May is Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month! We’ve put together a short list of notable fiction and nonfiction eBooks and audiobooks that celebrate the achievements and history of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities of America.
“Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. Every day, he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here too. . . but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy—the highest aspiration he can imagine for a Chinatown denizen. Or is it?
After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family, and what that means for him, in today’s America.”
“In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail — the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase — that opens whole worlds of emotion.”
“In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant—and that her lover is married—she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.”
“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 . . . A River of Stars is a vivid examination of home and belonging and a moving portrayal of a woman determined to build her own future.”
“Renowned artist Ai Weiwei engaged nearly 900,000 visitors in a conversation about human rights with his art installation @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. In one participatory piece, Yours Truly, visitors sent 92,829 postcards to prisoners of conscience around the world. This book delves into those postcards’ lasting impact. Five former prisoners and their loved ones reflect on the experience of receiving hundreds of postcards while imprisoned. Essays and a statement by Ai Weiwei contextualize this extraordinary project. And photographs taken during the exhibition show visitors and the messages they wrote.”
Hoopla: Graphic Novel
“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.”
“This book recounts the history of India and much of present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as the factors that have contributed to India’s epic economic successes in recent times.”
“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.”
There is plenty more where that came from! By using our reading apps, CloudLibrary, Hoopla, *OverDrive, and rbDigital, you have access to thousands of audiobooks and eBooks that you can listen to or read to celebrate APAHM 2020!
*FTPL patrons will have access to OverDrive until June 30th, 2020. Access has been graciously provided by the Somerset County Library System. Please click here to learn more.
Questions? Want to share what you’re reading? Leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading,