APAHM Link Roundup

Over on Twitter I did a daily recommendation for books/stories/articles/blogs, etc by #AAPI creators for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Here’s a roundup of all the recommendations (clearly this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the work out there by AAPI creators, however, I limited myself to things I’ve personally read/watched/listened to).

5/1: Aliette de Bodard’s scifi novella The Tea Master and the Detective, a race and genderbent Sherlock Holmes style murder mystery in space. /1

5/2: Cindy Pon’s wonderful duology, Serpentine and Sacrifice. Read both! My fave of her works (sorry Want). We need more positive (& same/similar age) female friendships. Bonus, no love triangles. Complicated friendship but they never fight over a boy. /2

5/3: R. Kikuo Johnson’s graphic novel, The Night Fisher. A multilayered, frank look/commentary on growing up in modern Hawaii. Echoes the experiences of a few friends of mine. The art is GORGEOUS. I love chiaroscuro style art /3

5/4: Samira Ahmed’s Love, Hate and Other Filters. A meet-cute romcom that also tackles issues about being an Indian Muslim girl in a small Midwestern town. & no love triangle! (I have a theme) #AsianLitBingo rec /4

5/5: Maangchi. She’s kinda my national treasure. Her cookbook is great, but you really need to check out her youtube channel full of vids on how to make Korean food. /5

5/6: They Call Us Bruce podcast. “An unfiltered conversation about what’s happening in Asian America.” I love this podcast & its variety of topics. Jeff Yang’s laugh is kinda the best. /6 https://theycallusbruce.libsyn.com/

5/7: Lurline Wailana McGregor’s Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me. A somewhat bittersweet look at life in modern Hawaii, family struggles, & coming back to your roots. /7

5/8: Going to shift focus a bit & look at identity & some of the struggles involved w/exploring heritage, being “held” to it, assimilation, being “Asian enough,” & the AAPI experience in today’s times /8a

First up, Ken Liu’s essay from the Lightspeed POC Destroy! SF kickstarter re: issues POC often encounter when writing their culture/life. /8b

5/9: Today’s rec: in a similar vein to yesterday’s rec, S. Jae-Jone’s blog post on being “expected to write or perform [our] own marginalizations.” /9

5/10: Today’s rec: Kim Fu’s article from 2016 on AsAm identity in America. “Your face disappoints everyone, the TV told me. You will fit in nowhere.” /10

5/11: Today’s rec: Jenny Zhang’s article on being a POC creator in a white-dominated field. “Put one more way: white people don’t like it when we don’t do well and they don’t like it when we do. But most of all, they don’t like it when they don’t do well.” /11

5/12: Today’s rec: Mike Jung’s interview with DiversifYA. “…racial/ethnic identity has been such an active and complicated part of my individual life experience. I’m Korean-American.” I feel this so hard. /12

5/13: Today’s rec: Michi Trota’s I Don’t See Color, an essay on learning to embrace AsAm identity, which appeared in the first Invisible anthology edited by Jim C. Hines. I ❤ this so much. /13

5/14: Today’s rec: Kat Tanaka Okopnik’s essay in Invisible 2, on raising her AsAm children in a climate still rife with stereotypes and tropes. “I have two young children who are surrounded by media that are leading them to perform the very same problematic tropes about (East) Asians that I grew up around. It’s 2015. Aren’t we supposed to be done with this?”/14

5/15: Today’s rec: Dawn Xiana Moon’s essay in Invisible 3 (yes I’m promoting Invisible a lot bc it’s a great body of work). “While our society pigeonholes Asians as socially-awkward scientists, perpetual foreigners, and weak submissives, I’m determined to show Asians can be creative, tough, and unconventional.”/15

5/16: Today’s rec: Chris Fuchs’ article on the Model Minority myth and why it’s harmful bullshit. /16

5/17: Today’s rec: a roundtable discussion on Asian SFF&H from Mithila Review. Not AsAm specific, but a good discussion on Asian-origin identity, being a creator, & how this intersects with speculative fiction. /17

5/18: Today’s rec: Eunny Hong’s The Birth of Korean Cool: One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture. Memoir-ish look at S. Korean culture from a KorAm journalist born in the US who moved to Seoul for several years. /18

5/19: Now that we’re well into APAHM, it’s going to get adoptiony here. I have mixed feels about APAHM bc as a transracial adoptee it can feel like my heritage isn’t for me. I’m not the child of immigrants like many earlier recs. I’m an immigrant, but for me, adoption supplants that. Recs focus on adoption (mostly KorAm bc it me) & how it affects identity. /19a

Today’s rec: The Unknown Culture Club: Korean Adoptees, Then & Now, compiled by the Vance Twins. Powerful & at times sad, but important bc these are the words of adoptees, not adoptive parents. Not a “feel good” book. /19b

5/20: Today’s rec: Dreaming a World: Korean Birth Mothers Tell Their Stories, ed. by Sangsoon Han. The title really says it all. This is a tough read—also not a “feel good” book. It’s also the book that’s made me start considering doing a birth search. /20

