Failing Up

A Professor's Odyssey of Flunking, Determination, and Hope
by Barbara Hong, Ph.D.

Publisher: Columbia Publishing House

Publication Date: September 21, 2018

ISBN: 1230002561110

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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KIRKUS STAR REVIEW--Failing Up was recognized as one of only 2% of books reviewed to earn a Kirkus STAR--the most prestigious designation in the book industry in awarding books of exceptional merit.
"An absorbing, eye-opening narrative about the value of grit and education, sure to inspire a wide audience."
In this stunning debut memoir, Hong recounts her exceptional transformation from floundering student to flourishing professor. Born in Singapore to an uneducated mother and an alcoholic, abusive father, Hong grew up in severe poverty. She attended school against her parents' wishes. Despite her intellectual curiosity, she consistently failed her subjects because she couldn't keep up with the fast-paced, competitive, shame-inducing educational style.

Hong's eloquent present-tense narration animates scenes of family strife and academic struggle and evokes an astounding range of emotions--commiseration, frustration, and eventually elation. Something is always developing, whether it's the narrator herself or the plot.

Though the memoir charts the author's intellectual growth, it also considers complex family relationships, poverty, Southeast Asian culture and education, disability, and determination. Hong demonstrates, through her own experiences, the pleasures and rewards of scholarship and effective teaching, and her account underscores how ordinary people can have life-changing effects on others.

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