There's a Book for That: Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month


Welcome May and Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month! In honor of the occasion, we are featuring the following recent and acclaimed fiction and nonfiction which recognizes the history, achievements and experiences of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders:

Real Americans by Rachel KhongREAL AMERICANS: A NOVEL by Rachel Khong

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK • From the award-winning author of Goodbye, Vitamin: How far would you go to shape your own destiny? An exhilarating novel of American identity that spans three generations in one family and asks: What makes us who we are? And how inevitable are our futures?




From the winner of the M.F.K. Fisher Book Prize and a New York Public Library Cullman fellow comes a sweeping narrative history of the Chinese Exclusion Act through an intimate portrayal of one family’s epic journey to lay down roots in America



The Literature of Japanese American Incarceration by THE LITERATURE OF JAPANESE AMERICAN INCARCERATION edited by Frank Abe, Floyd Cheung

This anthology presents a new vision that recovers and reframes the literature produced by the people targeted by the actions of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress to deny Americans of Japanese ancestry any individual hearings or other due process after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. From nearly seventy selections of fiction, poetry, essays, memoirs, and letters emerges a shared story of the struggle to retain personal integrity in the face of increasing dehumanization – all anchored by the key government documents that incite the action.



Hawaiian native Carissa Moore brought joy and pride to the islands when she won the first-ever, gold medal in surfing’s Olympic debut. Here she shares her story and her personal perspective, alongside contributions from many of her fellow Hawaiian surf legends, on what it means to be a surfer from Hawaii.


Memory Piece by Lisa KoMEMORY PIECE: A NOVEL by Lisa Ko

The award-winning author of The Leavers offers a visionary novel of friendship, art, and ambition that asks: What is the value of a meaningful life?




Green Frog by Gina ChungGREEN FROG: STORIES by Gina Chung

From the author of Sea Change comes a short story collection that explores Korean American womanhood, bodies, animals, and transformation as a means of survival.




Not Your China Doll by Katie Gee SalisburyNOT YOUR CHINA DOLL: THE WILD AND SHIMMERING LIFE OF ANNA MAY WONG by Katie Gee Salisbury

Set against the glittering backdrop of Los Angeles in the gin-soaked Jazz Age and the rise of Hollywood, this debut book celebrates Anna May Wong, the first Asian American movie star, to bring an unsung heroine to light to reclaim her place in cinema history.



36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem by Nam Le36 WAYS OF WRITING A VIETNAMESE POEM by Nam Le

In his first international release since the award-winning, best-selling The Boat, Nam Le delivers a shot across the bow with a book-length poem that honors every convention of diasporic literature—in a virtuosic array of forms and registers—before shattering the form itself.


Alien Daughters Walk Into the Sun by Jackie WangALIEN DAUGHTERS WALK INTO THE SUN: AN ALMANAC OF EXTREME GIRLHOOD by Jackie Wang

The early writings of renowned poet and critical theorist Jackie Wang, drawn from her early zines, indie-lit crit, and prolific early 2000s blog.



Smithsonian Asian Pacific American History, Art, and Culture in 101 Objects  by SMITHSONIAN ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HISTORY, ART, AND CULTURE IN 101 OBJECTS edited by Theodore S. Gonzalves, Lonnie G. Bunch III, Erika Lee

A rich and compelling introduction to the history of Asian Pacific American communities as told through 101 objects, from a fortune cookie baking mold to the debut Ms. Marvel comic featuring Kamala Khan


Same Bed Different Dreams by Ed ParkSAME BED DIFFERENT DREAMS: A NOVEL by Ed Park


A wild, sweeping novel that imagines an alternate secret history of Korea and the traces it leaves on the present—loaded with assassins and mad poets, RPGs and slasher films, pop bands and the perils of social media


They Called Us Exceptional by Prachi GuptaTHEY CALLED US EXCEPTIONAL: AND OTHER LIES THAT RAISED US by Prachi Gupta

An Indian American daughter reveals how the dangerous model minority myth tears families apart and wrecks mental health in this searing, brave memoir. How do we understand ourselves when the story about who we are supposed to be is stronger than our sense of self? What do we stand to gain—and lose—by taking control of our narrative? These questions propel Prachi Gupta’s heartfelt memoir, and can feel particularly fraught for many immigrants and their children, who live under immense pressure to belong in America.


For more on these and related titles visit the collection AANHPI Heritage Month

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Posted: May 9, 2024