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Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This diverse list of fiction, biography, and non-fiction shares some of the experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Asian Americans

This five-part series traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, international relations, and cultural innovation. It is a timely, clear-eyed look at the vital role that Asian Americans have played in defining who we are as a nation. Their stories are a celebration of the grit and resilience of a people that reflects the experience of all Americans

Vai

Told from the perspectives of eight different Pacific Island cultures, directed by eight different female Pacific filmmakers, and starring eight different indigenous actresses as the title character, this portmanteau film about female empowerment tells the story of one fictitious woman's life in eight separate vignettes, each segment advancing a decade or so forward, deploying a single continuous shot where possible

Sour heart : stories by Jenny Zhang

"A debut collection of stories that plunge readers into the tender and chaotic hearts of adolescent girls growing up in New York City, from celebrated poet and National Magazine Award nominee Jenny Zhang"--

How much of these hills is gold by C Pam Zhang

"Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future."--From publisher's description

Crying in H Mart : a memoir by Michelle Zauner

"From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up the only Asian-American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon;of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence (; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. Asshe grew up, moving to the east coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Michelle Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share,and reread"--

Interior Chinatown : a novel by Charles Yu

"From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play."--

Frankly in love by David Yoon

"High school senior Frank Li takes a risk to go after a girl his parents would never approve of, but his plans will leave him wondering if he ever really understood love--or himself--at all"--

White ivy : a novel by Susie Yang

"From prizewinning and first generation Chinese American author Susie Yang comes a delicious debut novel about a young immigrant woman's obsession with her privileged male classmate - and the lengths she'll go to win his love"--

The latehomecomer : a Hmong family memoir by Kao Kalia Yang

The “unforgettable” true story of a family’s journey from the jungles of Laos to a Thailand refugee camp—and finally, to America.

American born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format

Dear girls : intimate tales, untold secrets, and advice for living your best life by Ali Wong

"In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so heavily that she became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, and why you never see new mom comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads. The sharp insights and humor are even more personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she's learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal singles life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong's letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and disgusting) for all"--

Sharks in the time of saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

"A groundbreaking debut novel that folds the legends of Hawaiian gods into an engrossing family saga; a story of exile and the pursuit of salvation"--

Home remedies : stories by Xuan Juliana Wang

"Stories about love, family, and identity in the unexplored lives of Chinese-American millennials"--

Chemistry : a novel by Weike Wang

"A novel about a young Chinese woman whose graduate studies in chemistry go off track and lead her to discover the truths about her goals and desires"--

On earth we're briefly gorgeous : a novel by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity

The color of air : a novel by Gail Tsukiyama

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai's Garden comes a gorgeous and evocative historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawai'i's sugar plantations. Daniel Abe, a young doctorin Chicago, is finally coming back to Hawai'i. He has his own reason for returning to his childhood home, but it is not to revisit the past, unlike his Uncle Koji. Koji lives with the memories of Daniel's mother, Mariko, the love of his life, and the scars of a life hard-lived. He can't wait to see Daniel, who he's always thought of as a son, but he knows the time has come to tell him the truth about his mother, and his father. But Daniel's arrival coincides with the awakening of the Mauna Loa volcano, and its dangerous path toward their village stirs both new and long ago passions in their community. Alternating between past and present-from the day of the volcano eruption in 1935 to decades prior-The Color of Air interweaves the stories of Daniel, Koji,and Mariko to create a rich, vibrant, bittersweet chorus that celebrates their lifelong bond to one other and to their immigrant community. As Mauna Loa threatens their lives and livelihoods, it also unearths long held secrets simmering below the surfacethat meld past and present, revealing a path forward for them all"--

Sigh, gone : a misfit's memoir of great books, punk rock, and the fight to fit in by Phuc Tran

"For anyone who has ever felt like they don't belong, Sigh, Gone shares an irreverent, funny, and moving tale of displacement and assimilation woven together with poignant themes from beloved works of classic literature. In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran immigrates to America along with his family. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books suchas The Metamorphosis, The Scarlett Letter, The Iliad, and more, Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, teenage rebellion, and assimilation, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his immigrant parents. Appealing to fans of coming-of-age memoirs such as Fresh Off the Boat, Running with Scissors, or tales of assimilation like Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Displaced and The Refugees, Sigh, Gone explores one man's bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy and reveals redemption and connection in books and punk rock. Against the hairspray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the '80s, he finds solace and kinship in the wisdom of classic literature, and inthe subculture of punk rock, he finds affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. In his journey for self-discovery Tran ultimately finds refuge and inspiration in the art that shapes--and ultimately saves--him"

