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All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir Hardcover – Oct 12 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Catapult (Oct. 12 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936787970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936787975
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Advance Praise for All You Can Ever Know

A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection
An American Booksellers Association Indie Next Pick
An Official Junior Library Guild Selection
The Washington Post, 1 of 20 Books to Read This Fall
Elle, 1 of 28 Best Books to Read in Fall
Entertainment Weekly, 1 of 20 Books You Need to Read This Season

An Indies Introduce Pick
The Rumpus, What to Read When You've Made It Halfway Through 2018
The Millions, Most Anticipated in the Second Half of 2018
Library Journal, Fall Editors' Pick 2018
Bustle, 1 of 11 Most Anticipated Books Published by Indie Presses to Have on Your Radar in 2018
CBC Books, 1 of 15 Works of Nonfiction from Around the World to Watch for This Fall
MyDomaine, One of the Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2018 That Are Actually Worth Your Time
Book Riot, 1 of 10 New October Releases to Put on Hold at the Library Right Now
The Everygirl, 1 of 10 Highly Anticipated Books to Read This Fall
Book Riot, 1 of 75 Spectacular New Books You Need to Read This Fall
Publishers Weekly, One of the Big Indie Books of Fall 2018
Her reflections on identity and culture explore the need to belong." - Time, 1 of 13 New Books Everyone Will Be Talking About This Fall

"Written with all the style and narrative of great fiction." - Vanity Fair, 1 of 11 Nonfiction Books to Read This Fall

"The former Toast editor beautifully tells her life story, from growing up with adoptive white parents to uncovering the truth of where she came from." - Entertainment Weekly, 1 of 20 Books You Need to Read This Season

"She's one of my favorite essayists of all time, the kind who expands my mind with every sentence and makes me reconsider everything." - Gary Shteyngart, Vulture, Most Anticipated Fall Books

"With clarity, grace, and no small amount of courage, Chung has written a powerful memoir about her experience as an adoptee, an Asian-American, a daughter, a sister, and a mother. All You Can Ever Know is a candid and beautiful exploration of themes of identity, family, racism, and love. And while the answers Chung finds in her search for the birth family she never knew are fascinating, the power of this book lies in Chung's willingness to 'question the things [she'd] always been told,' even while knowing that she might find unsettling truths and an origin story unlike what she'd always thought had existed. Though this book is specific to Chung's experience and an important example of thecomplexities inherent to transracial adoption, its words will resonate deep within the core of anyone who has ever questioned their place in their family, their community, and the world." - NYLON, 1 of 21 Books You'll Want to Read This Fall

"In her memoir, All You Can Ever Know, Nicole Chung takes the qualities that make her writing sing - warmth, inquisitiveness, and deep personal investment in the words she types - and turns them inward. Her debut is an investigation into her past in which she aims to leave no stone - or emotion - unturned." - Shondaland

"[Chung] has written, hauntingly, about her adoption and growing up in a white family. . . . Her long-awaited memoir promises to explore the subject more fully: her relationship with her adoptive family, her reconnection with her birth family, beginning her own family and how she's worked to find a sense of belonging." - Huffington Post, 1 of 60 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018

"A sensitive, clear-eyed examination of the bullying and casual racism that had marked her childhood and, eventually, leads to a search for her birth parents and the origin story she has never known." - Newsday, 1 of 12 Best Books to Read This Fall

"Following a season of (wonderful) books about motherhood, Nicole Chung's memoir stands out for its broadening of the discussion, exploring the complicated consequences of interracial adoption . . . All You Can Ever Know is the messy navigation of Chung's new reality - her working out the boundaries of these people who are both kin and strangers, her careful confrontation and reconciliation with her parents, and her exploration of the profound, ever-shifting meaning of family." - BuzzFeed, One of the Best Fall Books of 2018

"I read this book in big gulps, thirsty for more each time I had to set it down. Nicole was adopted at birth, and she tells the story of her childhood and later, her search for her birth family, in gorgeous and precise prose. Nicole honors her own experiences while also opening up, again and again, doors to universal truths. Truly, it is one of the most thoughtful and important memoirs I've ever read . . . All You Can Ever Know is a book that changed me, and that will stay with me. Nicole's writing on motherhood, intergenerational trauma, and race is nothing short of brilliant." - The Rumpus

