Join Loyalty Bookstores and DC Public Library for a live, in-person event with Curtis Chin and Ben de Guzman to celebrate the release of Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant! This event will take place at DCPL's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library**This event is free to attend, but registration is required—please register on DCPL's website.** You can purchase the book from Loyalty below or borrow a copy from DCPL, and we will have additional copies for sale at the event. Please email  with any questions.


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 co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York City, Curtis Chin served as the non-profits’ first Executive Director. He went on to write for network and cable television before transitioning to social justice documentaries. Chin has screened his films at over 600 venues in sixteen countries. He has written for CNN, Bon Appetit, the Detroit Free Press, and the Emancipator/Boston Globe. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Chin has received awards from ABC/Disney Television, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and more. His memoir, "Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant" will be published by Little, Brown in Fall 2023. His essay in Bon Appetit was just selected for Best Food Writing in America 2023.


Ben de Guzman is the Director of the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA). He has been a leading voice at the local and national level on issues of racial equity, immigrants' rights, veterans affairs, and LGBT justice for more than twenty years. He comes to MOAPIA from the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, where he served as the  Community Outreach Specialist. As a co-founder and long-time Co-Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), he worked for over 10 years on behalf of over 20 locally based Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander LGBTQ organizations serving all genders on a range of issues, including domestic violence and gender justice. 

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during virtual or in-person events. 

Event date: 
Thursday, October 19, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
MLK Library
901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir By Curtis Chin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316507653
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 17th, 2023