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Encompassing two generations and a rich blend of Chinese and American history, the story of four struggling, strong women also reveals their daughters' memories and feelings

Fairest : a memoir by Meredith Talusan

"A heartrending immigrant memoir and a uniquely intersectional coming-of-age story of a life lived in duality and the in-between, and how one navigates through race, gender, and the search for love"--

They called us enemy George Takei, Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott ; Harmony Becker by George Takei

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime

Lucky boy by Shanthi Sekaran

A heart-wrenching novel that gives voice to two mothers: a young undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian-American wife whose love for one lucky boy will bind their fates together

The Island of sea women by Lisa See

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village's all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook's mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook's differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother's position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

Midnight in broad daylight : a Japanese American family caught between two worlds by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II--an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption, this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.-Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.

A woman is no man : a novel by Etaf Rum

Three generations of Palestinian-American women in contemporary Brooklyn are torn by individual desire, educational ambitions, a devastating tragedy, and the strict mores of traditional Arab culture

Passage west : a novel by Rishi Reddi

"A sweeping, vibrant first novel following a family of Indian sharecroppers at the onset of World War I, revealing an unknown part of California history"--

The farm : a novel by Joanne Ramos

Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you’re paid big money to stay here—more than you’ve ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks—or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on the delivery of her child.

If you see me, don't say hi : stories by Neel author Patel

A story collection by a first-generation Indian American gives voice to, and undermines, deeply held stereotypes through the subversive choices of protagonists who confront racism, discontinue hypocritical social mores, and navigate impossible secrets

The committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

"The astonishing sequel to The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, The Committed follows the "man of two minds" as he comes to Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese "aunt," he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise-but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen. Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position inthe firmament of American letters"--

The sympathizer : a novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The story of a South Vietnamese captain -- a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America -- who returns to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause

The refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

"Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer was one of the most widely and highly praised novels of 2015, the winner not only of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but also the Center for Fiction Debut Novel Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the ALA Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the California Book Award for First Fiction. Nguyen's next fiction book, The Refugees, is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. With the coruscating gaze that informed The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. The second piece of fiction by a major new voice in American letters, The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives"--

New waves by Kevin Nguyen

"Lucas and Margo are fed up. Margo is a brilliant programmer tired of being talked over as the company's sole black employee, and while Lucas is one of many Asians at the firm, he's nearly invisible as a low-paid customer service rep. Together, they decide to steal their tech start-up's user database in an attempt at revenge. The heist takes a sudden turn when Margo dies in a car accident, and Lucas is left reeling, wondering what to do with their secret--and wondering whether her death really was an accident. When Lucas hacks into Margo's computer looking for answers, he is drawn into her secret online life and realizes just how little he knew about his best friend. With a fresh voice, biting humor, and piercing observations about human nature, Kevin Nguyen brings an insider's knowledge of the tech industry to this imaginative novel. A pitch-perfect exploration of race and start-up culture, secrecy and surveillance, social media and friendship, New Waves asks: How well do we really know each other? And how do we form true intimacy and connection in a tech-obsessed world?"--

Long live the tribe of fatherless girls : a memoir by T Kira Madden

"The acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut is a memoir about coming of age as a queer, biracial teenager within the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where cult-like privilege, shocking social and racialdisparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hide in plain sight. As a child in Florida, T Kira Madden lived a life of extravagance--from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoes, she had plenty to envy. But beneath the surface, life in "the rat's mouth" of Boca Raton was dangerous. Left to her own devices as both parents battled drug addiction, Kira navigated the perils of coming of age too quickly, and without guidance--oblivious parents and misguided babysitters at home, tormentors at school, sexual predators at the mall, and the confused, often destructive, desperately loving friendship of fatherless girls. With unflinching honesty and moving, lyrical prose, and spanning from1960's Hawai'i to the nip and tuck rooms of 1990s Florida to the present-day struggle of a young woman in a culture of harassment, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is the story of families both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful" --

Severance by Ling Ma

A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.

