AAWAA Bibliography

Asian American Literature/Writers

Collections/Anthologies
Books about Asian American Literature
Books about or Interviews with Asian American Writers
Books for Children

By writer:

Reviews by Amazon unless otherwise noted.

Collections/Anthologies

Collections and anthologies are grouped by geographical ancestry: largest areas first. So first by all Asian Americans collections, then by regional Asian Americans, then by specific countries.

Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing by Rajini Srikanth (Editor), Esther Yae Iwanaga (Editor). Paperback - 480 pages (November 1, 2001) Rutgers University Press;A century of Asian American writing has generated a forceful cascade of "bold words." This anthology covers writings by Asian Americans in all genres, from the early twentieth century to the present. Some sixty authors of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Southeast Asian American origin are represented, with an equal split between male and female writers. The collection is divided into four sections-memoir, fiction, poetry, and drama-prefaced by an introductory essay from a well-known practitioner of that genre: Meena Alexander on memoir, Gary Pak on fiction, Eileen Tabios on poetry, and Roberta Uno on drama.

The Nuyorasian Anthology : Asian American Writings About New York City by Bino A. Realuyo (Editor), Rahna R. Rizzuto (Editor), Kendal Henry (Editor). Paperback - 472 pages (June 1999) Temple Univ Press. The NuyorAsian Anthology features prose and poetry from New York City's diverse Asian American writers. From the trailblazers of decades past to new poets as young as sixteen, a wide scope of experience is explored.

Charlie Chan Is Dead : An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction by Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn(Editor), Klaine Kim(Designer). Paperback - 569 pages (December 1993) Penguin USA (Paper). "From Booklist We've enjoyed Hagedorn as a novelist in Dogeaters (1990), and as a poet in Danger and Beauty . Here she struts her stuff as editor of this bountiful anthology of short stories and novel excerpts by 48 Asian American writers. Nearly half of these pieces are published here for the first time, including work by Meena Alexander, Fiona Cheong, Walter Lew, Marianne Villanueva, and John Yau. Asian American literature is rich with the myths, traditions, beliefs, aesthetics, dreams, fears, and humor of a host of diverse cultures, but, as in all literatures, it is ultimately about individuals who, like bright stars, define their galaxies. Hagedorn has selected fiction that gives voice to the sort of themes you might expect--displacement and exile, the quest for home and freedom--but she has also chosen stories that shrewdly dissect domesticity, love affairs, and manifestations of trendiness and insensitivity. A perfect successor to the Asian American anthology The Big Aiiieeeee! (1991), this volume will please readers both familiar with and new to this particular literary universe. Donna Seama."

Asian American Literature : A Brief Introduction and Anthology by Shawn Wong. Paperback (May 1995) Addison-Wesley Pub.

Encounters by Roshni Rustomji-Kerns (Editor), et al( Hardcover - August 1999) Hardcover - 320 pages (August 1999) Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. Also in paperback. "People of Asian descent have lived for centuries in North and South America, where they have been actively involved in the creation of multicultural, multiethnic societies. This groundbreaking anthology explores their experiences among ethnic and cultural groups in a unique collection of works by and about Asian Americans. Utilizing a rich blend of analytical, autobiographical, biographical, and narrative essays, oral histories, fiction, photography, and artwork, the anthology focuses especially on the interactions of Asians with others outside the dominant culture. Contributors range from established scholars, writers and artists to little-known voices heard here for the first time. Scholars of Asian diasporas and all readers interested in Asia in the Americas will find this book an extraordinary resource."

On a Bed of Rice : An Asian American Erotic Feast by Geraldine Kudaka (Editor), Russell C. Leong. Paperback (November 1995) Anchor Books. "An anthology of contemporary erotic prose and poetry by established and up-and-coming writers of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Indian descent explores the themes of sexual awakening, marriage, and interracial love."

Bearing Dreams, Shaping Visions : Asian Pacific American Perspectives by Linda A. Revilla, Gail M. Nomura, Shawn Wong, Shirley Hune (Editor). Paperback (February 1994) Washington State Univ Press. "Essays and poems explore the experience of Asian Pacific Americans in terms of history, society, literature, and education. Among the topics are the changing demographics of California, the Hawaiian fight against geothermal development, and the award-winning play M. Butterfly. Most of the 26 contributions are from a May 1990 conference in Santa Barbara. No index. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. "

Living in America: Poetry and Fiction by South Asian American Writers by Roshni Rustomji-Kerns (Editor).Paperback - 296 pages (April 1995) Westview Press. "This is a major compilation of Asian American authors, some native-born, others immigrants, refugees, or expatriates. While some of the writers are well known (e.g., Ved Mehta, Meena Alexander), most are emerging voices. The volume is divided into two parts: poetry and fiction. Poets are represented by one or two poems; short story writers by just one piece. Each author contributed a "statement," whether biographical, literary, or philosophical, that appears before his or her work. The editor (professor emeritus, liberal studies and India Studies Program, Sonoman State Univ.) has provided more traditional biographical information at the back of the book. The writers describe a wide range of experience in a great variety of styles. Recommended for larger literary collections or for libraries with large Asian American populations."

