Curtis Chin, author of Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant

Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome Curtis Chin, author of Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant for an author talk and book signing! This event is presented in partnership with Grub Street's Boston Writers of ColorThe History Project, and the Pao Arts Center. It will take place on Sunday, October 22 at 6:00pm at Porter Square Books (25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140).

Please RSVP on our website to let us know you're coming and to receive event updates!

TIME's 36 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023 • San Francisco Chronicle's 25 Highly Anticipated Books to Put On Your Radar This Fall • The Washington Post's 29 Books to Read This Fall • Goodreads’s New and Upcoming Books to Discover This Pride Month

This “vivid, moving, funny, and heartfelt” memoir tells the story of Curtis Chin’s time growing up as a gay Chinese American kid in 1980’s Detroit (Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers).

Nineteen eighties Detroit was a volatile place to live, but above the fray stood a safe haven: Chung’s Cantonese Cuisine, where anyone—from the city’s first Black mayor to the local drag queens, from a big-time Hollywood star to elderly Jewish couples—could sit down for a warm, home-cooked meal. Here was where, beneath a bright-red awning and surrounded by his multigenerational family, filmmaker and activist Curtis Chin came of age; where he learned to embrace his identity as a gay ABC, or American-born Chinese; where he navigated the divided city’s spiraling misfortunes; and where—between helpings of almond boneless chicken, sweet-and-sour pork, and some of his own, less-savory culinary concoctions—he realized just how much he had to offer to the world, to his beloved family, and to himself.

Served up by the cofounder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and structured around the very menu that graced the tables of Chung’s, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is both a memoir and an invitation: to step inside one boy’s childhood oasis, scoot into a vinyl booth, and grow up with him—and perhaps even share something off the secret menu.


A cofounder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York City, Curtis Chin served as the nonprofit’s first executive director. He went on to write for network television before transitioning to social-justice documentaries. Chin has screened his films at over six hundred venues in sixteen countries. He has written for CNN, Bon Appétit, and the Boston Globe’s Emancipator. A graduate of the University of Michigan and a former visiting scholar at New York University, Chin has received awards from ABC/Disney Television, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. He can be found at 

Event date: 

Sunday, October 22, 2023 - 6:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

RSVP to attend our event with Curtis Chin!

Interested in joining us? Please RSVP here to let us know you're coming and to receive event updates.


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Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir By Curtis Chin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316507653
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 17th, 2023


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