The hidden girl and other stories by Ken Liu

"From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years-sixteen of his best-plus a new novelette. In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne"--

Natalie Tan's book of luck and fortune by Roselle Lim

At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant. The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

Must I go : a novel by Yiyun Li

"Lilia Liska has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children, and seen the arrival of seventeen grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to the diary of a man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had an affair--the man who was the father of her daughter Lucy. Lilia tells her rather different version of events revealing the surprising, long-held secrets of her past. And she returns inexorably to her daughter, Lucy, who took her own life at the age of twenty-seven. This is a novelabout life in all its messy glory--life lived, for the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on her own terms. With great candor and insight, Yiyun Li writes of a life of resilience, loss and rebirth"--

Number one Chinese restaurant : a novel by Lillian Li

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

"A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of The Kite Runner and Cutting for Stone. PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity"--

Asian Americans in the twenty-first century : oral histories of first- to fourth-generation Americans from China, Japan, India, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos by Joann Faung Jean Lee

The collective term "Asian American" comprises more than twenty distinct nationalities and ethnic groups, and today there are more than 12 million Asian Pacific Americans living in the United States. In this all-new collection of fascinating interviews with students, lawyers, engineers, politicians, stay-at-home moms, and activists, Joann Faung Jean Lee again draws upon her great skill and sensitivity as a journalist to reveal a rich mosaic of Asian American identities.

The making of asian america by Erika Lee

In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day.An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States. From the sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s to the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States only to face massive racial discrimination, and from the Asian exclusion laws of the nineteenth century to Japanese American incarceration during World War II. Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a "despised minority," Asian Americans are now held up as America's "model minorities" in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States.Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the United States' Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that has remade our "nation of immigrants," this is a new and definitive history of Asian Americans. But more than that, it is a new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today

My year abroad by Chang-rae Lee

"From the award-winning author of NATIVE SPEAKER and ON SUCH A FULL SEA, a brilliant, exuberant and entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese-American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on a global adventure"--

What we carry : a memoir by Maya Lang

"How much can you judge another woman's choices? What if that woman is your mother? Maya Lang grew up idolizing her brilliant mother, an accomplished psychologist who immigrated to the United States from India, completed her residency and earned an American medical degree--all while nurturing young children and keeping a traditional Indian home. Maya grew up with her mother's stories ringing in her ears, motivating her, encouraging her, offering solace when she needed it. But after Maya moves across the country and becomes a mother herself, everything changes. Their connection, which had once seemed so invulnerable, begins to fray. Maya's mother, once attentive and capable, becomes a grandmother who is cold and distant. As Maya herself confronts the challenges of motherhood, she realizes that the one person on whom she has always relied cannot be there for her. But she does not understand why. Maya begins to reexamine the stories of her childhood in search of answers to her questions about what is happening to her family. Who is her mother, really? Were the stories she told--about life in India, about what it means to be an immigrant in America, about what it means to be a mother--ever really true? Affecting, raw, and poetic, The Woman in the River is onewoman's investigation into her mother's past, the myths she believed, the truths she learned, and her realization that being able to accept both myth and reality is what has finally brought her into adulthood. This is the story of a daughter and her mother, of lies and truths, of being cared by and caring for; it is the story of how we can never really grow up until we fully understand the people who raised us"--

Butterfly yellow by Thanhha Lai

A Vietnam War refugee in Texas partners with a city boy with rodeo dreams to track down the younger brother she was separated from six years before when he was evacuated by American troops during the waning days of the Vietnam War.

Girl in translation by Jean Kwok

When 11-year-old Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life, like her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition, Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but also herself as she shifts between two completely different worlds

Crazy rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son's relationship with an American girl

The leavers : a novel by Lisa Ko

"One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. Set in New York and China, the Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past"--

The woman warrior : memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston

A first-generation Chinese-American woman recounts growing up in America within a tradition-bound Chinese family, and confronted with Chinese ghosts from the past and non-Chinese ghosts of the present

The last story of mina lee : A novel. by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

"Suspenseful and deeply felt." —Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists "Fans of Amy Tan and Kristin Hannah will love Kim's brilliant debut." — Booklist , starred review "Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a knockout." —Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things A poignant mother-daughter story and surprising mystery, The Last Story of Mina Lee is an electrifying debut novel that illustrates the devastating realities of being an immigrant in America. Margot Lee's mother, Mina, isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous strings that held together her single mother's life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother. Interwoven with Margot's present-day search is Mina's story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she's barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a string of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death. Told through the intimate lens of a mother and daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, The Last Story of Mina Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a profound family saga that explores identity, secrets and what it truly means to belong

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

"A literary courtroom thriller about a mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son"--

