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20 Must-Read Books for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by reading a few of the many stories by authors of Asian and/or Pacific Islander heritage and cultures. From Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Warrior Woman to Elaine Castillo’s America is Not the Heart, discover beloved classics and contemporary favorites that have shaped the culture and history of America.
  1. 1
    The Farm Book Cover Picture
    The Farm Book Cover Picture

    The Farm

    by Joanne Ramos

    Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside.
    The Farm Book Cover Picture
    The Farm Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture

    The Joy Luck Club

    by Amy Tan

    Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “saying” the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe Book Cover Picture
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe Book Cover Picture

    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

    by Charles Yu

    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe Book Cover Picture
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4
    The Lowland Book Cover Picture
    The Lowland Book Cover Picture

    The Lowland

    by Jhumpa Lahiri

    The Lowland Book Cover Picture
    The Lowland Book Cover Picture

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  5. 5
    The Kiss Quotient Book Cover Picture
    The Kiss Quotient Book Cover Picture

    The Kiss Quotient

    by Helen Hoang

    Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old…
    The Kiss Quotient Book Cover Picture
    The Kiss Quotient Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6
    Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI) Book Cover Picture
    Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI) Book Cover Picture

    Arrival

    by Ted Chiang

    Stories of Your Life and Others delivers dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, often presenting characters who must confront sudden change—the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens—with some sense of normalcy. With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by beauty and wonder.
    Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI) Book Cover Picture
    Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI) Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture

    America Is Not the Heart

    by Elaine Castillo

    An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history.
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture

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  8. 8
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture

    Exhalation

    by Ted Chiang

    From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others—the basis for the Academy Award –nominated film Arrival—comes a groundbreaking new collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. These are tales that tackle some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only Ted Chiang could imagine.
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture

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  9. 9
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture

    Home Remedies

    by Xuan Juliana Wang

    The twelve stories in Xuan Juliana Wang’s remarkable debut collection capture the unheard voices of a new generation of Chinese youth. A generation for whom the Cultural Revolution is a distant memory, WeChat is king, and life glitters with the possibility of love, travel, technology, and, above all, new identities.
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    In the Country Book Cover Picture
    In the Country Book Cover Picture

    In the Country

    by Mia Alvar

    In these nine globe-trotting tales, Mia Alvar gives voice to the women and men of the Philippines and its diaspora. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar’s stories explore the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home—and marks the arrival of a formidable new voice in literature.
    In the Country Book Cover Picture
    In the Country Book Cover Picture

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  11. 11
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture

    Crazy Rich Asians

    by Kevin Kwan

    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture

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  12. 12
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture

    A River of Stars

    by Vanessa Hua

    In a powerful debut about modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman stakes a claim to the American dream in California. A River of Stars is a vivid examination of home and belonging and a moving portrayal of a woman determined to build her own future.
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture

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  13. 13
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

    by Jamie Ford

    In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe.
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture

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  14. 14
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture

    Where Reasons End

    by Yiyun Li

    Yiyun Li meets life’s deepest sorrows as she imagines a conversation between a mother and child in a timeless world. Composed in the months after she lost a child to suicide, Where Reasons End trespasses into the space between life and death as mother and child talk, free from old images and narratives. Deeply moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity of a relationship.
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture

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  15. 15
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture

    White Chrysanthemum

    by Mary Lynn Bracht

    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture

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  16. 16
    On Such a Full Sea Book Cover Picture
    On Such a Full Sea Book Cover Picture

    On Such a Full Sea

    by Chang-rae Lee

    From the beloved award-winning author of Native Speaker and The Surrendered, a highly provocative, deeply affecting story of one woman’s legendary quest in a shocking, future America.
    On Such a Full Sea Book Cover Picture
    On Such a Full Sea Book Cover Picture

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  17. 17
    Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune Book Cover Picture
    Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune Book Cover Picture

    Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

    by Roselle Lim

    Lush and visual, chock-full of delicious recipes, Roselle Lim’s magical debut novel is about food, heritage, and finding family in the most unexpected places.
    Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune Book Cover Picture
    Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune Book Cover Picture

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  18. 18
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture

    The Woman Warrior

    by Maxine Hong Kingston

    In her award-winning book The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston created an entirely new form—an exhilarating blend of autobiography and mythology, of world and self, of hot rage and cool analysis. First published in 1976, it has become a classic in its innovative portrayal of multiple and intersecting identities—immigrant, female, Chinese, American.
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture

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  19. 19
    Little Fires Everywhere Book Cover Picture
    Little Fires Everywhere Book Cover Picture

    Little Fires Everywhere

    by Celeste Ng

    From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
    Little Fires Everywhere Book Cover Picture
    Little Fires Everywhere Book Cover Picture

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  20. 20
    A Little Life Book Cover Picture
    A Little Life Book Cover Picture

    A Little Life

    by Hanya Yanagihara

    A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma.
    A Little Life Book Cover Picture
    A Little Life Book Cover Picture

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