Hmong American author Moua shares her bride price story

Author Mai Neng Moua will discuss her book "The Bride Price"

~ By Jefferson Beavers, communications specialist, Department of English, reprinted from

Pioneering author and editor Mai Neng Moua will read from her new nonfiction book “The Bride Price: A Hmong Wedding Story” at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at Fresno State.

The evening, hosted by the Hmong American Writers’ Circle and the Fresno State Hmong minor option, will feature a reading by the author and a Q&A session moderated by Dr. Kao-ly Yang, followed by a reception and book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Moua founded the Hmong literary arts journal Paj Ntaub Voice in 1994. She edited the groundbreaking anthology “Bamboo Among the Oaks” in 2002, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The book is widely recognized as the first collection of Hmong American creative writing ever published. It included early poems by Fresno State alumnus Soul Vang, who in 2016 created an endowed scholarship and poetry prize at Fresno State to encourage Hmong American writers.

“The Bride Price” focuses on Moua’s marriage and the reaction of her widowed mother, who asks her groom to follow Hmong custom and pay a bride price. Moua, who knows the pain this tradition has caused, says no, and her husband-to-be supports her choice. As she navigates the traditional roles of gender and faith in two very different cultures, Moua begins to learn what she has not been taught.

The event is sponsored by Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities, the Division of Continuing and Global Education, the Department of Linguistics and the Hmong minor option. Additional assistance is provided by the Master of Fine Arts Program in creative writing.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event begins at 6 p.m. in McLane Hall (Room 161). Parking is free after 5 p.m. in suggested Lot P20.

For more information about the reading, contact event organizer See Xiong at or call 559.278.3056.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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