The resisters : a novel by Gish Jen

An audacious wonder of a novel about baseball and a future America, from the always inventive and exciting author of The Love Wife and Who's Irish. The time: Some thirty-five years hence. The place: AutoAmerica--governed by "Aunt Nettie," an iBurrito of AI algorithms and the internet, in a land half under water. The people: Divided into the angelfair "Netted," whose fate it is to have jobs and live on high ground, and the mostly coppertoned "Surplus," whose jobs have been stripped and whose sole duty now is to consume, living in plastic houses that talk and multi-colored houseboats at the water's edge. Neither group is happy. The story: A Surplus family--he was once a professor, she is still a lawyer--has a girl child, Gwen, who's born with a golden arm. By two she can throw her toy animals straight to the same spot every time. When AutoAmerica and ChinRussia decide to revive the Olympics, suddenly Gwen, who's been playing in the Resisters League her parents have organized, is in great demand. Soon she's at angelfair university, Net U, falling in love with her baseball coach and facing questions of "crossing over," while her mother and her "group" are bringing charges before the botjudge about Surplus rights. An amazing story of a world that looks only too possible, and a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that daily threaten their every value as well as their very existence

Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human. Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is

Fresh off the boat : a memoir by Eddie Huang

A Taiwanese-American rebel restaurateur chronicles his rise to success from his difficult childhood in the American South to his decision to embrace all he had learned about food in his father's restaurants and his mother's kitchen to create his own culinary identity

A river of stars : a novel by Vanessa Hua

"In a powerful debut novel about motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California and stakes a claim to the American dream. Holed up with other moms-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles, Scarlett Chenis far from her native China, where she worked in a factory job and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung. Now she's carrying his baby. Already married with three daughters, he's overjoyed because the doctors confirmed he will finally have the son he has always wanted. To ensure that his son has every advantage, he has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil. U.S. citizenship will open doors for their little prince. As Scarlett awaits the baby's arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend. Then a new sonogram of Scarlett's baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van--only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. They flee to San Francisco's bustling Chinatown, where Scarlett will join countless immigrants desperately trying toseize their piece of the American dream. What Scarlett doesn't know is that her baby's father is not far behind her. --

Minor feelings : an Asian American reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

"Asian Americans inhabit a purgatorial status: neither white enough nor black enough, unmentioned in most conversations about racial identity. In the popular imagination, Asian Americans are all high-achieving professionals. But in reality, this is the most economically divided group in the country, a tenuous alliance of people with roots from South Asia to East Asia to the Pacific Islands, from tech millionaires to service industry laborers. How do we speak honestly about the Asian American condition--ifsuch a thing exists? Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively confronts this thorny subject, blending memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose the truth of racialized consciousness in America. Binding these essays togetheris Hong's theory of "minor feelings." As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality--when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and artmaking, and to family and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche--and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth"--

The kiss quotient by Helen Hoang

"Stella Lane comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional--which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. With the looks of a K-drama star and the martial arts moves to match, the Vietnamese-Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer. And when she comes up with a lesson plan, he proves willing to help her check off all the boxes--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position. Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all of the other things he's making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.."--

Heart of fire : an immigrant daughter's story by Mazie Hirono

"Mazie Hirono is one of the most fiercely outspoken Democrats in Congress, but her journey to the U.S. Senate was far from likely. Raised poor on her family's rice farm in rural Japan, Hirono was seven years old when her mother left her abusive husband and sailed with her two elder children to the United States, crossing the Pacific in steerage in search of a better life. Though the girl then known as "Keiko" did not speak English when she entered school in Hawaii, she would go on to hold state and national office, winning election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. This intimate and inspiring memoir traces her remarkable life from her upbringing in Hawaii, where the family first lived in a single room in a Honolulu boarding house while her mother worked two jobs to keep them afloat; to her emergence as a highly effective legislator whose determination to help the most vulnerable was grounded in her own experiences of economic insecurity, lack of healthcare access, and family separation. Finally, it chronicles her evolution from dogged yet soft-spoken public servant into the fiery critic and advocate we know her as today. For the vast majority of Mazie Hirono's five decades in public service, even as she fought for the causes she believed in, she strove to remain polite and reserved. Steeped in the non-confrontational cultures of Japan and Hawaii, and aware of the expectation that women in politics should never show an excess of emotion, she had schooled herself to bite her tongue, even as her male colleagues continually underestimated her. After the 2016 election, however, it was clear that she could moderate herself no longer. In the face of an autocratic administration, Hirono was called to at last give voice to the fire that had always been inside her. The moving and galvanizing account of a woman coming into her own power over the course of a lifetime in public service, and of the mother who encouraged her immigrant daughter's dreams, Heart of Fire is the story of a uniquely American journey, written by oneof those fighting hardest to ensure that a story like hers is still possible"--

