How To Be a Girl explores the agenda of fiction aimed at women and its impact on columnist Mindy Hung as an Asian kid growing up in a largely white community.

Mindy Hung‘s essays and articles have appeared in The ToastSalonThe New York Times, and many other publications. Her short (often very short) fiction has appeared in JoylandPANK, and The New Quarterly. She received a New York Foundation for the Arts fiction fellowship in 2010. Her literary novel, Trip, was published in 2012 by Outpost19. She also writes romance as Ruby Lang.

Secret Heroine

On From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and a girl who wants to be a heroine.

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Real Girl

Mindy Hung reads Judy Blume’s classic manual of adolescence, ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET.

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Two-World Problem

Mindy Hung on The Blue Sword, how she learned to be a bridge, and learning to want more for herself and her daughter.

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Detective Stories

“Elinor is a lady and that means something. Roderick Welman is a gentleman who went to Eton and that somehow means something. The allusions, the titles, the wit—they all meant something. Hercule Poirot—a white man—is foreign, lives in England, and understands English convention; he grasps the meaning while not being held to it. I would probably have been considered a savage.”

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Problematic Fave

“I reject the notion that all romance novels are crappily written, mass-produced heteronormative mommy porn, responsible for making women long for things they can’t have and also somehow setting women back hundreds of years. But I reject the standard response to these charges: that romance is actually super-duper feminist. “

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Herbs and Things

Mindy Hung on seeing and not seeing herself in Beverly Cleary’s RAMONA & HER MOTHER

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Dear Ellen Conford

Mindy Hung on her readings of Conford’s DEAR LOVEY HART, I AM DESPERATE, “issue books,” and humor in young adult fiction

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In the Club

Are you a Waverly, a Lena, a Rose, or a June? Mindy Hung talks about THE JOY LUCK CLUB and the gifts and limits of finding stories you can see yourself in.

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