There is still time this May to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. We recognize contributions to our collective culture, history, and advancements in the United States.
Below are some highlights of electronic resources selected by librarian Thomas Maxheimer, manager of Ridgewood Library, and his husband E.K. Tan, a professor of comparative literature at Stony Brook University.
Kids’ books are not only for kids. There is nothing more pure and reassuring as a great children’s book.
Have you heard of Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Alvin Ho is similar if not even more fun to read. Alvin is an Asian American second grader who happens to be a bit of a scaredy cat. If it turns out you like Alvin, it’s a series, so there are many more to enjoy.
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
When I was growing up we watched Carl Sagan videos in science class and used his textbooks to learn about the stars, planets, outer space, and our own humanity. This book has been compared to Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Check out a collection of Asian American children's literature here.
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
This is poet Cathy Park Hong’s latest collection of essays since her debut work Dance, Dance Revolution. In this collection, Hong brings together memoir and cultural critique to engage in serious issues relating to the identity, history, and politics of Asian America in a nation that continues to struggle with the status of immigrant families.
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Charles Yu’s second novel takes a satirical approach to unveil Hollywood’s race problem through the perspective of a protagonist who happens to be an Asian extra. This story of the the “Generic Asian man” not only critiques Hollywood’s perpetuation of Asian stereotypes in the industry and the American society in large, but it also stresses the importantance of being more than just this stereotype through the wise advice of the protagonist’s own mother.
Sigh, Gone by Phuc Tran
Sigh, Gone is Phuc Tran’s coming-of-age memoir that documents his life growing in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the 1980s. As an immigrant growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood and a new culture, Tran finds solace in literature, punk rock, and art as he struggles with feelings of isolation, challenges of immigration, and teenage angst.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
This finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction is a story of longing and belonging. Told from the dual perspective of Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant woman in New York, and her son Deming/Daniel, the novel examines the truth behind Polly’s disappearance when her son is at the tender age of eleven and Deming’s struggle to reconcile his mother and his own past as he matures into adulthood as Daniel Wilkinson.
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Set in a suburb outside Cleveland, this novel tells the story of a community of South Asian Americans learning how to find a balance between their Eastern traditions and beliefs and their desires to embrace the American optimism of success and freedom. The novel offers vignettes about multiple characters of different generations in the community to depict their individual and collective attempt to become a part of American society.
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris
Daughter of an esteemed economist from Jamaica and a cancer researcher from India, Kamala Harris discusses her commitment to social and political justice in the United States in her book. During challenging times when truth is under attack and the nation is divided, she seeks truth as the common denominator to unify the nation.