September’s Book Club Selection: HEART RADICAL

Cover of Heart Radical

Hello, everyone! I hope your September has been off to a good start. I am so excited to present this month’s selection, HEART RADICAL: A SEARCH FOR LANGUAGE, LOVE, AND BELONGING by Anne Liu Kellor.

Here’s a little bit about the book, in Anne’s own words, from her website: “I wanted to understand how my path was tied to my mother tongue. As a young, multiracial, bilingual American woman, I traveled through China, the country of my mother’s birth. Along the way, I tried on different roles—spiritual seeker, English teacher, student of Chinese, girlfriend, artist, and daughter—and continually asked myself: Why am I called to make this journey”

I met Anne through this book club and also invited her to read at the bookstore where I used to work. Her reading was thought-provoking and insightful and Anne is wonderful speaker – I know you will all love getting to chat with her during the Author Visit portion of the book club.

In related, exciting news, HEART RADICAL was recently announced as one of the 2022 Washington State Book Awards finalists in the memoir category.

I hope you will be able to read along with us this month and make it to the book club – registration details are below. I’m looking forward to sharing HEART RADICAL with you.

Happy Reading!
❤ , Grace

Date: Saturday, September 24th
Time: 6 PM PST (UTC-7)
Author : Anne Liu Kellor
Book: Heart Radical: A Search For Language, Love, And Belonging

Please register in advance for this session at:

Even if you have attended a previous Boarding Pass Book Club, this is a new Zoom meeting, specific for the upcoming book club, so you will need to register again.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Wanting to understand how her path is tied to her mother tongue, Anne, a young, multiracial American woman, travels through China, the country of her mother’s birth. Along the way, she tries on different roles—seeker, teacher, student, girlfriend, artist, and daughter—and continually asks herself: Why do I feel called to make this journey?

Whether witnessing a Tibetan sky burial, teaching English at a university in Chengdu, visiting her grandmother in LA, or falling in love with a Chinese painter, Anne is always in pursuit of intimacy with others, even as she is all too aware of her silences and separation. For two years, she settles into a comfortable routine in her boyfriend’s apartment and regains fluency in Chinese, a language she spoke as a young child but has used less and less as an adult. Eventually, however, her desire to know herself in other ways surfaces again. She misses speaking English, she feels suffocated by urban, polluted China, and she starts to fall for another man. Ultimately, Anne realizes that to live her truth as a mixed-race, bilingual woman she must embrace all of her influences and layers. In a world that often wants us to choose a side or fit an ideal, she learns that she can both belong and not belong wherever she is, and that home is ultimately found within.


Photo of Anne Liu Kellor from her website

Learn more about Anne on her website:

Anne Liu Kellor is a mixed-race Chinese American writer, editor, and teacher based in Seattle. Her essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, Longreads, Fourth Genre, Witness, New England Review, Entropy, The Normal School, Los Angeles Review, Literary Mama, and many more. She earned her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles, and is the recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, The Seventh Wave, Jack Straw Writers Program, 4Culture, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Anne teaches writing workshops and leads writing retreats across the Pacific Northwest. She also facilitates a year-long creative nonfiction manuscript program for womxn seeking mentorship and community.