Making More Waves : New Writing by Asian American Women by Elaine H. Kim (Editor), Lilia V. Villanueva (Editor), Asian Women United. Paperback - 340 pages (July 1997) Beacon Press. "Hailing by lineage or immigration from Asian posts such as Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam, and India, the contributors to Making More Waves are as well known as Lisa See (On Gold Mountain) and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (The Mistress of Spices ), and as new to print as 16-year-old poet Juno Parrenas. "

The Forbidden Stitch : An Asian American Women's Anthology by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa (Editor), Donnellym Margarita (Editor), Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (Editor), Margarita Donnelly (Editor). Paperback - 290 pages Reissue edition (December 1991) Calyx Books. The Forbidden Stitch received the American Book Award and includes the work of Chitra Divakaruni, Diana Chang, Jessica Hagedorn, Marilyn Chin, Nelllie Wong, Mitsuye Yamada, among the 80 contributors. It also includes the only extensive bibliography of Asian American women's work.

Imagining America : Stories from the Promised Land by Wesley Brown (Editor), Amy Ling (Editor). Paperback - 370 pages (November 1991) Persea Books.

Asian American Women Writers by Harold Bloom (Editor), William Golding. Paperback Paperback (May 1997) Chelsea House Publishing. The writings of Asian-American women - whether born in America or transplanted from China, Japan, the Philippines, or India - have continued to reflect the complexities of their authors' cultural milieus, the stories set in places as disparate as Japanese internment camps in Arizona, flamboyant Manila under Marcos, and the Chinatowns of California. Likewise, these writings have continued to reflect the ambiguities of their authors' identities, the tensions of a female consciousness caught between cultures. The very voices of these stories - from Wong's polite autobiographical "she" and Yamamoto's "double telling" to the "splinters" in Kingston's voice and Hagedorn's polyglot - tell of the richness of writing by Asian-American women thus far.

Tilting the Continent : Southeast Asian American Writing by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (Editor), Cheng Lok Chua (Editor). Paperback - 220 pages (August 2000) New Rivers Press.

The Big Aiiieeeee! : An Anthology of Chinese-American and Japanese-American Literature by Jeffery Paul Chan, Frank Chin, Shawn Wong, Lawson F. Inada (Editor), Jeffrey P. Chan (Editor). Paperback - 619 pages (July 1991) Meridian Books.

Babaylan : An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers by Nick Carbo and Eileen Tabios, Consortium Book Sales & Dist, May 2000, 336 pages

Returning a Borrowed Tongue : Poems by Filipino and Filipino American Writers by Nick Carbo. Coffeehouse Pr, April 1996. Review by an amazon reader: Returning A Borrowed Tongue gathers the work of prominent poets who are Filipino or Filipino-American. The established writers, Gemino Abad, NVM Gonzalez, Jessica Hagedorn, are presented along with new voices like Jaime Jacinto.

Books about Asian American Literature

Reading Asian American Literature by Sau-Ling Cynthia Wong .Paperback - 272 pages (July 12, 1993) Princeton Univ Press

Asian American Literature : An Introduction to the Writings and Their Social Context by Elaine Kim. Paperback Reprint edition (December 1984) Temple University Press.

The Americas of Asian American Literature by Rachel C. Lee. Hardcover, MIT Press, 2000, 268 pgs. Paperback - 208 pages (October 4, 1999) Princeton University Press. Through a critical analysis of select literary texts--novels by Carlos Bulosan, Gish Jen, Jessica Hagedorn, and Karen Yamashita--Lee probes the specific ways in which some Asian American authors have steered around ethnic themes with alternative tales circulating around gender and sexual identity. Lee makes it clear that what has been missing from current debates has been an analysis of the complex ways in which gender mediates questions of both national belonging and international migration. From anti-miscegenation legislation in the early twentieth century to poststructuralist theories of language to Third World feminist theory to critical studies of global cultural and economic flows, The Americas of Asian American Literature takes up pressing cultural and literary questions and points to a new direction in literary criticism.

Immigrant Subjectivities : In Aasian American and Asian Diaspora Literatures by Sheng-Mei Ma . Paperback - 224 pages (August 1998) State Univ of New York Press.

An Interethnic Companion to Asian American Literature by King-Kok Cheung (Editor). Paperback - 414 pages (December 1996) Cambridge Univ Press. This volume provides a survey of literature by North American writers of Asian descent, both by national origins (Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, Vietnamese) and by shared concerns. It is the first of its kind in terms of breadth and depth of coverage.

Asian American Literature : An Annotated Bibliography by King-Kok Cheung (Editor), Stan Yogi (Editor). Paperback 276 pages (August 1988) Modern Language Association of America.

