Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer, born in Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand. Yang and her family immigrated to the United States when she was seven and settled in St. Paul. Yang graduated from Carleton College, receiving a bachelor's degree in American studies, women's and gender studies, and cross-cultural studies. Yang also holds a master of fine arts degree in creative non-fiction writing from Columbia University. She now resides in Andover, Minn., with a family of her own and writes and travels around the country.
Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, a story about the journey taken by her family, and guided by the spirits and beliefs of her grandmother. She was driven to tell her family's story after her grandmother's death. Her memoir is a tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together.
"Yang tells her family's story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture. By the end of this moving, unforgettable book… readers will delight at how intimately they have become part of this formerly strange culture." —Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
Dr. Paul Hillmer
Dr. Paul Hillmer is a professor of history at Concordia University, St. Paul. In 2001, he and some of his students began the Hmong Oral History Project in order "to connect younger generations of Hmong, and the broader communities in which many Hmong live, with resources describing Hmong culture in Laos, the Secret War in Southeast Asia, and stories of the Hmong immigrant experience." He was awarded a "Save Our History" grant by the History Channel in July 2006, and used it to create a six-part documentary ("From Strangers to Neighbors") examining the Hmong people and their resettlement in the Twin Cities. Dr. Hillmer has just completed a book, A People's History of the Hmong, based on the 200-plus interviews he and his students collected.