Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: East Asian creators & stories

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and this week we are celebrating by sharing stories written by East Asian authors.

East Asian creators & stories

Second Sister by Ho-Kei Chan

Why you should try it: A smart and twisty suspense novel that also shines a light on the shadowy corners of Hong Kong.

Description: After her school-age sister commits suicide, Siu-Man refuses to believe there was no foul play and contacts a hacker known as N. to help her find the truth.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook & digital audiobook)

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Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee

Why you should try it: This wide-ranging memoir will appeal to readers of history, science, and travel narratives.

Description: After unearthing a hidden memoir of her grandfather's life, Jessica J. Lee seeks to piece together the fragments of her family's history as they moved from China to Taiwan, and then on to Canada. But as she navigates the tumultuous terrain of Taiwan, Lee finds herself having to traverse fissures in language, memory, and history, as she searches for the pieces of her family left behind.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook)

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An I-Novel by Minae Mizumura

Why you should try it: Originally published in Japan in 1995, Mizumura's experimental novel challenged Japan's literary traditions.

Description: After a phone call from her older sister reminds Minae that it is the twentieth anniversary of their family's arrival in New York, she spends the day reflecting in solitude and over the phone with her sister about their life in the United States, trying to break the news that she has decided to go back to Japan and become a writer in her mother tongue.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

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Friend by Nam-nyong Paek

Why you should try it: If for no other reason, this is the first state-sanctioned North Korean novel available in English.

Description: A tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration of love and marriage.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

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My Brilliant Life by Ae-ran Kim

Why you should try it: Ae-ran Kim is the youngest winner of multiple Korean literary awards. This novel has been called insightful and heartwarming. 

Description: Enjoying a vicarious but rich life through the stories of his parents, conversations with an older neighbor, and the books he reads, a boy pens a manuscript documenting his parents’ rather embellished romance, with riotous results.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand/Libby (ebook)

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The Blue Sky by Chinagiĭn Galsan

Why you should try it: For a small, beautifully told peek into a world few of us are familiar with.

Description: In the high Altai Mountains of northern Mongolia, the nomadic Tuvan people's ancient way of life collides with the pervasive influence of modernity as seen through the eyes of Dshurukawaa, a young shepherd boy.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

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The Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen

Why you should try it: This highly acclaimed short story collection paints a portrait of contemporary China.

Description: A debut collection inspired by the culture and diversity of China depicts the experiences of such protagonists as twins who pursue radically different careers and a government call-center worker who is stalked by a violent ex.

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Librarian Kathy

About Kathy

Kathy is a Collection Management Librarian who loves reading, sharing, and talking about books. Her missions in life are to: create communities of readers, convince folks that her official title should be "Book Pusher," and refute that "disco" is a dirty word.