Yellow Light: The Flowering of Asian American Culture by Amy Ling (Editor), Unknown, June1999, 384 pages. Ling devised a set of questions on the Asian American experience and posed it to Asian writers, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and performance artists. Thirty-eight replied and found their way into this compilation, which is divided into two parts: one for writers and one for the rest. Ling (English, of Wisconsin, Madison) interviewed many of them, including Maxine Hong Kingston, David Henry C.Y. Lee, Ping Chong, Christine Choy, and many emerging unknowns. These writers often refer to Asians, such as Margaret Cho, Amy Tan, and Frank Chin, who are not interviewed. Because it is limited to Ling's questionnaire respondents, this compilation is uneven and somewhat odd in its inclusions and exclusions. Nevertheless, many of the interviews are interesting, and the excerpts from the authors' works are excellent. For larger public libraries.

Books about or Interviews with Asian American Writers

Words Matter : Conversations With Asian American Writers by King-Kok Cheung (Editor). Paperback - - 408 pages (January 2000) Univ of Hawaii Press. Words Matter is the first collection of interviews with 20th-century Asian American writers. The conversations that have been gathered here--interviews with twenty writers possessing unique backgrounds, perspectives, thematic concerns, and artistic priorities--effectively dispel any easy categorizations of people of Asian descent. These writers comment on their own work and speak frankly about aesthetics, politics, and the challenges they have encountered in pursuing a writing career. They address, among other issues, the expectations attached to the label "Asian American," the burden of representation shouldered by ethnic artists, and the different demands of "mainstream" and ethnic audiences.

Talat Abbasi

Bitter Gourd and Other Stories by Talat Abbasi. Hardcover (October 2001) Oxford University Press.

Meena Alexander

Manhattan Music : A Novel by Meena Alexander. Paperback (May 1997) Mercury House.
Other books by Meena Alexander:

Lynda Barry

CRUDDY: An Illustrated Novel by Lynda Barry. Paperback (October 2000) Simon & Schuster. Also available in hardcover, and digital (adobe reader)
Other books by Lynda Barry.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. Paperback - 232 pages (October 1999) University of Michigan Press. This book was originally known as Song of Yvonne by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. Brainard also edited or wrote the following:

Nick Carbo

Secret Asian Man by Nick Carbo. Paperback - 86 pages (May 2000) Northwestern Univ Press. "Nick Carbó's "Secret Asian Man" is a hilarious and poignant look at the immigrant experience. The hero of this collection of poems is Ang Tunay na Lalaki, the Filipino equivalent of the Marlboro Man." He also wroteEl Grupo McDonald's : Poems

Catalina Cariaga

Cultural Evidence by Catalina Cariaga. Paperback - 87 pages (June 1999) 'A 'A Arts. Publisher's Weekly: "This vital first collection by California-native Cariaga is a deep, occasionally tentative consideration of issues of nation and self, of belonging and exile, and of the temporal and cultural traces of the "subaltern."

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Paperback - 179 pages (October 1, 2001) University of California Press. In addition to excellent reproductions of Cha's handbound texts and images from her performances, the book includes essays by Berkeley Art museum curator Constance Lewallen, Whitney Museum of American Art curator Lawrence Rinder and critic and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha. . Other books by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha:

Iris Chang

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang. Paperback - 336 pages. Penguin (November 1998)

Jung Chang

Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. Paperback - 524 pages Reprint edition (November 1992) Anchor World Views. "In Wild Swans Jung Chang recounts the evocative, unsettling, and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century. "

Lan Samantha Chang

Hunger : A Novella and Stories by Lan Samantha Chang. Paperback - 192 pages Reprint edition (January 2000) Penguin USA (Paper). "Though this novella is definitely the collection's standout, Chang's other stories are equally impressive explorations of desire and need, isolation and fear. When it comes to evoking the smash of cultures, national and familial, this superlatively gifted author has perfect pitch. --Kerry Fried. "

Patricia Chao

Monkey King by Patricia Chao. Paperback - 320 pages (February 1998) HarperCollins (paper). "Recent novels by Chinese American authors often describe a world where private life is far messier than the public face families put on it. To an extent, Patricia Chao's debut novel, Monkey King follows this pattern: heroine Sally Wang's "perfect" life obscures a childhood riven by sexual abuse and secrecy. After attempting suicide, Sally must confront the past and lay her demons to rest. What separates Monkey King from other novels of its kind are the surprisingly sympathetic renderings of Sally's parents, the evocative portrayal of immigrants' sense of dislocation and loss, and the fine writing with which Patricia Chao brings Sally's world to life. "

Frank Chin

Bulletproof Buddhists by Frank Chin. Paperback(May 1998) Univ of Hawaii Press. "Ishmael Reed: "Uncompromising; impudent; in-your-face; Frank Chin is one of the great essayists of our time.""

