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One Book, One Lakeville main event

April 29 @ 7:00 pm

For the ninth consecutive year, Lakeville’s community reading program, One Book, One Lakeville, is encouraging residents to read and join in events and discussions about this year’s featured book, “The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father” by Kao Kalia Yang.

“The Song Poet” is a love story – of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, and a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost.

Following her award-winning book “The Latehomecomer,” Yang retells the life of her father, a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by America’s Secret War. Bee Yang lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other, whispering the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born.

Bee sang the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. But the songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project and on a factory floor until, with the death of his mother, the songs leave him for good. But before they do, Bee has polished a life of poverty for his children, burnishing their grim reality so that they might shine.

Kao Kalia Yang, born in Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, is a member of the Hmong ethnic minority. She is a graduate of Carleton College and earned master’s degree in fine arts at Columbia University.

She is the co-founder of Words Wanted, an agency dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating and business services. Currently a Benedict Distinguished Visiting Faculty member at Carleton College, she lives in Minneapolis with her family.

She will speak at the One Book main event 7 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Lakeville Area Arts Center. Also appearing will be the Iny Asian Dance Theater. To participate, order free tickets on the Lakeville Area Arts Center website.

The Heritage Library is located at 20085 Heritage Drive, Lakeville. For more information, visit www.heritagelibraryfriends.com or pick up a One Book brochure at the Heritage Library. This program was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


April 29
7:00 pm


Lakeville Area Arts Center
20965 Holyoke Ave.
Lakeville, 55044
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