Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with these eBook titles.
Published in 2013
-- PhoebeShanghai ? -- Praise for -- -- -- ? -- ?Pico Iyer, -- Five Star Billionaire “Aw has woven an impressive and contemporary human tapestry of a country that Western audiences would do well to better understand.”?The Daily Beast From the Hardcover edition.
Published in 2015
From the widely acclaimed writer, a beguiling new novel, at once wistful and ribald, about a day in the life of two Indian men in London--a university student and his bachelor uncle--each coping in his own way with alienation, solitariness, and the very art of living. It is 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He's homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can't help feeling that there's something romantic, even poetic, in his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh, a magnificent failure who lives in genteel impoverishment and celibacy, has been in London for nearly three decades. Odysseus Abroad follows them on one of their weekly, familiar forays about town. The narrative surface has the sensual richness that has graced all of Amit Chaudhuri's work. But the great charm and depth of the novel reside in Ananda's far-ranging ruminations (into the triangle between his mother, father, and Radhesh--his mother's brother, his father's best friend; his Sylheti/Bengali ancestry; the ambitions and pressures that rest on his shoulders); in Radhesh's often artfully wielded idiosyncrasies; and in the spiky, needful, sometimes comical, yet ultimately loving connection between the two men.
Published in 2011
"Written late in Anita Desai's illustrious career, these three novellas ruminate on art and memory, illusion and disillusion, and the sharp divide between life's expectations and dreams and its realities. Set in India in the not too distant past, the stories' diverse surroundings and dramas frame universal themes, which illuminate the ways in which various aspects of the Indian culture can nourish or suffocate. All are served up with Desai's characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor and quiet, sensitive writing. Overwhelmed by their own lack of purpose, the men and women who populate these tales set out on unexpected journeys that present them with a fresh sense hope and opportunity. In "The Museum of Final Journeys," a bored and officious junior civil servant imagines he's about to discover a museum filled with priceless treasures; in "Translation," a middle-aged woman has the chance to translate an unknown writer and in the process, impress the woman she most admires; in "The Artist of Disappearance," a documentary film crew, looking to expose the ecological havoc of illegal mining and logging, stumbles upon an artistic creation of unspeakable beauty, hidden from the world by its creator, a local recluse. But these are not heroic characters, and when confronted with defining moments, they struggle against their circumstances, their passivity and the disappointments of their daily lives, like so many flies in a spider's web. An impeccable craftsman, Desai remains evenhanded, elegantly setting the stage for all attendant human frailties to play out."-- Provided by publisher.
Published in 2017
-- ? -- Entertainment Weekly -- Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Published in 2016
A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams--invasive images of blood and brutality--torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that's become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself. Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman's struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her. From the Hardcover edition.
Published in 2015
A journalist and blogger takes us on a colorful and spicy gastronomic tour through Viet Nam in this entertaining, offbeat travel memoir, with a foreword by Anthony Bourdain. Growing up in a small town in northern England, Graham Holliday wasn't keen on travel. But in his early twenties, a picture of Hanoi sparked a curiosity that propelled him halfway across the globe. Graham didn't want to be a tourist in an alien land, though; he was determined to live it. An ordinary guy who liked trying interesting food, he moved to the capital city and embarked on a quest to find real Vietnamese food. In Eating Viet Nam, he chronicles his odyssey in this strange, enticing land infused with sublime smells and tastes. Traveling through the back alleys and across the boulevards of Hanoi?where home cooks set up grills and stripped-down stands serving sumptuous fare on blue plastic furniture?he risked dysentery, giardia, and diarrhea to discover a culinary treasure-load that was truly foreign and unique. Holliday shares every bite of the extraordinary fresh dishes, pungent and bursting with flavor, which he came to love in Hanoi, Saigon, and the countryside. Here, too, are the remarkable people who became a part of his new life, including his wife, Sophie. A feast for the senses, funny, charming, and always delicious, Eating Viet Nam will inspire armchair travelers, curious palates, and everyone itching for a taste of adventure.
