There are so many good books written by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors, and to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month we would love to connect you to a few recently published novels.
If you’re an awards-watcher, you’ve probably noticed The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen is having a banner year, winning the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. The novel follows Nguyen’s unnamed narrator from his role as a young aide for a South Vietnamese Army general, through leaving just before the fall of Saigon and settling into Southern California’s Vietnamese refugee community, to his continuing work as a double agent for the North Vietnamese regime. A brilliant and revelatory look at the Vietnam War.
In the Country by Mia Alvar is a collection of stories about the Filipino diaspora. Alvar covers wide ground, telling stories of Filipinos in the United States, the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as stories of expat Filipinos returning home. Through it all are threads of displacement, isolation, and the continual effort to connect.
Re Jane by Patricia Park is loosely an homage to Jane Eyre. Half-Korean/half-white orphan Jane is unsatisfied and aimless, working first in her uncle’s grocery store, then as an au pair to a white family with an adopted Chinese daughter. A family death calls Jane back to South Korea, where she has a chance to reckon with family history and decide what she hopes for her future. This is a lovely coming-of-age novel with an engaging focus on cultural identity.
Love Love by Sung J. Woo focuses on the strange, aimless late-30s period in the lives of two siblings. Kevin, a tennis instructor who once almost played professionally, has offered to donate a kidney to his father only to learn that he’s actually adopted. Judy is coming off of a failed marriage and a failed job. For fans of family dramas like The Family Fang or zany authors like Carl Hiaasen.
Diamond Head by Cecily Wong follows the Leong family over four generations, as they relocate from China to Hawaii and build a shipping dynasty. Tracing the family through the women of each generation, the reader see marriages, love and loyalty drive the family’s rise and decline. A treat for those who love sweeping family sagas and novels by Amy Tan.
For more ideas, check out our booklist of Asian Pacific American fiction, focusing on titles published between 2014-2016.
~ posted by Andrea G.