Monday, June 5, 2023

Detroit writer visits Tennessee for LGBT+ College Conference 


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Featured Photo by Baylah Close

Story by Baylah Close

Curtis Chin, a Chinese author, visited Middle Tennessee State University to read an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, “Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant.”  

Chin is the co-founder of the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York City and served as the nonprofit’s first executive director. He wrote for television, but has since switched to social justice documentaries. Along with many others, ABC, Disney and the Boston Globe have given him awards.

Chin grew up in Detroit in the 1980s, a time when many Asian Americans were facing extensive racism and xenophobia. He spoke to the audience about his upbringing witnessing these attacks. He continued to talk about his experiences growing up involved in student politics and navigating the AIDS epidemic.  

He also discussed his experience reflecting on his childhood and workshopping the narrative for his memorie.

“While I was traveling for a lot of film screenings and speeches and things like that, and I just noticed a lot of times people were asking a lot of the same questions about what it was like growing up in Detroit and what that experience was,” Chin said. 

Chin read excerpts from his memoir, sharing his memories of first experiencing homophobia when he was in middle school.

“I didn’t have an idea for a book, it just sort of came up naturally.” 

“Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant” will be available on October 17, 2023. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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