Patriot number one : American dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers

In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch. Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing's Chinese community relies on for survival. With a novelist's eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream. --

The fortunes : a novel by Peter Ho Davies

Explores a century of American history through the lives of Chinese Americans, using the lives of four individuals to depict how an immigrant community survives and ultimately becomes American in the process

All you can ever know : a memoir by Nicole Chung

Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up; facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn't see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from, she wondered if the story she'd been told was the whole truth

The tenth muse by Catherine Chung

From the days of her childhood in the 1950s Midwest, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem. As she matures from a girl of rare intelligence into an exceptional mathematician, traveling to Europe to further her studies, she must face the most human of problems—who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition? These questions grow ever more entangled as Katherine strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and becomes involved with a brilliant and charismatic professor. When she embarks on a quest to conquer the Riemann hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that may hold both the lock and the key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her, and discovers how seemingly distant stories, lives, and ideas are inextricably linked to her own.

Trust exercise : a novel by Susan Choi

In 1982 in a southern city, David and Sarah, two freshmen at a highly competitive performing arts high school, thrive alongside their school peers in a rarified bubble, ambitiously devoting themselves to their studies―to music, to movement, to Shakespeare and, particularly, to classes taught by the magnetic acting teacher Mr. Kingsley. It is here in these halls that David and Sarah fall innocently and powerfully into first love. And also where, as this class of students rises through the ranks of high school, the outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and the future, does not affect them―until it does―in a sudden spiral of events that brings a startling close to the first part of this novel

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters.

When I grow up I want to be a list of further possibilities by Chen Chen

"In this ferocious and tender debut, Chen Chen investigates inherited forms of love and family -- the strained relationship between a mother and son, the cost of necessary goodbyes -- all from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives. Holding allaccountable, this collection fully embraces the loss, grief, and abundant joy that come with charting one's own path in identity, life, and love. When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. To be a season of laughter when my father sayshis coworker is like that, he can tell because the guy wears pink socks, see, you don't, so you can't, you can't be one of them. To be the one my parents raised me to be. A season from the stormiest planet. A very good feeling with a man. Every feeling,in pink shoes. Every step, hot pink."--

We are not free by Traci Chee

For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare: attacked, spat on, and abused with no way to retaliate--and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps.

Days of distraction : a novel by Alexandra Chang

As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, she reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and start-up bros while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. And when her longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to a quiet upstate New York town for grad school, she sees an excuse to cut and run. Moving is supposed to be a grand gesture of her commitment to J and a way to reshape her sense of self. But in the process, she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you?

Your house will pay : a novel by Steph Cha

In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it's been since the unrest of the early 1990s. But Grace Park and Shawn Matthews have their own problems. Grace is sheltered and largely oblivious, living in the Valley with her Korean-immigrant parents, working long hours at the family pharmacy. She's distraught that her sister hasn't spoken to their mother in two years for reasons beyond Grace's understanding. Shawn has already had enough of politics and protest after an act of violence shattered his family years ago. He just wants to be left alone to enjoy his quiet life in Palmdale. But when another shocking crime hits LA, both the Park and Matthews families are forced to face down their shared history while navigating the tumult of a city on the brink of more violence

If I had your face : a novel by Frances Cha

"Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a "room salon," an exclusive bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may come to threaten her livelihood. Her roomate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea's biggest companies. Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplance. And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy. Together, their stories tell a gripping tale that's seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace"--

Family in six tones : a refugee mother, an American daughter by Lan Cao

"A mother-daughter memoir exploring loss, love, and healing, told in two alternating voices, from the critically acclaimed novelist and her teenage daughter"--

Likes by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

"A new collection from an acclaimed author weaves together the real and unreal, fairy tale, sci-fi, and myth"--

The best we could do : an illustrated memoir by Thi Bui

An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui. This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent-the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home