5/21: Today’s rec: Invisible Asians, by Kim Park Nelson, an academic look at the KorAm adoptee experience. “…as an adoptee, you’re always going to be in between; you’re not Asian enough & you’re not white enough.” Story of my life. /21

5/22: Today’s rec: Mara Smith’s essay on adoption, its complexities, & navigating the demand of being “grateful.” Dear Adoption only publishes work by adoptees & there is a huge variety of viewpoints on the website. /22

5/23: Today’s rec: “Introduction: Rewriting Adoption,” an essay by Nicole Chung. “Adoptees are still trying to find the space to write our lives, instead of being written about.” Also, go preorder her memoir.  /23

5/24: Today’s rec: Lisa See’s The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. CW infanticide. Rare instance of me rec’ing work by writer outside adoption triad. “When did you find out you *weren’t* adopted? How do you know your mother is your birth mother?” /24

5/25: Today’s rec: Karuna Riazi’s The Gauntlet, fun MG fantasy w/great relationship dynamics between siblings, friends, & adult family. “…steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair” /25

5/26: Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires. KorAm, child of immigrants, business school, workaholic, poor $ choices, melodramatic AF. It’s a KorAm soap opera in book form. /26

5/27: Today’s rec: Marjorie Liu’s comic/graphic novel Monstress. Beautiful art by Sana Takeda, diverse cast on so many levels (Kippa is my fave), & full of the sweary words. Hugo winner & volume 2 is a current nominee. /27

5/28: Today’s rec: Sister Heart, by Sally Morgan. A bittersweet story told in verse from the main character’s POV: an Aboriginal child stolen from her home & sent to an institution that forces assimilation /28

5/29: Today’s rec: The SEA is Ours, ed. by Jaymee Goh & Joyce Chng. Beautiful anthology of steampunk short stories from SE Asian authors. My faves: The Last Aswang & Unmaking of the Cuadro Amoroso. /29

5/30: Today’s rec: C.B. Lee’s Not Your Sidekick. YA superhero romcom w/bi Vietnamese-Chinese MC. “It’s not that her pronunciation is terrible; it’s just that she should have known it was easier not to try in the first place.” All the feels /30

5/31: We made it to the end! “How Far I’ll Go” cover by several SE Asian singers in (mostly) their native languages. Happy APAHM everyone /31

 

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May Reading Challenge or, #AsianLitBingo

For May I’m planning to participate in Lit CelebrAsian’s Asian Lit Bingo reading challenge. The full post can be found here, but a quick recap is that in the US the month of May is Asian American Heritage Month and in honor of that Lit CelebrAsian has put together a reading challenge bingo card.

ETA: May is Asian Pacific Amercian Heritage Month, but I realize some readers here won’t click over to Lit CelebrAsian’s page to see their reason for keeping this Asian American specific. From the website: “*May is technically designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. However, a number of Pasifika activists and friends have stated that lumping together Asian Americans with Pacific Islanders results in the erasure and co-opting of PIs and that they want to have their own spaces to discuss their issues. We are respecting that and keeping the two separate for this challenge.”

Asian Lit Bingo 2018 - vers.2

They’ve also compiled an amazing (though by no means complete) list of book recommendations for every category on the bingo card, which can be found here.

I’m planning on tackling the leftmost vertical row (if you’re interested in going for prizes, the contest doesn’t require that you get 5 in a row to be eligible). My planned reads are:

East Asian MC: Rebel Seoul, by Axie Oh or Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, by Julie C. Dao or The Bone Witch, by Rin Chupeco or How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee or Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences, and Racial Exceptionalism, by Kim Park Nelson, or…I have so many that fit here. I’m leaning toward Rebel Seoul and Invisible Asians for May.

Rebel SeoulForest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: EssaysInvisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences, and Racial Exceptionalism (Asian American Studies Today)

LGBTQ+ Asian MC: A Line in the Dark, by Malinda Lo or No More Heroes, by Michelle Kan

A Line in the DarkNo More Heroes (No More Heroes, #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SFF with Asian MC: The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard or Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee or Jade City, by Fonda Lee or…I have so many that fit here too, including ones from the first category. I’m reading Tea Master as part of a buddy read already for May, and Raven Stratagem fits with my plan to get through as much of the Hugo noms as I can, so those two are where I’m leaning.

The Tea Master and the Detective (Xuya Universe)Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire, #2)Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1)

Graphic Novel with Asian MC: Totally Awesome Hulk series by Greg Pak. I have the first three volumes, though I’ll probably only read the first one for this particular challenge. I wish Monstress Vol. 3 was out but it’s not due until August.

The Totally Awesome Hulk Vol. 1: Cho Time

Southeast Asian MC: Not Your Sidekick, by C.B. Lee. This series has been on my radar for a while so I’m using #AsianLitBingo as the kick in the pants to get it to the top of the TBR pile. Already placed my hold through the library so there’s no going back, haha.

Not Your Sidekick

I have so many more books on my gigantic TBR pile that would fit here and in the other categories on the bingo card, but the ones listed are ones that I really am hoping to get to this year.