"In this much-anticipated memoir, Chung brings her clear and thoughtful prose to the task of untangling the legacy of her adoption to white parents in Oregon. Transracial adoption, often framed as a simple act of altruistic love on the part of white parents, looks far more complicated under Chung's kind but implacably honest gaze." - HuffPost, 1 of 34 Fall 2018 Books We Can't Wait to Read

"At the top of my pile is: Nicole Chung's memoir, All You Can Ever Know (Catapult), the story of a Korean American adoptee's relationship with her white, adoptive family in Oregon and her search for her birth family." - Karen Maeda Allman (Elliott Bay Book Company), The Seattle Review of Books

"Chung's beautifully written memoir about adoption, parenthood, race and identity has aching honesty in every line . . . You read these pages awed by Chung's ability to combine clear-eyed unsentimentality with faith and optimism, and to create a family not from her dreams, but from her reality. She has, by its end, built an identity 'from what has been lost and found.'" - The Seattle Times, 1 of 9 Books to Curl Up with This Cozy Time of Year

"A Korean American adopted by white parents in Oregon, Chung writes movingly of her search to find her birth parents; her personal quest leads not only to her own story, but also to meditations on race, parenthood, and the construction of identity." - The Boston Globe, 1 of 23 Hot Picks for Cool Fall Books

"An important memoir about Chung's search for the couple that gave her up years and years ago and her journey to self-acceptance." - BookBub, 1 of 10 Inspiring New Memoirs by Women Hitting Shelves This Fall

"You probably know Chung from the internet, where she is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine, but soon you will certainly know her from this memoir, in which she recounts her early life as the child of white parents in a small Oregon town, her search for her Korean birthparents, and the truth about why they put her up for adoption in the first place." - Literary Hub, 1 of 10 Memoirs to Look Forward to This Season

"Compassionate and astute, [Chung's] writing has much to tell us about race, America, belonging, and adoption." - Electric Literature, 1 of 46 Books By Women of Color to Read in 2018

"A deeply engrossing memoir about adoption and motherhood and the meaning of family." - Vanessa Hua, Electric Literature, 1 of 9 Books on the Complexities of Mother-Daughter Relationships

"While grappling with her identity Chung exposes the truths we all endure when we try to figure out where we truly belong." -, 1 of 10 Books with Covers So Beautiful You Can Judge Them

"This inspiring memoir tells the story of a girl who never gives up and finds happiness in discovering where she comes from and who she really is." - PopSugar, 1 of 10 Inspirational Books to Jump-Start Your Best Fall Ever

"Moving and intimate, All You Can Ever Know is a candid exploration of motherhood, race and the lengths we all go to to feel like we belong." - PureWow

"It's beautiful; it's a really beautiful book. I would recommend it as well. It comes out in October. . . . That's going to do well. It's exciting; it's really beautifully done." - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan of Go Fug Yourself on Women with Books

"Chung, born to Korean parents and adopted at birth by a white family, explores not just her own history but also the larger notion of having a history at all. She invites the reader to join her on the intimate and sometimes heartbreaking journey of discovering - and rediscovering - her identity as a person and a writer. Particularly affecting is the story of Chung's relationship with her own daughter, born, poetically, as Chung commits to searching for her birth family." - Pacific Standard

"[A] stunning memoir . . . Chung's writing is vibrant and provocative as she explores her complicated feelings about her transracial adoption (which she 'loved and hated in equal measure') and the importance of knowing where one comes from." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This touching memoir explores issues of identity, racism, motherhood, and sisterhood with eloquence and grace. Highly recommended." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Highly compelling for its depiction of a woman's struggle to make peace with herself and her identity, the book offers a poignant depiction of the irreducibly complex nature of human motives and family ties. A profound, searching memoir about 'finding the courage to question what I'd always been told.'" - Kirkus Reviews

"[An] insightful memoir . . . Chung's clear, direct approach to her experience, which includes the birth of her daughter as well as her investigation of her family, reveals her sharp intelligence and willingness to examine difficult emotions." - Booklist

"Chung creates a suspenseful story with her avalanches of questions and unexpected discoveries, and her hard-won insights into the nature of identity. She has many thoughts about adoption, but this is also an emotional and level-headed book about the rewards of questioning family expectations in order to come to terms with the complicated truth." - Shelf Awareness

