Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We celebrate the contributions made by our Asian and Pacific Islander American authors.

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon – A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult’s acts of terrorism.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong – Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi – In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed—or untoyed with—by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.

Chemistry by Weike Wang – A luminous coming-of-age novel about a young female scientist who must recalibrate her life when her academic career goes off track; perfect for readers of Lab Girl and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You.

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang – An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka – A novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as ‘picture brides’ nearly a century ago.

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang – Tracing one family’s history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.

Severance by Ling Ma – Maybe it’s the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma’s offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire, Severance.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei – A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon — and America itself — in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu – A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen – A startling debut novel from a powerful new voice featuring one of the most remarkable narrators of recent fiction: a conflicted subversive and idealist working as a double agent in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – A brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang – A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – A gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong – Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling

Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia – The dramatic real life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China’s 1949 Communist revolution—a heartrending precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today.

The Queen of the Night by Alexander CheeThe Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation — or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri – About a woman questioning her place in the world, wavering between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties.

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong – A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness.

Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan – A memoir on her life as a writer, her childhood, and the symbiotic relationship between fiction and emotional memory.


Discover more titles of Asian and Pacific American authors through BCCLS Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Reads.

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