Published in 2018
In a powerful debut novel about modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California and stakes a claim to the American dream. "Utterly absorbing."?Celeste Ng "A marvel of a first novel."? O: The Oprah Magazine Holed up with other mothers-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles, Scarlett Chen is far from her native China, where she worked in a factory and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung. Now she's carrying his baby. Already married with three daughters, Boss Yeung is overjoyed because the doctors have confirmed that he will finally have the son he has always wanted. To ensure that his child has every advantage, Boss Yeung has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil. U.S. citizenship will open doors for their little prince. As Scarlett awaits the baby's arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend. Then a new sonogram of Scarlett's baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van?only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. The two flee to San Francisco's bustling Chinatown, where Scarlett will join countless immigrants desperately trying to seize their piece of the American dream. What Scarlett doesn't know is that her baby's father is not far behind her. A River of Stars is an entertaining, wildly unpredictable adventure, told with empathy and wit by an author the San Francisco Chronicle says "has a deep understanding of the pressure of submerged emotions and polite, face-saving deceptions." It's a vivid examination of home and belonging, and a moving portrayal of a woman determined to build her own future. Praise for A River of Stars "[A] powerful debut." ? Entertainment Weekly "Hua's story spins with wild fervor, with charming protagonists fiercely motivated by maternal and survival instincts." ? USA Today "Hua's epic A River of Stars follows a pair of pregnant Chinese immigrant women?two of the more vibrant characters I've come across in a while?on the lam from Los Angeles to San Francisco's Chinatown." ?R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries , in Esquire
Published in 2015
From the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day The Romans have long since departed and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But, at least, the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. Axl and Beatrice, a couple of elderly Britons, decide that now is the time, finally, for them to set off across this troubled land of mist and rain to find the son they have not seen for years, the son they can scarcely remember. They know they will face many hazards--some strange and otherworldly--but they cannot foresee how their journey will reveal to them the dark and forgotten corners of their love for each other. Nor can they foresee that they will be joined on their journey by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge, and a knight--each of them, like Axl and Beatrice, lost in some way to his own past, but drawn inexorably toward the comfort, and the burden, of the fullness of a life's memories. Sometimes savage, sometimes mysterious, always intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade tells a luminous story about the act of forgetting and the power of memory, a resonant tale of love, vengeance, and war. From the Hardcover edition.
Published in 2014
When Lilian Shang, born and raised in America, discovers her father's diary after the death of her parents, she is shocked by the secrets it contains. She knew that her father, Gary, convicted decades ago of being a mole in the CIA, was the most important Chinese spy ever caught. But his diary, an astonishing chronicle of his journey as a Communist intelligence agent, reveals the pain and longing that his double life entailed--and point to a hidden second family that he'd left behind in China. As Lilian follows her father's trail back into the Chinese provinces, she begins to grasp the extent of his dilemma: he is a man torn between loyalty to his motherland and the love he came to feel for his adopted country. She sees how his sense of duty distorted his life, and as she starts to understand that Gary too had been betrayed, Lilian finds that it is up to her to prevent his tragedy from endangering yet another generation of Shangs.
Published in 2018
"An immersive, heartbreaking story about war, passion, and the road not taken." ? People "Heartrending . . . a stunning feat of lyricism." ? USA Today "One of the most beautiful and moving love stories you'll read this year." ? Nylon Magazine An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love?the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they're forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today. When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family's makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan. Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn't realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi?and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come. Richly told and deeply moving, If You Leave Me is a stunning portrait of war and refugee life, a passionate and timeless romance, and a heartrending exploration of one woman's longing for autonomy in a rapidly changing world.
Published in 2018
The author of the widely praised Lunch with a Bigot now gives us a remarkable novel?reminiscent of Teju Cole, W.G. Sebald, John Berger?about a young new immigrant to the U.S. in search of love: across dividing lines between cultures, between sexes, and between the particular desires of one man and the women he comes to love. The young man is Kailash, from India. His new American friends call him Kalashnikov, AK-47, AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in?and more than that, to shine. In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience; the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life; the indelible influence of a charismatic professor?also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's is decidedly not; the very different natures of the women he loved, and of himself in and out of love with each of them. Telling his own story, AK is both meditative and the embodiment of the enthusiasm of youth in all its idealism and chaotic desires. His wry, vivid perception of the world he's making his own, and the brilliant melding of story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, picture and text, give us a singularly engaging, insightful, and moving novel?one that explores the varieties and vagaries of cultural misunderstanding, but is, as well, an impassioned investigation of love.
Published in 2018
Named one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Food Books for Spring 2018. American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories? A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. There's a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, and their efforts to re-create the flavors of their lost country. A Uyghur caf ̌in New York's Brighton Beach serves a noodle soup that seems so very familiar and yet so very exotic-one unexpected ingredient opens a window onto an entirely unique culture. A beignet from Caf ̌du Monde in New Orleans, as potent as Proust's madeleine, inspires a narrative that tunnels through time, back to the first Creole cooks, then forward to a Korean rice-flour hoedduck and a beignet dusted with matcha. Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.