Justin Chin

Bite Hard by Justin Chin. Paperback - 128 pages (April 1997) Manic D Press. "Bite Hard, a collection of poetry, fiction, and performance pieces by Justin Chin, weaves together a vision of otherness that is unique in gay writing. Chin, who was born in Malaysia, raised in Singapore, and is now living in San Francisco, writes from queer pan-Asian experience: outsiderness times two. "

Title Mongrel : Essays, Diatribes, Pranks by Justin Chin. Paperback - 160 pages 1st stonew edition (November 1998) St. Martin's Press. "Since the early 1990s, Justin Chin has made a name for himself as a "Generation Q" poet, performance artist, essayist, actor, cultural commentator, wisecracker, and slammer. As a gay Chinese American with a punk, postmodern, and perpetually impudent attitude, Chin treats his outsider role with relish and aplomb. "

Susan Choi

The Foreign Student : A Novel by Susan Choi. Paperback - 336 pages 1 Harper edition (September 1999) Harperperennial Library. "Highly acclaimed by critics, The Foreign Student is the story of a young Korean man, scarred by war, and the deeply troubled daughter of a wealthy Southern American family. In 1955, a new student arrives at a small college in the Tennessee mountains. Chuck is shy, speaks English haltingly, and on the subject of his earlier life in Korea he will not speak at all. Then he meets Katherine, a beautiful and solitary young woman who, like Chuck, is haunted by some dark episode in her past. Without quite knowing why, these two outsiders are drawn together, each sensing in the other the possibility of salvation. Moving between the American South and South Korea"

Wayson Choy

The Jade Peony : A Novel by Wayson Choy. Paperback - 240 pages (May 1998) Picador USA. "One of Choy's most compelling subjects is the fluidity of the extended family. The shadowy woman everyone calls Stepmother is a house servant and concubine who moves into the role of mother, giving birth to two of the siblings but never quite achieving full status. Many chapters focus on the powerful effects friends and neighbors have on the family and the importance of their names and titles. Choy's evocations of life in Depression-era and wartime Vancouver are especially memorable.". Wayson Choy also wrote Paper Shadows : Memoir of a Past Lost and Found

Lawrence Chua

Gold by the Inch by Lawrence Chua. Paperback - 224 pages (October 1999) Grove Press. "Lawrence Chua has long been praised for his astute cultural commentary and experimental prose. In his first novel, Gold by the Inch, he also proves himself as a vibrant and breathtaking writer of literary prose. The narrative follows a young gay man of Asian descent as he returns to Thailand from the United States for an extended visit and to recover from his father's death and a failed love affair. After becoming involved, well, obsessed, with a young male prostitute, the narrator has to confront issues he has long avoided: national identity, the exploitation of other people, and the endless clashes between Asian and Western cultures. "

Kiana Davenport

Song of the Exile by Kiana Davenport. Paperback - 368 pages (July 5, 2000) Ballantine Books. "Davenport weaves the history and culture of Hawaii, the U.S., Europe, and Asia, from the period just before World War II to Hawaii's statehood, into the restless search for self-discovery of her unforgettable characters. "

Other books by Kiana Davenport:

Peter Ho Davies

Equal Love by Peter Ho Davies. Paperback 178 pages (January 2000) Houghton Mifflin Co. "A collection need yield only one really great story to be, itself, great, and Peter Ho Davies's Equal Love offers such a story--the deceptively low-key "Cakes of Baby." A couple--he's Indian, she's white--spend Thanksgiving with the wife's family. Nothing much happens. The husband, Sam, plays with a toddler, the wife, Laura, argues with her sister. But Davies uses the short-story writer's most hackneyed milieu--the holiday get-together--to tell a thoroughly fresh tale about class. "

Other books by Peter Ho Davies:

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Sister of the Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Paperback - 322 pages (Jan 2000) Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub . "Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni ...tells the tale of two cousins born on the same day, their premature births brought on by a mysterious occurrence that claims the lives of both their fathers. Sudha is beautiful, Anju is not; yet the girls love each other as sisters, the bond between them so strong it seems nothing can break it. When both are pushed into arranged marriages, however, each discovers a devastating secret that changes their relationship forever. Sister of My Heart spans many years and zigzags between India and America as the cousins first grow apart and then eventually reunite. Divakaruni invests this domestic drama with poetry as she traces her heroines' lives from infancy to motherhood, but it is Sudha and Anju who give the story its backbone. " Review by Margaret Prior.

Sui Sin Far (Edith Eaton)

Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings by Amy Ling, Annette White-Parks (Editor), Sui Sin Far. Paperback - 296 pages (June 1995) Univ of Illinois Press.

Sia Figiel

Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel. Paperback - 247 pages Kaya press edition (January 2000) Kaya Production. A lively debut portrays a Samoan girls coming of age through a series of linked stories.

Other books by Sia Figiel :

Sesshu Foster

City Terrace Field Manual : Field Manual by Sesshu Foster. Paperback -- 176 pages (October 1996) Kaya Production. "Street-wise prose poems out of East Los Angeles." "Put simply, this is one of the most amazing books to be published in America in years. This is pure California mainlined straight into language that sears the skin off 99 percent of what purports to be literary competence. ... - Alvin Lu, The San Francisco Bay Guardian

Other books by Sesshu Foster :

Kip Fulbeck

Paper Bullets : A Fictional Autobiography (Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies)by Kip Fulbeck. Paperback - (May 2001) 282 pages. "Award-winning videomaker, performance artist, and pop-culture provocateur Kip Fulbeck has captivated audiences worldwide with his mixture of high comedy and personal narrative. In Paper Bullets, his first novel, Fulbeck taps into his Cantonese, English, Irish, and Welsh heritage, weaving a fictional autobiography from 27 closely linked stories, essays, and confessions. By turns sensitive and forceful, passionate and callous, Fulbeck confronts the politics of race, sex, and Asian American masculinity head-on without apology, constantly questioning where Hapas fit in a country that ignores multiracial identity. "

Indira Ganesan

Inheritance by Indira Ganesan. Paperback - 208 pages (November 1999) Beacon Press.

