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May 20, 2019

Books to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Books to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Review by: Ally Muterspaw

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, so read some various and works by Asian and Asian American authors to celebrate!

Death Notice, by Zhou Haohui, follows the aftermath of a respected police chief’s death in Chinese metropolis Chengdu. After Sergeant Zheng’s death, an elite police squad hunts a manipulative mastermind out to publicly execute criminals the law cannot reach. Death Notice is Coffee by the Book’s June 2019 selection.

Night Sky with Exit Woundsby Ocean Vuong, is a collection of poems that broach the subjects of grief, sexuality, and family dynamics. Vuong, whose family immigrated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War, navigates his family’s history of immigration and trauma.

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee, starts in the 1990s with teenage Suja, a fisherman’s daughter, who become pregnant and moves to Japan to raise her son. Her decision to abandon her home in Korea, and to reject her son’s powerful father, creates a ripple effect that lasts generations. Pachinko is a Fiction Fans’ June 2019 selection.

Severance, by Ling Ma, is an apocalyptic office satire that follows millennial Candance Chen, whose narrative shifts before and after a pandemic fever wipes out most of Earth’s population. Severance was Books on Tap’s selection for March 2019.

The Collected Schizophreniasby Esmé Weijun Wang is a collection of essays about the author’s personal, institutional, and medical experiences after her diagnosis with schizoaffective disorder.

The Incendiariesby R.O Kwon tells the story of Phoebe, a university student who gets tied into a cult whose leader is connected to North Korea, and her love story with fellow student Will. The Incendiaries is a Books on Tap’s October 2019 selection.

The Leavers, by Lisa Ko, tells the story of 11 year old Deming Guo, whose undocumented mother goes to her job at the nail salon and disappears without a trace.

The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, is a story about the Gangulia family’s transition into American life from their Calcutta roots. The Namesake is Coffee by the Book’s November 2019 selection.

You can check out other 2019 book club selections here!