"[Chung's] memoir, All You Can Ever Know (Catapult, coming in October), is an eye-opening account of what it's like to grow up without access to your biological family. Chung maintains a wholehearted compassion for both her biological and adoptive families' toughest choices - and shares what it means to grow up in the space between them." - MUSE-FEED, Kenyon Review's Summer Reading ListTouching on race, family, and the failure of simple labels to define us, Chung instead offers a masterful narrative that proves concepts like culture and origin are simply insufficient in elucidating who we truly are. As conversations about what community truly means continue to remain acutely topical - who we belong to, what aspects of our character we define ourselves by, what we each require to feel whole - the timing of Chung's memoir could not be better. In the gifted hands of an immensely talented writer, the story of All You Can Ever Know ultimately becomes more than Chung's personal journey, instead serving as an eye-opening conduit to the universal desire we all share to love and be loved in return." - SF Weekly

"Nicole Chung's All You Can Ever Know is this awesome memoir about her life as an adoptee. She's a brilliant essayist who I'm a little obsessed with. Her memoir got a Junior Library Guild badge, and has crossover potential - I don't know what the exact term is, but I know it's being pushed toward young adults, and I'm very excited about it. I hope a YA audience picks it up, because it's such a powerful story . . . Something for our listeners to keep an eye out for." - Hey YA

"This book moved me to my very core. As in all her writing, Nicole Chung speaks eloquently and honestly about her own personal story, then widens her aperture to illuminate all of us. All You Can Ever Know is full of insights on race, motherhood, and family of all kinds, but what sets it apart is the compassion Chung brings to every facet of her search for identity and every person portrayed in these pages. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever had, wanted, or found a family - which is to say, everyone." - Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

"Adoption is neither an incident nor a process - it is an evergreen story of lives growing and resisting simple definitions. Chung's All You Can Ever Know takes the grammar of adoption - nouns, verbs, and direct object - and with extraordinary integrity remakes them into a narrative about what it means to be a subject. A primary document of witness, Chung writes her memoir as a transracial adoptee with honesty, wisdom, and love. Her search and what she discovers offer us life's meaning and purpose of the very highest order." - Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko

"This book will break your heart in all the best ways. Nicole Chung's intimate exploration of motherhood, race, and identity is a beautiful personal story that also reveals something profound about our culture and country. I didn't want it to end." - Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object

"I've been waiting for this writer, and this book - and everything else she'll write - and now it is here." - Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

"In All You Can Ever Know, Nicole Chung examines her family history with rigor and grace, which is the best possible way to set about the prospect of asking questions of the people who made you. The book is lovely, and loving, and committed to honesty and exploration. It never shies away from reality. Nicole's earnestness, her great capacity for affection, her commitment to dealing justly with others, her sense of humor are all vividly present here." - Daniel Mallory Ortberg, author of The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

"An urgent, incandescent exploration of what it can mean to love, and of who gets to belong, in an increasingly divided country. Nicole Chung's powerful All You Can Ever Know is necessary reading, a dazzling light to help lead the way during these times." - R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

"Compassionate and compelling. A memoir about understanding yourself as a daughter so that you may understand yourself as a mother." - Rainbow Rowell, author of Carry On "Nicole Chung has written a book for everyone, but the real gift is for adoptees. With her rare talent for telling a story while also telling you what it means, All You Can Ever Know is Chung at top form. This is a book not to miss and an adoption story we need. Read everything Nicole Chung writes. Start now." - Matthew Salesses, author of The Hundred-Year Flood


About the Author

Nicole Chung's memoir, All You Can Ever Know, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award, and named a Best Book of the Year by nearly two dozen outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, NPR, Time, Newsday, and Library Journal. Chung has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Atlantic, New York magazine, Longreads, and Hazlitt, among many other publications. She is the editor in chief of Catapult magazine and the former managing editor of The Toast.

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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.2 out of 5 stars 118 reviews
Kevin Lewis
5.0 out of 5 starsWonderfully honest story of a Korean adoptee
October 5, 2018 - Published on
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55 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis book is impossible to read without feeling the intensity of love.
October 7, 2018 - Published on
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31 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful, Moving and Honest Memoir
October 7, 2018 - Published on
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21 people found this helpful.
Eileen G.
5.0 out of 5 starsGorgeous story - and a cautionary tale
October 16, 2018 - Published on
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15 people found this helpful.
Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 starsDull and somewhat self-indulgent
October 25, 2018 - Published on
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13 people found this helpful.