The Journey by Indira Ganesan. Paperback - 171 pages (June 2001) Beacon Press. From Book list: "Ganesan's delicately constructed first novel ,,, follows 19-year-old Renu Krishnan, her mother and her 15-year-old sister, Manx, as they return to their family home on fictional Prospero's Island, or Pi, in the Bay of Bengal. It is 1980, and the Krishnans, who have been living on Long Island for the past nine years, are returning to Pi because Renu's cousin Rajesh has drowned. ...Ganesan relates the complex stories of several striking characters and examines many of the ironies of cross-cultural life in the United States and especially back home on Pi. But this complexity comes at a cost. Despite her turmoil, Renu remains obscure, difficult to picture and understand, as do many of the other characters. Readers who need to know a character thoroughly to love a book will find this novel frustrating, but those interested in a subtle sometimes touching, sometimes comedic tale of our nomadic, crossbred lives will be happy it is now available in paperback."

Eugene Gloria

Drivers at the Short-Time Motel by Eugene Gloria. Paperback - - 96 pages (June 5, 2000) Penguin USA. "As is often the case with those who straddle the boundary between cultures, between past and present, and between urban and rural sensibilities, Gloria shifts from one frame of reference to the other. He does so with an easy grace, in the manner of a child who slips unconsciously from speaking one language with friends to another with grandparents. But this apparent fluidity and careless ambidexterity mask a deeper wound: the pain felt by those in exile, by those who find their way around in two different places but are at home in neither. "

Jessica Hagedorn

Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn. Paperback - 272 pages. Reprint edition (July 1991) Penguin. Also available as hardcover.

Other books by Jessica Hagedorn:

Tess Uriza Holthe

When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe. Paperback - 384 pages Reprint edition (June 2003) Penguin Books. Also available as hardcover and digital pdf.

Garrett K. Hongo

The River of Heaven by Garrett K. Hongo, Harry Ford (Editor). Paperback - 67 pages Reprint edition (April 1988) Knopf.

Other books by JGarrett K. Hongo

Gish Jen

Who's Irish? : Stories by Gish Jen. Paperback - 224 pages 1 Vintage edition (June 13, 2000) Vintage Books. "Nobody writes about the immigrant experience like Gish Jen. What sets her apart from other ethnic writers is the wide-angle lens she turns not only on her own Chinese American ethnic group, but on Jewish Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, and just about any other hyphenate you'd care to name. Though her tales are filtered through an Asian experience, they are, at heart, the quintessential American story of immigration, assimilation, and occasional tensions with other ethnic communities."

Other books by Gish Jen:

Ha Jin

The Bridegroom : Stories by Ha Jin. Hardcover - 225 pages (October 3, 2000) Pantheon Books. Ha Jin is a Chinese writer in exile, an assistant professor of English at Emory University in Georgia. "It's the little things that kill us, as that master of the miniature Ha Jin well knows. Not oppression in general, but the tea thrown at us by railroad policemen; not failure, but the old flame who fails to visit; not grief, but the peanuts our kindergarten teacher stole from our pockets. In The Bridegroom, such moments run surprisingly deep, as if they traced the grooves history has left on individual hearts. The book's 12 tales capture a China in transition, en route from Maoism to market-friendly socialism, from isolation to increasing contact with the West."

Other books by Ha Jin:

Nancy Kim

Chinhominey's Secret : A Novel by Nancy Kim. Hardcover - 256 pages (May 1999) Bridge Works Pub Co. "In this moving first novel, a Korean-American family faces not only intergenerational cultural conflicts between immigrant parents and their Americanized daughters, but also the results of a terrible prophecy, made by a fortune-teller 20 years earlier to Chinhominey, the long-estranged grandmother.

Patti Kim

A Cab Called Reliable : A Novel by Patti Kim. Paperback - 156 pages (July 1998) Griffin Trade Paperback."Elegantly and humorously told" ("The New York Times Book Review") this extraordinary fiction debut tells of the trials and tribulations of a young Korean girl who takes over as the family housekeeper, after her mother leaves.

Maxine Hong Kingston

The Woman Warrior : Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston. Paperback - 209 pages Reissue edition (May 1989) Vintage Books. Also in hardback.

Other books by Maxine Kingston:

Books about Maxine Kingston:

Bharti Kirchner

Sharmila's Book by Bharti Kirchner> From Kirkus reviews: " this luminously evocative, if breathless, tale of the cultural fissures that emerge as a very modern woman contemplates an arranged marriage."

