Hua Hsu on his new book ‘Stay True’

7th October 2022

Hua Hsu is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He’s written profiles and reviews of artists like Bjork, bell hooks, and Sandra Oh. He’s also a professor of English at Bard College, with a passion for elevating underappreciated talent in literature. His new book, Stay True, is an intimate and probing memoir. In Stay True, Hsu looks back on his early twenties, when he was an undergrad at University of California, Berkeley. Stay True is about the most intimate relationships that defined his adolescence and young adulthood. Hua Hsu shares how writing this book reflected and refracted his relationship with his own American-ness.

Episode notes

Hua Hsu is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He’s written profiles and reviews of artists like Bjork, bell hooks, and Sandra Oh. He’s also a professor of English at Bard College, with a passion for elevating underappreciated talent in literature. He wrote his first book, A Floating Chinaman, about the writer H.T. Tsiang. 

His new book, Stay True, is an intimate and probing memoir. In Stay True, Hsu looks back on his early twenties, when he was an undergrad at University of California, Berkeley. His mom was roughly an hour away by car, but his dad was overseas in Taiwan, working as an engineer. In the dorms, he found his friend groups constantly fluctuating. He recounts road trips with his buddies, and puts in correspondences he had with his family and other people close to him. At times, the book serves as a tragic love story. In particular, Stay True is about the most intimate relationships that defined his adolescence and young adulthood. Hua Hsu shares how writing this book reflected and refracted his relationship with his own American-ness. 

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