May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, but we hope that you will use the books, essays, and lists, below, year-round to explore and celebrate the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the U.S., their histories and cultures, and vital contributions across disciplines.
While we realize that no reading list alone can combat the hate and violence perpetrated against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities this year and throughout our national history, we believe that books are a powerful tool for changing and expanding hearts and minds. Explore our resources on combating anti-Asian racism; and discover the dizzying range of ideas, styles, and authors below.
"This year we’re fortunate to be partnering again with our friends at APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) to share a curated reading list. APANO is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice and find solutions to the disproportionate gaps in education, health, and economic prosperity that Asian and Pacific Islander communities often face."
"How to responsibly write about a fraught, contested, often dangerously oversimplified and traumatic history? How to tell stories so that they retain their diversity and partiality, each a part of the larger living mosaic, our collective trajectory?"
"I understood only that there was a magnitude of stories happening on that one canvas."
"As someone who lives between languages, I've definitely experienced the heartache of having that sort of divided consciousness; especially as someone who comes from one language, but is fluent and writing in another, the heartache of losing that first language is strong."
"Maybe, actually, the end of the world is the best time to be releasing a book about the end of the world. It can remind people that big, society-changing events can happen. The world as we know it can end, but life will continue on. It can remind people that no matter what, we always have a choice. Let’s choose to care about each other."
"As a reader, one of the allures of mystery for me has always been the social issues, from racism to political corruption, explored through plot. Society itself is often a character under investigation."
"As an immigrant myself, but an immigrant who is definitely very settled, very moored now institutionally and culturally, I feel very comfortable. Pong is someone...whose energy and pluck and aspiration for the next thing is something I felt like maybe immigrants of my standing in the country have lost."