Picture of author.

Nicole Chung

Autor(a) de All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir

5+ Works 957 Membros 37 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: Author Nicole Chung at the 2018 Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, United States. By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74288706

Obras por Nicole Chung

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
20th century



This book was very buzzy on my Twitter timeline last year, so I jumped on it when I saw it at the library. All You Can Ever Know is a moving memoir, and I'm thinking about picking up my own copy.

I am not an adoptee. I did grow up in Idaho, however, where I was the only Asian in my grade through elementary school and in middle school, we numbered enough I could count on my hands (a hapa girl, me, a Thai guy, and two Korean adoptees). One of the adoptees was a close friend of mine through high school, and I've always wondered if she was ever curious about her birth family, or ever felt a sense of loss. Our school is a moderate size (~1,000 students), but I recall some microaggressions, mostly from people simply not knowing any Asians but a handful (though honestly I felt stronger discrimination for being non-Mormon). Like child!Nicole, whenever I visit somewhere with an AsAm community like Seattle, I marvel at what it might've been like to see other faces like mine, to potentially have access to language classes etc. though I do have the tether of family we could visit.

It feels personal to me as well because I had an unplanned pregnancy at 21, and my then-BF's parents strongly pressured me to think about adoption as an option- I pictured the nightmare scenario of there only being so many Asian kids in my community and my parents wondering if their grandchild out there, somewhere. In the end, I chose to abort but it really made me realize that I don't think I personally could adopt out, especially if transracial adoptive parents haven't fully figured out how to approach their child's experiences. I know every story is different, but the anguish Nicole felt keeping her feelings to herself in an Oregon town really punched me in the gut.

Weaving in the story of her sister and the joy of building that connection is beautiful. I haven't read many adoption narratives, but this is a good one.
… (mais)
Daumari | 31 outras críticas | Dec 28, 2023 |
In this memoir Chung describes how her father died from diabetes and kidney disease at age 67; after years of struggling without adequate health care due to poor insurance coverage, and then a few years later, during COVID, her mother died of cancer. Her parents lived in Southern Oregon. Chung was living in DC, with her young family, and not able to be as present and helpful for her parents as she wanted. She describes her grief, her guilt and also her deep love for her parents, especially her mother.… (mais)
banjo123 | 3 outras críticas | Nov 18, 2023 |
I loved reading this book. It was sometimes very, very painful, it often caused me to think and ponder and wonder, and I learned much that I had not known, understood or even imagined. This is a book by a woman who was born in the US, whose natural parents were Korean, and who was given up for adoption by an American, caucasian couple in lived in a town in Oregon that was essentially all white. IMHO it is simply wonderful, and it's a memoir, not a novel.
RickGeissal | 31 outras críticas | Aug 16, 2023 |
I thought the beginning of this book was quite weak--as Chung describes her childhood growing up as the adopted Korean child of white parents, living in a small Oregon town and attending a very white elementary school, she falls into the white equals blonde trap, which is exhausting. Did she actually live in a town filled with descendants of Scandinavian immigrants? Or is this her own memory focusing on one bully and ascribing his/her characteristics to everyone?

Once she gets past her childhood memories, her storytelling improves immensely and it gets interesting. Her fears and wariness, and then the realization about how deeply she wants to know who she came from--if not just for herself, but for her child. Of doctors appointments and not having answers, of another layer of worry on top of the standard first-pregnancy worries. And then the frustrations, of go-betweens and sealed records. Of finding that the story was not nearly as simple as what she (and her adoptive parents) had been told--but also finding that it was not exactly wrong.… (mais)
Dreesie | 31 outras críticas | Aug 7, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Steph Wong Ken Contributor
Krystal A. Sital Contributor
Cinelle Barnes Contributor
Jennifer S. Cheng Contributor
Shing Yin Khor Contributor
Jamila Osman Contributor
Bix Gabriel Contributor
Niina Pollari Contributor
Lauren Alwan Contributor
Victoria Blanco Contributor
Kamna Muddagouni Contributor
Kenechi Uzor Contributor
Sharine Taylor Contributor
Deepti Kapoor Contributor
Nadia Owusu Contributor
Natalia Sylvester Contributor
Soraya Membreno Contributor
Nina Li Coomes Contributor
A.E. Osworth Contributor
Eloghosa Osunde Contributor
Callum Angus Contributor
Bassey Ikpi Contributor
Jess Zimmerman Contributor
Forsyth Harmon Contributor
Bryan Washington Contributor
Gabrielle Bellot Contributor
Nina Riggs Contributor
S. E. Smith Contributor
Sarah McEachern Contributor
Toni Jensen Contributor
Natalie Lima Contributor
Kaila Philo Contributor
Melissa Hung Contributor
Hannah Walhout Contributor
Karissa Chen Contributor
Haley Houseman Contributor
Taylor Harris Contributor
Austin Gilkeson Contributor
Kayla Whaley Contributor
Andrea Ruggirello Contributor
Aricka Foreman Contributor
Maggie Tokuda-Hall Contributor
Marisa Crane Contributor
Marcos Gonsalez Contributor
Ross Showalter Contributor
MeMe Collier Contributor
Meredith Ireland Contributor
Eric Smith Contributor
Jenny Heijun Wills Contributor
JaeRan Kim Afterword
Mark Oshiro Contributor
Matthew Salesses Contributor
Kelley Baker Contributor
Sun Yung Shin Contributor
Lisa Nopachai Contributor
Donna Cheng Cover designer


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos