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February 22, 2012
Author Catherine Chung to Present Book Reading

On Monday, March 5, author Catherine Chung will present a reading from her book Forgotten Country as a part of the Poet-in-Residence Reading Series.  The reading will take place at 6:00 p.m. in Zucker Auditorium in the University Science Center on the UD campus.  The event is free and open to the public.


"Forgotten Country is a haunting and essential novel that bears witness to the complexities of human existence while honoring the grace of the human spirit. Catherine Chung is a rising star, and we are honored to host her here at the University of Dubuque," commented Lauren Alleyne, assistant professor of English and Poet-in-Residence."
The Poet-in-Residence Reading series aims to offer the campus and wider community access to a diversity of contemporary literary voices by inviting established and emerging writers to share their work and discuss their professional and creative processes. This semester, the reading series is themed "Women's Words" in honor of Women's History Month, and will welcome three exciting and very different women writers. Following Ms. Chung will be Wisconsin poet and essayist, Pilar Gomez-Ibañez (Thursday, March 22), and internationally renowned poet and performer Patricia Smith (Tuesday, April 3). For more about the reading series, including video of past events, visit the English Department website at www.dbq.edu/english/ReadingSeries.cfm


First-time novelist Catherine Chung dazzles with Forgotten Country (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: March 1, 2012), her probing exploration of familial love, loss, obligation, and the difficulty of holding on in the face of dislocation and trauma.  This sparkling debut has already earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus.  At the center of her epic, yet intimate novel, are two Korean-American sisters and their parents, still struggling with the toll exacted by the Japanese Occupation of their native land, the Korean War and their immigration to the United States.  But transcending cultural boundaries, it is above all a story of the difficult yet necessary bonds between family members and how they can be eroded and destroyed by secrets, and how they must be tested in order to achieve reconciliation and wholeness.


Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, Illinois, during one of the worst blizzards on record.  She studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University.  Her work has been published in Granta Online and Guernica magazine, among other publications.  She has won fellowships and scholarships from prominent writers' colonies and conferences, including MacDowell, Jentel, Hedgebrook, SFAI, Camargo, and Yaddo.  Born to Korean immigrant parents and raised in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan, she has also lived in Korea, Germany, and France.  She currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the birdsong collective, and is on the advisory board of Paris Press.