Dear Elia: Letters from the Asian American Abyss (Paperback)
In dear elia Mimi Kh c revolutionizes how we understand mental health. Kh c traces the contemporary Asian American mental health crisis from the university into the maw of the COVID-19 pandemic, reenvisioning mental health through a pedagogy of unwellness--the recognition that we are all differentially unwell. In an intimate series of letters, she bears witness to Asian American unwellness up close and invites readers to recognize in it the shapes and sources of their own unwellness. Kh c draws linkages between student experience, the Asian immigrant family, the adjunctification of the university, and teaching methods pre- and post-COVID-19 to illuminate hidden roots of our collective unwellness: shared investments in compulsory wellness and meritocracy. She reveals the university as a central node and engine of unwellness and argues that we can no longer do Asian American studies without Asian American mental health--and vice versa. Interspersed throughout the book are reflective activities, including original tarot cards, that enact the very pedagogy Kh c advances, offering readers alternative ways of being that divest from structures of unwellness and open new possibilities for collective care.