Joy Kogawa

Obasan by Joy Kogawa. Reading level: Young Adult. Paperback (January 1994) Anchor. From the Publisher: "Based on the author's own experiences, this award-winning novel was the first to tell the story of the evacuation, relocation, and dispersal of Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War." "This quiet first novel burns in your hand. Rage mellows into sorrow; sorrow illumines love. It is the love you come away with, finally, in OBASAN." (Washington Post). Other books by Joy Kogawa:

Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies : Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. Paperback - 198 pages (June 1, 1999) Houghton Mifflin Co (Pap). "Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice. "

Chang-Rae Lee

Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee. Paperback - 349 pages (March 1996) Riverhead Books. "Korean-American Henry Park is "surreptitious, B+ student of life, illegal alien, emotional alien, Yellow peril: neo-American, stranger, follower, traitor, spy ..." or so says his wife, in the list she writes upon leaving him. Henry is forever uncertain of his place, a perpetual outsider looking at American culture from a distance. As a man of two worlds, he is beginning to fear that he has betrayed both -- and belongs to neither. "

Don Lee

Yellow: Stories by Li-Young Lee. Hardcover - 244 pages 1 Ed edition (April 2001) W.W. Norton & Company. Set mostly in Rosarita Bay, a fictional coastal town near San Francisco, this debut collection from the editor of the literary journal Ploughshares traces the lives (usually the romantic lives) of a motley assortment of male protagonists. Lee examines the circumstances of Asians living in white society, as well as the differences and occasional tensions, mostly unnoticed by Anglos between persons of various Asian descents.

Li-Young Lee

City in Which I Love You by Li-Young Lee. Paperback - 89 pages (December 1991) Boa Editions. Read the reviews at Amazon. Readers raved about his poetry.

Other books by Li-Young Lee:

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Two Dreams : New and Selected Stories by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim . Paperback Paperback - 240 pages (April 1997) Feminist Press. "The stories of Shirley Geok-lin Lim reflect the complex mosaic of her world. As their setting shifts from the tradition-bound terrain of Malaysia to the liberating but confusing territory of the United States, Lim's stories capture the poignant and perplexing experience of immigrant women, who, torn between two cultures, must build their own values and homelands from within. Two Dreams draws together the best of Lim's short fiction from nearly three decades, most of it never before available in the United States. "

Other books by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim:

Anchee Min

Red Azalea by Anchee Min. Mass Market Paperback Reprint edition (June 1995) Berkley Pub Group.

Other books by Anchee Min:

Trinh T. Minh-Ha

Woman, Native, Other : Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism by Trinh T. Minh-Ha. Paperback - 173 pages (July 1989) Indiana Univ Press.
Other books by Trinh T. Minh-Ha:

Kyoko Mori

Stone Field, True Arrow.
Other books by Kyoko Mori:

Bharati Mukherjee (

The Middleman and Other Stories .
Other books by Bharati Mukherjee:

Milton Murayama

All I Asking for Is My Body by Milton Murayama . Paperback - 120 pages Reprint edition (September 1988) Univ of Hawaii Press. From an Amazon reader: "Since its re-release, a new generation of readers are discovering this rare and excellent story of a Hawaiian Japanese American boy's coming of age in the years leading into the Second World War. Among Asian American scholars, Murayama's first work is considered one of the most important of Japanese American narratives. Murayama has deliberately used the Hawaiian creole--a kind of 'Hawaiibonics'--that his dirt poor, working class characters spoke. In this amusing and heart-breaking story, a teenage boy longs to build a life of his own, but finds himself saddled with the gigantic debts that his parents incurred as a result of misfortune, bad decisions, and exploitative labor conditions. All the characters--save the white land owners--struggle in this story, but family loyalty, guts, and humor persist."
Other books by Milton Murayama:

Kirin Narayan

Love, Stars, and All That by Kirin Narayan, Jane Rosenman (Editor). "Narayan, an assistant professor of anthropology, gives us a wry, charming look at academia and cross-cultural romance. Gita is a 23-year-old Indian graduate student at Berkeley. She is analytical, studious, and an almost classic innocent abroad as she searches for the perfect mate that her beloved Saroj aunty's astronumerologist predicted would appear in Chaitra 2040 (i.e., March 1984). The whimsical Gita breaks out of her scholarly routine as the date approaches, meeting men--all the wrong men--while making friends, surviving on a graduate stipend, and writing a book, all the while exploring the crossroads of cultures and the parameters of the human heart."

Fae Myenne Ng

Bone by Fae Myenne Ng. Paperback - 208 pages Reprint edition (January 1994) Harperperennial Library. "Bone follows Leila's search as she looks back on her life in an attempt to understand her family and her sister Ona's suicide. The memories wander without any chronological order, just as there is rarely a linear pattern to thoughts released by pain and confusion. ... Although it's easy to approach this book as a mystery - why did Ona kill herself? - Fae Myenne Ng soon makes clear that explanation and understanding may be two different things. There are no clear answers, and no pure joy or sorrow. The artistry of this book is Fae Myenne Ng's ability to capture this complexity and make it real."

