The Latehomecomer

A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang

“This is the best account of the Hmong experience I’ve ever read—powerful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable.”—Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

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April 2008
6 x 9 | 320 pages
Paperback Original

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at

ISBN: 978-1-56689-208-7.



Destined to touch every reader’s heart…

“Reading this book is about experiencing the Hmong American transformation.” —Minnesota State Senator Mee Moua

In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to the United States, but their experiences remain largely unknown. Driven to tell her family’s story after her grandmother’s death, Kao Kalia Yang’s memoir is a tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them together through their imprisonment in Laos, their narrow escape into Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, their immigration to St. Paul when Yang was only six years old, and their transition to life in America. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard.


2010 PEN USA Literary Award for Nonfiction Finalist

2009 Minnesota Book Award Winner

2009 Minnesota Readers Choice Award Winner

2009 Skipping Stones Honor Award Winner

2009 Asian American Literary Award Finalist

2008 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award Winner


“A narrative packed with the stuff of life.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Moving, unforgettable . . . readers will delight at how intimately they have become a part of this formerly strange culture.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“All who read this book are richer for having received the gift of what she has written.” —Asian by the Book,

“Beautiful . . . provid[es] a long-overdue contribution to the history and literature of ethnic America.” —Booklist

“A tale as poetic as it is informative.” —City Pages

“Splendorous . . . An achievement that will resonate through the annals of history.” —Feminist Review

“Yang’s love and devotion to her family and the Hmong people shines on every page. . . . A necessary read about the human experience.” —Hmong Times

“Inspiring . . . Yang has performed an important service in bringing readers the stories of a people whose history has been shamefully neglected.” —Kirkus

“[Yang will] be the first Hmong female author . . . finally putting Hmong stories on the shelves alongside stories from the rest of the world.” —Hmong Today

“A natural storyteller. Yang chronicles her family’s journey and draws the reader into the Hmong culture.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“[The Latehomecomer] is the love story of [Yang’s] parents, a gripping tale of adventure and escape, a history lesson of the Hmong people dating to their years in China, a tribute to Yang’s beloved grandmother and a window into Hmong funeral customs. . . . Thanks to Yang, the grandmother will not be forgotten. And neither will this book.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[Yang] tells her family’s story with outstanding beauty and lyricism.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Passionate and powerful, The Latehomecomer is a tale that highlights the universal pain of immigration, one of leaving home and adapting to new worlds.”—The Culture Trip

Order The Latehomecomer Paperback @ £15.95