"...an inspiring manifesto on building the Beloved Community."

—Helen Zia

The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice


edited by Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, & Preeti Sharma

with Kristina Wong & Rebecca Solnit

University of California Press
October 2021

cover image (final).jpeg

“During this terrible time, when people like me are being attacked, the Auntie Sewing Squad gives me heart. They have written a practical guide—including patterns—for making masks, making community, and making us safer. Thank you, Aunties.”

——Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Fifth Book of Peace and winner of the National Book Award

 

“This is far more than the important account of women warriors, armed with sewing needles, who organized organically yet deliberately into a movement for social change in the time of Covid——it's an inspiring manifesto on building the Beloved Community. Please follow up with the Field Manual for global distribution!”

——Helen Zia, author of Asian American Dreams and Last Boat out of Shanghai

 

 

“The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice is a wonderful, motley, no-bullshit collective history of a singular and beautiful mutual aid project—a collective that, in crafting and distributing masks as an expression of radical solidarity and capacity-building, reclaims the politicization of masks from the Right. In valuing care and beauty, embracing individual multiplicity and internal debate, the Aunties have assembled a subversive vision of liberation through accountability. This book makes for encouraging, galvanizing company for anyone interested in translating desire into action and moving from isolation into community.”

——Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror

“Sewing, like this book, is bringing together pieces of life to create a new being. We stitch together the parts of ourselves that feel raw and unfinished and we are clothed and rendered, reborn in full.”

——Margaret Cho, Grammy and Emmy Award–nominated comedian, actress, and singer-songwriter

 

“This is the book that we need right now! Through prose, poetry, interviews and memoir, this inspiring collection shares the power of women of color, predominantly Asian American women, forming grass-roots, guerrilla-style sewing groups to care for racialized and indigenous communities suffering disproportionately from COVID-19, systemic poverty, and state violence. These badass Asian Aunties offer a model for us all.”

——Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, author of Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era and  Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity

 

“This indispensable book presents an unseen side of the restructuring of the global economy, which placed feminized Asian labor at the center of both garment production and reproductive and care labor. The Auntie Sewing Squad's work also critiques the notion that market forces will step in to solve the problem of state failure, as they realized that even inexpensive masks were inaccessible to the most vulnerable communities. From all this comes an expanded and vital conception of solidarity.”

——Grace Hong, author of Death Beyond Disavowal: The Impossible Politics of Difference

 

“Decades later, these stories will shimmer as individual and collective testimonies of how a multigenerational, grassroots coalition of mask-making ‘aunties’ saved lives AND celebrated life during a worldwide pandemic. This book sparks joy! It vivifies ‘creativity as resistance’ and everyday activism in ways that will add depth and breadth to the transdisciplinary study of social movements and social justice.”

——Vickie Nam, editor of YELL-Oh Girls! Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American

“This book captures the importance of mutual aid and how mostly Asian American, Black, Indigenous and Queer and Trans people of color respond at the intersection of feminism, racial justice, and gender fluidity.”

——Yvonne Yen Liu, Co-Founder and Research Director, Solidarity Research Center

“The Auntie Sewing Squad is a true inspiration as its single-minded, energetic and growing membership consistently finds ways to repair, with the power of many individual hands, our worn, frayed, negligent public response to this pandemic.”

——David Harrington, Kronos Quartet

The Auntie Sewing Squad has been featured by Good Morning America, USA Today, CNN, Washington Post, LA Times, and more.

Check out the Q&A with the Editors in UC Press' Fall Catalog.