Published in 2014
Profound mystery is at the heart of this magnificent new novel by Yiyun Li, "one of America's best young novelists" (Newsweek) and the celebrated author of The Vagrants, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Moving back and forth in time, between America today and China in the 1990s, Kinder Than Solitude is the story of three people whose lives are changed by a murder one of them may have committed. As one of the three observes, "Even the most innocent person, when cornered, is capable of a heartless crime." When Moran, Ruyu, and Boyang were young, they were involved in a mysterious "accident" in which a friend of theirs was poisoned. Grown up, the three friends are separated by distance and personal estrangement. Moran and Ruyu live in the United States, Boyang in China; all three are haunted by what really happened in their youth, and by doubt about themselves. In California, Ruyu helps a local woman care for her family and home, and avoids entanglements, as she has done all her life. In Wisconsin, Moran visits her ex-husband, whose kindness once overcame her flight into solitude. In Beijing, Boyang struggles to deal with an inability to love, and with the outcome of what happened among the three friends twenty years ago. Brilliantly written, a breathtaking page-turner, Kinder Than Solitude resonates with provocative observations about human nature and life. In mesmerizing prose, and with profound insight, Yiyun Li unfolds this remarkable story, even as she explores the impact of personality and the past on the shape of a person's present and future. Advance praise for Kinder Than Solitude "The surface of Yiyun Li's prose is deceptively still, but just beneath the surface are the sadness, pain, and tragedy of three lives, each one driven into a kind of damaged solitude by the memory of the past. Li's characters are portrayed with a harsh beauty, and one's emotions become deeply engaged with their fates, and with the mystery of a poisoned woman, a crime which has shaped'perhaps deformed'them all. This is an exceptional novel, and Yiyun Li has grown into one of our major novelists."'Salman Rushdie, author of Midnight's Children "Kinder Than Solitude is a stunning, dark, and beautiful book. Yiyun Li writes with characteristic genius and hard, clear-eyed insight about characters ravaged by family and culture who attempt to sterilize, to quarantine, even to abandon their own hearts in order to immunize themselves against the pains of loneliness and hope. Both their successes and failures at doing so are tragic and true and soul-wrenching. By the end of the book, the reader's own heart feels exposed, fragile, and all the more precious for having taken part in Li's mysterious, artful novel."'Paul Harding, author of Tinkers and Enon "Li is a high modernist. She infuses the traditional form with a fresh, rigorous beauty. Her novel is as clean and sharp and smart as a great piece of midcentury furniture, with that sense of permanence and increasing value."'Mona Simpson, author of My Hollywood "I can't remember the last time I read a novel at once so relentless and elegant, so precise and ranging. The lives in Kinder Than Solitude are forever warped by a childhood tragedy, but Li won't let these tortured souls off the hook. This novel is fierce as a searchlight, blazing into every dark corner of its characters' psyches, and ours. I couldn't look away."'Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie From the Hardcover edition.
Published in 2018
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers' style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society's expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko's contented stasis?but will it be for the better? Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko's thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Convenience Store Woman is a fresh, charming portrait of an unforgettable heroine that recalls Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and Am?lie .
Published in 2015
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as six other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.
Published in 2019
A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane , about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island. Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village's all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook's mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook's differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother's position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story?one of women's friendships and the larger forces that shape them? The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.
Published in 2012
Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice &ldquo;until the monsoon comes.&rdquo; Then she can design a garden for h.
Published in 2017
A sly debut collection that conjures the experience of adolescence through the eyes of Chinese American girls growing up in New York City?for readers of Zadie Smith, Helen Oyeyemi, and Junot D?az A fresh new voice emerges with the arrival of Sour Heart , establishing Jenny Zhang as a frank and subversive interpreter of the immigrant experience in America. Her stories cut across generations and continents, moving from the fraught halls of a public school in Flushing, Queens, to the tumultuous streets of Shanghai, China, during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. In the absence of grown-ups, latchkey kids experiment on each other until one day the experiments turn violent; an overbearing mother abandons her artistic aspirations to come to America but relives her glory days through karaoke; and a shy loner struggles to master English so she can speak to God. Narrated by the daughters of Chinese immigrants who fled imperiled lives as artists back home only to struggle to stay afloat?dumpster diving for food and scamming Atlantic City casino buses to make a buck?these seven stories showcase Zhang's compassion, moral courage, and a perverse sense of humor reminiscent of Portnoy's Complaint . A darkly funny and intimate rendering of girlhood, Sour Heart examines what it means to belong to a family, to find your home, leave it, reject it, and return again. Advance praise for Sour Heart "As I read, I quickly realized that this was something so new and powerful that it would come to shape the world?not just the literary world, but what we know about reality. Zhang's version of honesty goes way past the familiar, with passages that burst into bold, startling, brilliance. Get ready." ?Miranda July " Sour Heart blasts open the so-called immigrant narrative by showing us the claustrophobic, demented love of families and by giving us the deepest x-ray of American childhood I can recall. It's dirty, hilarious, and utterly original." ?Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs "No terrain is more fraught than the inner world of a girl fighting to define herself, and no writer is better suited to serve as our guide than Jenny Zhang. She is the coolest?wielding a discerning eye and a wicked wit that will cut you and make you cherish the wound she leaves behind. Sour Heart captures the magnificent mess that is the internal lives of young women seeking place?in their families, their communities, their bodies, and, most important, themselves." ?Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness "Jenny Zhang has an uncanny ability to articulate the most confusing, conflicting, elusive thoughts and feelings?the kinds that occur in under a millisecond but secretly rule our lives. It's dazzling to witness until one observation or line of dialogue sends you over the edge into the depths of another person's truth. I emerged from Sour Heart bleary-eyed and in love." ?Tavi Gevinson