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Southern Fried Asian: Kevin Kwan

Last month, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore hosted our own Keith Chow in conversation with New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kwan as part of their “Writer’s Live” series. Because they spent a portion of their talk discussing Kevin’s childhood in Texas, we are presenting that conversation in its entirety for Southern Fried Asian!

The evening was kicked off by Hannah of the Ivy Bookshop and Pratt Library CEO Heidi Daniel (1:00). Keith and Kevin start their conversation by noting that the Sex and Vanity book tour has been completely consumed by COVID (5:00). Then, Kevin explains why it’s important to him to center Asian American romance in his books (9:30) before shifting into the story of how his family ended up immigrating to a town outside Houston (19:00) and why chicken fried steak and high school cafeteria food was the best thing that happened to him in America (29:00). Later, they bring the conversation back to Sex and Vanity and what it was like writing the book in the wake of the Crazy Rich Asians phenomenon (32:00) before moving into audience Q&A (34:00).

Subscribe to the Southern Fried Asian podcast on iTunes, Google Play, NPR One, Spotify, and Stitcher Radio! Support Hard NOC Media on Patreon and GoFundMe. Buy merch on TeePublic! Subscribe to our YouTube channel! Also, welcome new listeners who have found this podcast because Vanity Fair named it an “essential AAPI listen!”

Our official theme music is the song “Top Down” by ChopsTimothy Flu, and Mic Barz. Podcast logo by Jef Castro.

Southern Fried Asian is produced by Keith Chow and Jes Vu.

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