Speak, Okinawa : a memoir by Elizabeth Miki Brina

"A searing, deeply candid memoir about a young woman's journey to understanding her complicated parents--her father a Vietnam veteran, her mother an Okinawan war bride--and her own, fraught cultural heritage. Elizabeth's mother was working as a nightclubhostess on U.S.-occupied Okinawa when she met the American soldier who would become her husband. The language barrier and power imbalance that defined their early relationship followed them to the predominantly white, upstate New York suburb where they moved to raise their only daughter. There, Elizabeth grew up with the trappings of a typical American childhood and adolescence. Yet, even though she felt almost no connection to her mother's distant home, she also felt out of place among her peers. Decadeslater, Elizabeth comes to recognize the shame and self-loathing that haunt both her and her mother, and attempts a form of reconciliation, not only to come to terms with the embattled dynamics of her family but also to reckon with the injustices that reverberate throughout the history of Okinawa and its people. Clear-eyed and profoundly humane, Speak, Okinawa is a startling accomplishment--a heartfelt exploration of identity, inheritance, forgiveness, and what it means to be an American"--

Unbecoming : a memoir by Anuradha Kristina Bhagwati

"A raw, unflinching, and inspirational memoir by a former United States Marine Captain describing her journey from dutiful daughter of immigrants to wide-eyed recruit to radical activist dedicated to effecting historic policy reform in the military. Aftera lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons her grad school career at Harvard University to join the Marines. It's the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military: the perfect place forher to prove that she's the ultimate Cool Girl, someone who can brawl with the boys in every sense of the word. Or at least that's what she thinks. From the moment training begins, Anuradha's G.I. Jane fantasy is punctured. As a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faces adversity and underestimation at every stage, confronting misogyny, racism, abuse, and astonishing injustice perpetrated by those in power. Pushing herself beyond her limits to prove her ability, she is forced to wrestle with what exactly drove her to pursue such punishment and violence in the first place. Once her service concludes in 2004, instead of retreating and putting it all behind her, she decides to do the exact opposite: take to task the leaders and outmoded conventionsthat she found so objectionable and even dangerous. Full of strength, courage, and heroic resilience, Unbecoming is about one woman who learned to believe in herself in spite of everything; it is the kind of story that will light a fire beneath you, andthat will inspire our next generation of fierce female heroes to always persist"--

We ride upon sticks : a novel by Quan Barry

"From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You're Born--a new novel, at once comic and moving, set in 1989 Danvers, Massachusetts, where a high school field hockey team discovers that the witchcraft of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season. In this tour de female force, the Danvers High School Falcons Varsity is on an unaccountable streak. In chapters dense with '80s iconography--from Heathers to Big Hair--Quan Barry expertly weaves the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team: the quiet, husky goalie Mel Boucher, who signs her name to a pledge of darkness in a notebook with heartthrob Emilio Estevez on the cover; the top bitch forward, Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond "Claw" sees and knows all; the good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the famous Salem witness Ann Putnam), who is hesitant to sign her name to the Emilio pact; AJ Johnson, the team's one black player, for whom enchantment brings racial awakening; the untouchably beautiful Girl Cory and her name-twin Boy Cory, who plays this female sport for his own reasons. These "witches" and their teammates are as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flouting society's stale notions of femininity to find their true selves in a celebration of teen girldom in all its glory"--

Trail of broken wings by Sejal Badani

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she'd fled years before. Her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay. Buried secrets rise to the surface, and as their father's condition worsens the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets

Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

"Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines' present and America's past by the PEN Open Book Award-winning author of Gun Dealer's Daughter. Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on aroad trip in Duterte's Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created "a howling wilderness" of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara's film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator--one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher. Within the spiraling voices and narrative layers of Insurrecto are stories of women--artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters--findingtheir way to their own truths and histories. Using interlocking voices and a kaleidoscopic structure, the novel is startlingly innovative, meditative, and playful. Insurrecto masterfully questions and twists narrative in the manner of Italo Calvino's Ifon a Winter's Night a Traveler, Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch, and Nabokov's Pale Fire. Apostol pushes up against the limits of fiction in order to recover the atrocity in Balangiga, and in so doing, she shows us the dark heart of an untold and forgotten warthat would shape the next century of Philippine and American history"--

In the country : stories by Mia Alvar

A short-story collection from an exciting new writer--vivid, character-driven stories about Filipinos from every walk of life. Mia Alvar's stunning debut gives us a vivid, insightful picture of the Filipino diaspora: exiles and emigrants and wanderers uprooting their families to begin new lives in the Middle East and America--and, sometimes, turning back.
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