Mei Ng

Eating Chinese Food Naked : A Novel by Mei Ng. Paperback - 256 pages (December 1998) Washington Square Press. Also in hardback. "Right off the bat Mei Ng's novel promises to be different from the run-of-the-mill mother-daughter saga so beloved of young, female first novelists of every ethnic persuasion. Ruby Lee, the heroine of Eating Chinese Food Naked, has just graduated from college and come back home to live with her parents over the family's laundry business. Her parents, Bell and Franklin, are hardly a match made in heaven, and for all of her life Ruby has been her mother's defender--a role she can't give up even as she longs to be free of it. During the course of her summer at home, Ruby must navigate the choppy waters of familial relations--her mother and father's estrangement, her irresponsible older brother's volatile relationship with everyone, her sister's recent marriage to a non-Chinese--as well as sort out her own feelings about Nick, a young man whom she loves but cannot seem to remain faithful to. Ng's melancholy novel perfectly captures her heroine's dislocation both within her family and within herself, at the same time offering readers a glimpse of the urban Chinese American experience across two generations. --Margaret Prior"

Sigrid Nuñez

A Feather on the Breath of God: A Novel by Sigrid Nuñez . Paperback - 192 pages (January 1996) Perennial(HarperCollins). From Publishers Weekly: "In this luminous debut novel about a young woman of mixed race, Nunez writes with fierce clarity, rare empathy and sharp humor of immigrant dreams and frustrations. The vulnerable, nameless narrator, who grows up in a Brooklyn housing project in the 1950s and '60s, is the daughter of Carlos, a silent, workaholic Chinese-Panamanian father, and Christa, a self-dramatizing German mother, who met shortly after V-E Day in Germany. " Sigrid Nuñez also wrote:

John Okada

No-No Boy by John Okada, Lawson F. Inada (Designer), Frank Chin (Designer). Paperback - 260 pages (December 1980) University of Washington Press. By an amazon reader: "It is sad that John Okada wrote only one novel in his life, but it gives me great joy just to mention this book to anyone. _No-No Boy_ is a novel that deals with the high emotions of those felt by Japanese Americans during the tumulous times of the second world war. It is a time when American citizens are incarcerated into "relocation centers" without any wrong doing except that their last names were Okada, Sone, and Ikeda. However, as John Okada traces the story of Kenji, a nisei who refused to answer yes to the loyalty questionaire, we do not feel any strong bitterness about the whole situation that could be all too common in such a text. This touching novel is ultimately about one's search for a home, for loyalty, and for acceptance into society. These themes, while prevalent in many Japanese American texts written about this time period, are universal and can be shared by anyone who has ever felt the pangs of loneliness associated with being an outcast."

Michael Ondaatje

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Paperback - 302 pages Reissue edition (November 1996) Vintage Books. Also in hardback and audiocassette. "Haunting and harrowing, as beautiful as it is disturbing, The English Patient tells the story of the entanglement of four damaged lives in an Italian monastery as World War II ends. " Ondaatje is from Sri Lanka/Ceylon and immigrated to Canada.

Other books by Michael Ondaatje:

Ruth L. Ozeki

My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki. Paperback - 366 pages (April 1999) Viking Press. An interesting book. Read the reviews as it's hard to encapsulate but a great book.

David R. Quiray

Fun With Dick and Jana by David R. Quiray. Kawika Pub, November 1996. Literary Fiction. Existential, angst-riddent, agnostic, Asian-influenced philosophy/religion, ethnic/supraethnic, voter apathetic, sexual encountering, wanderings of a post-graduate photographer still living in his quaint little college town in Northern California. . Other books by Quiray

Bino A. Realuyo

The Umbrella Country by Bino A. Realuyo. Ballantine Books (Trd Pap), March 1999, 298 pages; A lyrical first novel limns a troubled coming-of-age in 1970s Manila, where deviance and difference are punished by silence or brutality. Eleven-year-old Gringo, an observant child who spends long hours watching the neighborhood from an upstairs window, narrates the story of his Manila childhood.

Nina Revoyr

The Necessary Hunger : A Novel by Nina Revoyr. Revoyr's first novel's protagonist Nancy Takahiro is a star high school basketball player who is smitten by a new player, Raina Webber. When Nancy's father falls in love with Raina's mother and the families move in together, Nancy's love for Raina becomes positively excruciating. This novel grapples not only with the awkwardness of adolescent love, but also with race: Nancy is Asian American, Raina is African American. St. Martin's Press, April 1998, 368 pages

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Why She Left Us by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto. Paperback - 304 pages (September 5, 2000) Harperperennial Library. Also in hardback.Why She Left Us revolves around an intriguing mystery: a Japanese American woman's abandonment of her illegitimate child during World War II. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto reveals the reason for her act--and its effect on four generations of her family--in a series of alternating narratives. A son, daughter, mother, and brother all chime in, and the author's sophisticated interweaving of their tales is what gives this debut novel much of its power.

Kim Ronyoung

Clay Walls by Kim Ronyoung. Paperback - 304 pages 3 edition (May 1996) Permanent Press. A novel following two generations of Korean-Americans in pre- and post-World War II Los Angeles.

Julie Shigekuni

A Bridge Between Us by Julie Shigekuni. Paperback (March 1996) Anchor.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

In Other Worlds : Essays in Cultural Politics by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Paperback - 309 pages (December 1988) Routledge Kegan & Paul.

