Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Literature

Each week in May, MIT Libraries will highlight different materials to help you learn more about the Asian Pacific American experience.  This week, we are highlighting literature in our collection.

If you’re interested in poetry, check out Ocean Vuong’s Burnings and Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Christine Kitano’s Birds of Paradise, and Bao Phi’s Thousand Star Hotel.

We also have lots of novels to choose from. For example, Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart, Monique Vuong’s Bitter in the Mouth, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, and Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. If you want to read a novel with an MIT connection, MIT alumna and young adult author Gloria Chao wrote American Panda, about Mei Lu, a freshman at MIT, who is caught between her Taiwanese and American cultures. Another young adult title is Emily X.R. Pan’s Astonishing Color of After, about Leigh, who travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents for the first time after her mother’s suicide. You may also be interested in reading Malinda Lo’s young adult novels Huntress, Ash, and Adaptation. The Asian American classic novel No-no Boy by John Okada describes a Japanese American man’s experiences during the aftermath of Japanese American internment. R. Zamora Linmark’s Rolling the Rs illustrates Filipino youth in 1970s Hawaii, while his other novel Leche follows Vince as he returns to the Philippines after living in the U.S. for 13 years.

If you enjoy graphic novels, we have several by Gene Luen Yang, who writes about Chinese and Chinese American culture, including American Born Chinese, Level Up, New Super-Man, Boxers, Saints, and The Shadow Hero. Yang is also the co-author, with Derek Kirk Kimon, of The Eternal Smile. Also check out Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.

For a collection of short stories, check out A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma, which focuses on Indian protagonists at home and abroad. Have a laugh with comedian Hari Kondabolu’s debut standup CD called Waiting for 2042.

These titles are a selection of what MIT Libraries has in its collection about the Asian Pacific American experience.  Search more titles like these in the Barton library catalog. MIT is committed to providing diverse and up-to-date materials for all its patrons. If you would like materials that MIT does not own, please use our Borrow Director ILB services. Or, if you would like MIT to own certain resources, use Suggest a Purchase.