Unclear on the Asian-Pacific American Concept

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage month, which means libraries across the country have rolled out reading lists they hope give the public an insight into populations that has ties not only to Japan, Korea and China, but to countries and territories such as Guam, India, Vietnam, and Fiji.  While some libraries are nailing the suggestions, others are…well, a little unclear on the APA concept.  So if you’re tagged to come up with book selections for next year’s APAH event, here’s a few questions you might want to ask yourself:

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you may want to do a little research as to who or what qualifies as an Asian-Pacific American writer or work.   But if you need a jump start, here’s a few suggestions from my favorite APA librarians:

The Next American Revolution – Grace Lee Boggs
Afro Asia: Revolutionary Political and Cultural Connections between African Americans and Asian Americans – Fred Ho
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Re Jane – Patricia Park
Ghost Month – Ed Lin
The Shadow Hero – Gene Luen Yang
Secret Identities, v.1-2 – Jeff Yang, Keith Chow, Jerry Ma, Parry Shen
The Hundred-Year Flood – Matthew Salesses
Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem – Paula Madison
The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America) – Ellen Wu
Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear – John Kuo Wei Tchen
The Prophecy Series – Ellen C. Oh
Huntress – Malinda Lo
The Namesake and The Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
A Little Life: A Novel – Hanya Yanagihara
One Hundred Demons – Lynda Barry
Aliens in America – Sandra Tsing Loh

And there’s the Talk Story web site (sponsored by the American Indian Library Association and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association) for suggestions for families and children.

Still confused?  Visit the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) web site for news, features and commentary about the Asian-Pacific American experience and library resources.  And whatever  you do, do NOT wear a chopstick in your hair next May….

 

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