Tsov tom, or tigerbite—an insult in Hmong culture—means you were stupid enough to approach a tiger and get bitten. In this remarkable new book, Hmong American women reclaim that phrase, showing in prose and poetry that they are strong enough and brave enough to stare down the tiger. Contributors celebrate the power of bonds between daughter and mother, sister and sister, and grandmother and granddaughter. Only after climbing a mountain in Nepal can Kia M. Lor finally understand her mother’s life. Pa Xiong provides a recipe for squirrel stew, remembering in telling detail the gender roles that mark each step—and how her mother broke those rules. Kao Kalia Yang sketches the extraordinary everyday achievements of a Hmong leader, her older sister, Dawb. Contributors to this volume bring life and character to the challenges of maintaining identity, navigating changes in gender roles, transitioning to American culture, and breaking through cultural barriers. These pieces were brought together through the work of Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together, an organization founded in St. Paul to be a catalyst for lasting cultural, institutional, and social change to improve the lives of Hmong women.
Contributors: MayKao Y. Hang, Npaus Baim Her, Gaosong V. Heu, Linda Vang Kim, Dee Kong, BoNhia Lee, Duabhav BJ Lee, Tou SaiKo Lee, Kia M. Lor, Kia Moua, Mai Neng Moua, Mainhia Moua, Douachee Vang, Gao Vang, Maly Vang, Talee Vang, MaiThao Xiong, Pa Xiong, Renee Ya, Boonmee Yang, Kao Kalia Yang, Lyncy Yang, Nou Yang, Song Yang
Also of interest: Bamboo Among The Oaks: Contemporary Writing by Hmong Americans