PNW Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors

Image of Tweet from Nicole Chung: work by Asian American writers is always timely

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month, but as author Nicole Chung noted, “work by Asian American writers is always timely.” The library has created some fantastic lists celebrating Asian American writers and artists for all ages to explore, but I wanted to call attention to some Pacific Northwest Asian American and Pacific Islander authors and books to explore this May and beyond.

Book cover image for My Forgotten Seattle

Current Library Board member Ron Chew served as the editor for the International Examiner, the Asian American community paper, for more than a decade, but as Carey Quan Gelernter says in the introduction to Chew’s memoir, My Unforgotten Seattle, when asked 25-years-prior whether Gelernter could write a profile on him Chew was reticent: “He protested that he wasn’t interesting, or important, enough.” Thank goodness Chew later consented to be interviewed, mainly out of his commitment to sharing the good work of the Wing Luke Museum. We are all the more fortunate that years later Chew decided to pen a memoir imparting the depth of knowledge he had to share on his years as an activist and storyteller in Seattle. My Unforgotten Seattle is steeped in history and a deep connection with the Asian American community whose lives and stories Chew reveals with appreciation and care. Continue reading “PNW Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors”

WA Do I Read Next? (Part 3)

In the final post of our trilogy of WA Do I Read Next suggestions, we share a few more recently published titles by local authors. (For more, see this Here is  list of many of the books we talked about at this year’s online conference.

Conventionally Yours, by Annabeth Albert (Sourcebooks) This is a sweet, new-adult M/M romance with YA crossover appeal. Conrad Stewart has classically handsome looks, but his hunky exterior hides the fact that he is living life on a knife edge ever since his parents threw him out for being gay. He finds community in a group at a game store where one of his professors runs a tight crew of tabletop enthusiasts. But he does not get along with another fellow college student in the crew–Alden Roth, an uptight rich kid born with everything handed to him. Alden is always giving Conrad crap, and that they are competing on more than one level doesn’t help. But when the opportunity to compete at a national con presents itself, a road trip opens up the stories beneath their assumptions, and the ice starts to thaw. A slow burn enemies to lovers rom com. Continue reading “WA Do I Read Next? (Part 3)”

WA Do I Read Next? (Part 2)

Here is the continuation of last week’s WA Do I Read Next post, in which we share a few more recently published titles by local authors shared at this year’s Washington Library Association meeting. (For more, see this Here is  list of many of the books we talked about at this year’s online conference. We Had No Rules, by Corinne Manning (Arsenal Pulp Press) Manning is a non-binary Seattle writer whose debut short story collection feels like a novel in stories, with recurring characters exploring queer lives with intimacy, insight, and humor. The prose is simple yet evocative. Relationships are central to these stories–exploring marriage, parenting, the dissolution of relationships, and the never-ending work of discovering the self. There is the story of a woman who embraces her queer self after divorce, her daughter who is also queer but does not identify with her mother because she is a daddy’s girl still upset about the divorce, a trans character who has to leave his partner to transition–all of the stories coalescing into a beautiful symphony of people striving, yearning for love and connection and communities that uplift them. Continue reading “WA Do I Read Next? (Part 2)”

WA Do I Read Next? (Part 1)

The Washington Library Association met online this year instead of in Spokane. Most years there is a panel focused on Washington authors with the cheeky title “WA Do I Read Next?” This year I had the pleasure of joining this panel event online with other librarians and local authors to celebrate recently published books by authors from our fair state.

Here is a list of many of the books we talked about in this panel, and here are just some of the books I had the honor of sharing with the audience:

88 Namesby Matt Ruff
The new HBO show Lovecraft Country produced by Jordan Peele and Misha Green may have brought more attention to Matt Ruff, but he has been quietly writing smart, genre-bending stories for years now. 88 Names is a riff on virtual reality, where John Chu makes his living as a “sherpa” in Multi-player Role Playing Games, where the rich come to rack up points and prestige fast. This is an offbeat cyber-thriller for fans of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and Ready Player Two. Continue reading “WA Do I Read Next? (Part 1)”

Book picks from the author of ‘Growing Up Gorilla’

Clare Hodgson Meeker’s new nonfiction picture book, Growing Up Gorilla: How a Zoo Baby Brought Her Family Together, is a  heartwarming true story about a baby gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo. When a mother gorilla walks away from her newborn, the staff at the zoo finds innovative ways for mother and baby (Yola) to build a relationship. It’s a charmer of a book, with fun facts and solid research behind it. We asked Clare, a Washington author, to share some books starring animals — and, delightfully, some of her selections are for adults, and some for kids. Here are Clare’s recommendations: Continue reading “Book picks from the author of ‘Growing Up Gorilla’”