert a sibling as a means of torture. Rolled a 4? BAM! Didn’t see that one coming, didya! Got a combo of any of the previously mentioned consequences? That’s lucky roll number 5. None of us have ever rolled a one, though. That’s territory I hope no one has ever found out the hard way. My …