This May the Piscataway Public Library is celebrating Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month by highlighting books written by Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, books that feature APA protagonists, and memoirs about APA experiences. Whether you are looking to read fiction, nonfiction, a memoir, or a biography, visit our displays at Kennedy and Westergard for a variety of books to choose from. Here are some of the titles on display:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Set in the early 1900s, Sunja falls in love with a rich stranger at the seashore in Korea. Upon finding out that she is pregnant with the man’s child, and that her lover is in fact married, she must make difficult choices for herself and her unborn child, which includes abandoning her family and marrying a minister. However, by rejecting the father of her child in the process, the impact of her decisions affect many generations afterwards. Korean American author Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko “is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty” that ranked among the New York Times Top Ten Books of the Year in 2017. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
After being referred to as Jane Doe in the famous Brock Turner sexual assault case, Chanel Miller writes an eye opening memoir about her traumatizing experience after being sexual assaulted by Turner on Stanford’s college campus. As a Chinese American woman, Miller writes to “illuminate a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indict a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shine with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.” Miller is an extraordinary writer whose courage has inspired many to speak out about their own experiences of assault. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.
Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi
Jayne and June Baek are sisters who could not be more different. After moving from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together, their relationship has disintegrated and they no longer wish to be part of each other’s lives. However, when June is diagnosed with cancer, both sisters must learn to confront their differences and in the midst may discover they have more in common then they thought.
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Willis Wu does not see himself as a unique Asian man, describing himself as “generic Asian man” or even “disgraced son” among many more. He dreams of being “Kung Fu guy” to gain respect from his Asian and American peers. As Willis finds himself in the spotlight, he also begins to learn about the secrets of Chinatown, his family’s legacy, and the roles that he so badly wants to free himself from. Described as one of the funniest books of the year by the Washington Post, Interior Chinatown will make you cheer. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.
If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar
A collection of poems that discuss the experiences of a Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America, If They Come For Us explores violence, joy, anguish, and identity. Asghar “seamlessly braids together marginalized people’s histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging” in a beautiful collection of poems that transcend race.”
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
This memoir explores Nicole Chung’s experiences being born to two Korean parents but growing up as an adopted child to a white family in Oregon. After believing for so many years that her adoption was a prepackaged story of sacrifice from her biological parents giving her a better life, Chung begins to unravel the true nature of her adoption in order to figure out who she really is. This memoir is “vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.” This title is available as a downloadable ebook.
The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez
Nia is the captain of a faster-than-light ship that travels between space and time. When a mysterious boy falls out of the sky, Nia forms a relationship with him, although he can not talk or communicate. When Nia discovers that there is something strange about the boy, something that could change the world forever, everything she thought she knew about family and sacrifice begins to change. Jimenez is a Filipino American author and his debut science fiction novel has astounded readers since its debut earlier this year. This title is available as a downloadable ebook.
The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar
Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable in their university days. They fought for change and to one day see a better world. However, over the course of thirty years they have drifted apart. It is not until one of them falls ill that they decide to come back together, even if this means facing broken dreams, lost love, the hope for freedom and acceptance. Indian American author Thrity Umirigar’s novel The World We Found “offers an unforgettable portrait of modern India while exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and the power of love to change lives.”