A Critique of Postcolonial Reason : Toward a History of the Vanishing Present by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Paperback - 448 pages (May 1999) Harvard Univ Press;.

The Spivak Reader : Selected Works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Donna Landry (Editor), Gerald MacLean (Editor). Paperback (December 1995) Routledge.

Outside in the Teaching Machine by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Paperback - 350 pages (September 20, 1993) Routledge.

Selected Subaltern Studies (Essays from the 5 Volumes and a Glossary) byRanajit Guha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Photographer). Paperback - 434 pages (May 1988) Oxford Univ Press.

Mira Stout

One Thousand Chestnut Trees : A Novel of Korea by Mira Stout. Paperback - 336 pages 1st riverh edition (May 1999) Riverhead Books. "How best to prepare for a trip to Korea? Forget the kimchi experiments and immerse yourself in a novel that's thick with the people, the history, and the feel of Korea. Mira Stout's protagonist is Anna (based loosely on Stout herself), a young artist who lives in New York and feels lost. Knowing little about her Boston Irish father and her Korean mother, and less still about Korea, she decides to journey to Korea, as Mira Stout herself did, to try to make sense of the random jigsaw pieces of her background--tidbits like the story of her great-grandfather, once the ruler of Kangwon Province, who was stripped of land and title by the invading Japanese and ordered a temple be built atop the highest mountain amidst 1,000 chestnut trees. "

Amy Tan

The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan. Paperback - 416 pages (September 2004)Penguin. Also in hardcover..

Gail Tsukiyama

The Samurai's Garden : A Novel by Gail Tsukiyama. Paperback - 224 pages (April 1996) St. Martin's Griffin. Also in hardcover..

Kathleen Tyau

Makai by Kathleen Tyau. Paperback - 289 pages (September 2000) Beacon Press. Joseph Milicia, Multicultural Review: "Kathleen Tyau has joined writers such as Lois-Ann Yamanaka in establishing a new Hawaiian canon, writing directly out of an intimate and highly personalized perspective on the culture, its unique struggles and character. . . . Makai is an elegantly crafted work." Also in hardcover.

Yoshiko Uchida

Picture Bride : A Novel by Yoshiko Uchida. Paperback - 222 pages Reprint edition (June 1997) University of Washington Press. br>

Yoshida Uchida has also written several children's books.

Shawn Wong

American Knees by Shawn Wong. Paperback- 240 pages Reprint edition (August 1996) Scribner. "Coping with the usual challenges of love and relationships, divorced Chinese-American Raymond Ding and Japanese-Irish Aurora Crane are further challenged by age-old family traditions and the expectations of their own generation."

Other books by Shawn Wong:

Mitsuye Yamada

Camp Notes and Other Writings : Mitsuye Yamada by Mitsuye Yamada. Paperback - 176 pages (December 1998) Rutgers Univ Press. "Mitsuye Yamada was born in Kyushu, Japan, and raised in Seattle, Washington, until the outbreak of World War II when her family was removed to a concentration camp in Idaho. Camp Notes and Other Writings recounts his experience. Yamada's poetry yields a terse blend of emotions and imagery. Her twist of words creates a twist of vision that make her poetry come alive. The weight of her cultural experience-the pain of being perceived as an outsider all her life-permeates her work." Other books by Mitsuye Yamada:

Hisaye Yamamato

Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories by Hisaye Yamamoto, King-Kok Cheung (Introduction). Paperback - 150 pages (December 1998) Rutgers Univ Press. " Each of the fifteen short stories, written with the economy of haiku, is a treasure. Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories brings together fifteen stories that span Hisaye Yamamoto's forty-year career. It was her first book to be published in the United States. Yamamoto's themes include the cultural conflicts between the first generation, the Issei and their children, the Nisei; coping with prejudice; and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans. "Yoneko's Earthquake : The Collected Short Stories of Hisaya Yamamoto is another book by Yamamoto but it is out of print.

Lois-Ann Yamanaka

Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Paperback - 288 pages Reprint edition (May 1997) Harvest Books. "Midwest Book Review: "Lovey Nariyoshi is coming of age in a Japanese-American family in Hawaii, and longs to be white. Her unpredictable family doesn't understand her struggles with two cultures and her need to fit in, while Lovey herself doesn't fit the ideal of a white woman's personality. A memorable, engrossing coming-of-age story about a rebellious teen's many personal and cultural difficulties."

Other books by Lois-Ann Yamanaka:

Wakako Yamauchi

Songs My Mother Taught Me : Stories, Plays, and Memoir by Wakako Yamauchi, Valerie Miner (Editor), Garrett K. Hongo (Editor). Paperback (February 1994) Paperback - 257 pages (June 1994) Feminist Press.

Mia Yun

House of the Winds by Mia Yun. Paperback - 230 pages Reissue edition (August 1, 2000) Penguin USA (Paper)







This page grows organically from recommendations. If we don't have a book that you feel should be listed or if you notice that a book is now out-of-print, please let us know aawaa2000@yahoo.com

This bibliography/bookstore page made possible in part by a grant from California Arts Council and friends