One Long Listening: A Habit of Love, a Memoir of Offering CareSaturday, May 6 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
The Marsh Berkeley - Cabaret
- Wellness, Psychology & Spirituality
We instantly fell in love with Chenxing Han’s one long listening: a memoir of grief, friendship, and spiritual care. A hospital chaplain and caregiver in the making, Han journeys from a mountaintop monastery in Taiwan to oncology wards in San Francisco, from oceanside Ireland to riverfront Phnom Penh. The book’s short chapters alternate among narrative, reflections, letters to a dying friend, memories of a migratory childhood, and wry twists and hilarious footnotes everywhere. Han masterfully uses snippets of other languages—Cambodian, Japanese, Shanghainese, more—in their pictograph forms that are nevertheless easy for English-language readers to understand through context (quite a literary feat), and yet also allow us to share Han’s own experience of “non knowing,” which she cultivates as a crucial skill for spiritual caregiving. Says Vietnamese poet Quyên Nguyễn-Hoàng, “in a world deprived of listening and overfilled with pain and grief, Han’s habit of listening is a habit of love…. [S]he listens to the poetry, calamity, comedy, and mystery of life unfolding….Watch how bodily and psychic pains could turn into smiles in this magic river of long, long listening.”
Han will be in conversation with Faith Adiele, author of Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun (also on sale at the event), her chronicle of an overachiever’s breakdown and then recovery among monastics in Thailand. A “Nigerian Nordic American girl,” she is a prolific author and hilarious travel journalist, teacher, and tour guide for multiculturals everywhere.
Book signing information: Marcus Books, at the venue