We want to celebrate the contribution of all Asian and Pacific Islanders to literature world! We want to highlight their voices and share literature that will bring awareness to the many social problems they faced and are facing. We want to make sure that we are learning about others and that we are fighting against injustice.
The list below, we are including books that we have read wonders about, books that we can testify about how amazing they are, and other books that we are currently enjoying to celebrate AAPI. Checking this reading list of AAPI books and join us in this celebration!
Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines; he’s the author of An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes, After the Shot Drops, and Patron Saints of Nothing, a powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.
I started a few months ago this book on audio and the narration was really good. The story seems to go over really difficult topics from the death of a cousin, political distress of a country, and the consequences of drugs.
Celeste Ng was born in Pennsylvania after her parents moved from Hong Kong to the States. Everything I Never Told You was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. This novel is the story of a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are positive that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the small and delicate balance of the Lee family burns hot with sorrow and guilt.
Everything I never Told You is a slow but powerful story of grief, rejection, motherhood, family values and expectations. I read this a few years back and it is worth go over it again. (Check this review here)
Lisa Ko was born in New York City. She is the daughter of Chinese immigrants from the Philippines.
One morning, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes back home. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and alone in the world. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate. This story is told from different perspectives, Daniel’s, (Deming’s) as he grows old into a directionless young-man, and Polly’s, one of fiction’s most singular mothers. Set in New York and China, The Leavers examines of borders and belonging.
You can read this book for free as it is part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Michelle Zauner was born in Seoul, South Korea. Her mother was Korean and her father was an American Jewish. Her parents moved to Eugene, Oregon when she was nine months old. From the indie rock star 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.
A different kind of book from the list, this non-fiction novel is perfect to see the lives of others and understand better about a culture we are not part of.
Ling Ma is a Chinese American novelist and Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago.
Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: she goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend. Candace is so focused on her routine that she barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York City.
This novel was part of the Book of the Month subscription and a New York Times book, I honestly got this on sale and I am dying to read it! I love the simplicity of the cover and I will share my thoughts on this soon!
Kazuo Ishiguro was born in a Japan and moved to Britain in 1960’s and he is consider one of the most celebrated contemporary writers en English and holder of a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Klara and the Sun tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities. The story is narrated from her eyes and we can see the change in the world through her eyes; however, she puts in front of us one of the most difficult questions to answer: what is love?
I am currently listening to this audiobook, and this great story was part of Good Morning America!
Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel for months to reach a hostile country where feudal lords force the faithful to renounce their beliefs through torture. Shusaku Endo is one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and Silence is widely considered to be his great masterpiece.
I am currently reading this title, and, from the forward and introduction, you can feel and understand the power and significance of this story in matters of theology. Stay tuned to know more about our experience on these incredible titles.
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