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Author Event: Why Didn’t You Tell Me? with Carmen Rita Wong

In this special meeting for Spring Memoir Book Club, author Carmen Rita Wong will join us to discuss her book. All are welcome, regardless of if you have read the preceeding chapters or been to a meeting previously.

“Carmen Rita Wong has always craved a sense of belonging: First as a toddler in a warm room full of Black and brown Latina women, like her mother, Lupe, cheering her dancing during her childhood in Harlem. And in Chinatown, where her immigrant father, “Papi” Wong, a hustler, would show her and her older brother off in opulent restaurants decorated in red and gold. Then came the almost exclusively white playgrounds of New Hampshire after her mother married her stepfather, Marty, who seemed to be the ideal of the white American dad.

As Carmen entered this new world with her new family—Lupe and Marty quickly had four more children—her relationship with her mother became fraught with tension, suspicion, and conflict, explained only years later by the secrets her mother had kept for so long.

And when those secrets were revealed, bringing clarity to so much of Carmen’s life, it was too late for answers. When her mother passed away, Carmen wanted to shake her soul by its shoulders and demand: Why didn’t you tell me?

A former national television host, advice columnist, and professor, Carmen searches to understand who she really is as she discovers her mother’s hidden history, facing the revelations that seep out. Why Didn’t You Tell Me? is a riveting and poignant story of Carmen’s experience of race and culture in America and how they shape who we think we are.”

— publisher’s description

Carmen Rita Wong  received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and art history from Fairfield University and a Master’s degree in psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a writer and nonprofit board leader whose board positions include The Moth and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She was the co-creator and television host of On the Money on CNBC and was a national advice columnist for Glamour, Latina, Men’s Health, and Good Housekeeping. Wong is the author of a series of novels and two bestselling advice books. She is the founder and CEO of Malecon Productions, LLC, where she develops female-focused media and entertainment. She lives in Manhattan with her daughter.


Please rsvp by Monday, May 1st with your interest and details. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches; simple refreshments will be provided.

Where: 305 Russell

Why not enrich learning outside the classroom, meet fellow readers, and enjoy conversation on stimulating memoirs of relevance to programs at Teachers College? Spring Bookclub is co-sponsored by the Graduate Writing Center. It meets every other week throughout the semester, with a program for three books, three sessions per book. It is open to all students and staff, and the first 15 people to rsvp will receive a free copy.

To request disability-related accommodations, contact OASID at 678-3689, as early as possible.


May 02 2023


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)



Teachers College - Russell Halll
525 W 120th St #91, New York, NY 10027


Teachers College, Columbia University
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