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Community conversation leads up to Chang-rae Lee's BABEL visit


Mon, Nov 1st 2021 02:45 pm

'Spoken & Seen' event brings together local Asian artists and activists

Just Buffalo Literary Center welcomes celebrated novelist Chang-rae Lee to Buffalo on Nov. 18 for a lively lecture and conversation at Kleinhans Music Hall. The event, part of Just Buffalo’s BABEL author series, begins at 8p.m., with doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at justbuffalo.org.

Lee’s novels, which include “Native Speaker,” “A Gesture Life,” Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Surrendered” and most recently “My Year Abroad,” explore the Asian American experience and themes of identity, class and immigration. Earlier this year, Lee was honored with an Award of Merit from the American Academy of Art and Letters for lifetime achievement in the Novel, as well as elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

In celebration of Lee’s visit and to foster conversation related to the themes of his books, Just Buffalo and the New York Immigration Coalition invite the public to attend “Spoken & Seen: A Community Conversation with Asian Artists & Activists” on Nov. 8. The panel discussion, held virtually via Zoom, features poet Myung Mi Kim, community organizer Ba Zan Lin and artist Mizin Shin.

“According to 2020 census data, Asians were the fastest-growing racial group in Western New York and New York state,” said Bryan Lee, WNY manager of community engagement for the New York Immigration Coalition and co-moderator of the panel discussion. “At the same time, the former president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic unleashed a torrent of abuse and hate against Asian communities across the country. Chang-rae Lee’s visit is an opportune time for us to take stock of what it means to be Asian American, and how artists and activists help shape the future we wish to see.”

For more information about BABEL and Spoken & Seen, or for tickets, visit justbuffalo.org.

Just Buffalo Literary Center’s mission is to create and strengthen communities through the literary arts. For over 45 years, the organization has brought the world’s greatest writers to Buffalo, hosted poetry events and readings, and supported the development of young writers. For more information, visit justbuffalo.org.

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