31 May

Critical Listing: Summer Reading 2017 Asian American Edition

Because it’s the last day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and because the last few days have been filled with lists of Asian Pacific American Writers that you should be reading, here is a list of what I thought were well-curated lists and author features on this topic. It also helps that friends of mine were featured on these lists, and some of these lists were written by friends. If you’re looking for things to add to your Summer Reading Lists, please consider picking books and authors recommended in the links below.

1) Beloved Asian American Literature You Have To Read — Curated by Karissa Chen (@karissachen)

In the end, I simply decided to highlight some of the contemporary literature that has meant the most to me personally, with a greater emphasis on books that have been published in the last few years. Of course, this means I’m leaving out a good number of books that I’m sure would belong on someone else’s list. This also means the list skews heavily towards literary fiction, which is what I tend to read the most. I hope that one day Asian American literature will be so commonplace and so widely read that to try to compile a list like this will seem silly. Until then, I humbly submit twenty of my favorites, and hope this acts as a jumping off point for those looking for great Asian American writers to read.”

2) Books Featuring Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders For Kids and Teens — Curated by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang (@fkwang)

For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, NBC Asian America took a look at a few new books for children and young adults by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) writers, finding a growing number of young adult novels, middle grade readers, picture books, fantasy, and graphic novels.”

3) ‘Groundbreaking’ Asian American Poets to Read with Immigrant and Refugee RootsCurated by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang (@fkwang) & Bryan That Worra

“2016 was a groundbreaking year for many of our members in the Southeast Asian-American poetry community,” Worra told NBC News. “We’re seeing a generation of poets from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and elsewhere fully coming into their voices, drawing on their experiences as refugees in a time when we need those voices most as we confront the current conflicts around us. I’m delighted to see so many not only using their voices to discuss the past, but how it weighs in on the present and the future we might all build together.”

4) The Subversive New Generation of Asian American Writers — Curated by Karan Mahajan (@kmahaj)

“In 2008, Wesley Yang published an essay in n+1 about the Virginia Tech mass shooter; fierce, analytical, and dangerously confessional, it had a testy Naipaulian energy. Other nonfiction writers have come up concurrently or followed suit: Jay Caspian Kang, Hua Hsu, even provocateurs like Eddie Huang and Amy Chua. In fiction, Hanya Yanagihara, Ed Park, Jenny Zhang, Tao Lin, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Alice Sola Kim, Alexander Chee, and Tony Tulathimutte are renovating an ossified genre with outrageous and sometimes hypersexual scenarios. (Kang is a correspondent for VICE on HBO; Huang is the host of the VICELAND show Huang’s World; Lin, Islam, Park, and Tulathimutte are all occasional contributors to this website.) Zhang and Islam also exemplify a style of online confessional essay-writing that draws blood—and thousands of politicized readers.”

Cherisse Yanit Nadal
East Jasmine Review
@cherisseyanit || @EJReview