Staring Down the Tiger: Stories of Hmong American Women is the second book project to share stories of Hmong women in America. The idea for this book came through the recognition that these stories are often absent narratives in today’s literature. The second book is a continuation of the first book with a similar focus on collecting Hmong women’s narratives that have been silenced throughout history. It provides a platform for stories to come to life, and we are privileged to share these stories with the world. We are behooved to document and share Hmong women stories centered on the theme of culture change and immigration, the loss associated with those transitions, and how women have pushed pass barriers in their journey. Current literature about Hmong often focus on the soldier story while omitting the narratives of Hmong women. This anthology continues the work of collecting and documenting stories of Hmong women’s journey during their transition to United States.
We have collected over thirty stories from Hmong women and men. The themes in the book are A Woman’s Journey, Marriage, Grand(mothers) We Love, Moving Through Cultures, and Breaking Barriers. The stories tell the journey of Hmong women from Laos to America, the way Hmong marriage has impact Hmong women’s lives, honors the memories of mothers and grandmothers, and sheds light on the experience of Hmong women in America. Here is one excerpt from Kia Moua, one of our authors.
I learned I had to assimilate. Something was wrong with me, my family, my race, and my ethnicity, if I didn’t conform to the norms of this country. As a child, I was mesmerized. I was jealous. I subconsciously internalized how my looks, words, and actions didn’t fit that normal mold. No matter how much I went to church and Sunday school, participated in Choir and Bell Choir, I still didn’t glow like Mr. and Mrs. Andersen, my childhood mentors/goodwill ambassadors/white saviors.
Thank you to Mai Lee-Yang, Ying Lee, Pa Der Vang, and MaiThao Xiong, our editors. Thank you to Kimberly Nightengale for being our first reviewer. You can purchase a copy of this book here.