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Asian American & Pacific Islander Author Spotlight - May 2021

Posted 05/11/21 by Joyce S.

As we continue to honor Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a list of notable Asian American and Pacific Islander authors and some of their works, along with other books for Asian and Asian American voices.

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Cover of The Wrath & the Dawn

The Wrath & the Dawn
By Renee Ahdieh

Book on CD   |   Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

Eighteen-year-old Khalid is the Caliph of Khorasan who takes a new bride each night only to have them executed the very next morning. Because of this, each dawn brings horror to a new family and it comes to everyone’s surprise when Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid, especially after her best friend became a victim of the murderer-boy-king.

Cover of Night of the Dragon

Night of the Dragon
By Julie Kagawa

hoopla eBook

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko must give up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves. She and her group of companions must make their final effort to stop the Master of Demons from using said scroll to call the Great Kami Dragon. No one knows for sure if they will succeed in overcoming this force of evil as it seems that such a task is impossible.

Cover of Chinatown Beat

Chinatown Beat
By Henry Chang

Jack Yu grew up in Chinatown and is now a detective that has just been transferred to the precinct for his old neighborhood where some of his old friends are criminals while some are dead. While others that work in the precinct are confused by the residents who speak another language, Jack knows exactly what is going on.

Cover of Ghost Month

Ghost Month
By Ed Lin

Overdrive eBook   |   hoopla eBook

In Taiwan, August is known as Ghost Month and is meant to commemorate the dead. The people of Taiwan do this by burning incense, visiting shrines, honoring their ancestors, and by avoiding unlucky situations. Jing-nan is a young man that runs a food stand. He doesn’t think of himself as overly superstitious until he learns that his ex-girlfriend from high school has been murdered on the side of a highway.

Cover of The Collaborator of Bethlehem

The Collaborator of Bethlehem
By Matt Beynon Hees

Omar is a history teacher who tends to stay away from all the violence around him until a former pupil is charged of murder.

Cover of The Coroner’s Lunch

The Coroner’s Lunch
By Colin Cotterill

Overdrive eAudio   |   hoopla eAudio

It is 1875 in Laos. Dr. Siri Paiboun is a seventy-two-year-old Paris-trained doctor who has been appointed national coroner. There is no training for the job and there is no one else since the rest of the educated class has fled.

Cover of Rock Paper Tiger

Rock Paper Tiger
By Lisa Brackmann

Overdrive eBook   |   hoopla eBook

When a chance encounter with a Muslim fugitive drops her down a rabbit hole of conspiracies, Ellie must decide whom to trust among the artists, dealers, collectors, and operatives claiming to be on her side.

Cover of Jade Lady Burning

Jade Lady Burning
By Martin Limon

Overdrive eBook

The bizarre killing of Miss Pak should have belonged to the Korean police. But her amorous associations with American servicemen in Seoul also made her death the business of the U.S. Army's criminal investigation.

Cover of Marriage of a Thousand Lies

Marriage of a Thousand Lies
By S.J. Sindu

Overdrive eAudio   |   hoopla eAudio

Lucky is an unemployed millennial programmer that likes to dance, have a drink or two, and make art on commission. Fifty bucks gets you high-resolution digital images of anything you want and a nice frameable print. Lucky's husband, Krishna, is an editor for a greeting card company. Both are secretly gay. They present their conservative Sri Lankan-American families with a heterosexual front, while dating on the side. When Lucky's grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her mother's home to act as caretaker and unexpectedly reconnects with her childhood best friend and first lover, Nisha. Nisha has agreed to an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't know but finds herself attracted to her old friend. The attraction is mutual and Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie. But does Nisha really want to be saved? What does Lucky want in life?

Cover of The Opium Prince

The Opium Prince
By Jasmine Almaq

Overdrive eBook

Born to an American mother and a late Afghan war hero, Daniel Sajadi has spent his life navigating a complex identity. After years in Los Angeles, he is returning home to Kabul at the helm of a US foreign aid agency dedicated to eradicating the poppy fields that feed the world's opiate addiction.

Cover of Incensed

Incensed
By Ed Lin

hoopla eAudio

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for prioritizing family. When 25-year-old Jing-nan's gangster uncle, Big Eye, asks a favor, Jing-nan can't exactly say no, especially because two goons are going to follow him around to make sure he gets it done right. The favor is this: Big Eye's 16-year old daughter, Mei-ling, has a biker boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks. Big Eye wants Jing-nan to bring her to Taipei, away from the bad influences, and straighten her out. It doesn't take Jing-nan long to discover that she is even more trouble than the average bratty, rebellious teenage girl.

Cover of Cult X

Cult X
By Fuminori Nakamura

Cult X is a story that dives into the psychology of fringe religion, obsession, and social disaffection. When Toru Narazaki's girlfriend, Ryoko, disappears, he tries to track her down, despite the warnings of a private detective he's hired to find her. Ryoko's past is shrouded in mystery, but the one concrete clue to her whereabouts is a previous address where she lived: in a compound in the heart of Tokyo, with a group that seems to be a cult led by a charismatic guru with a revisionist Buddhist scheme of life, death, and society. Narazaki plunges into the secretive world of the cult, ready to expose himself to any of the guru's brainwashing tactics if it means he can learn the truth about Ryoko. But the cult isn't what he expected.

Cover of When Red is Black

When Red is Black
By Xiaolong Qiu

hoopla eAudio

When the murder of a woman is reported to the Shanghai police while Inspector Chen is on vacation, Sergeant Yu is forced to take charge of the investigation. The victim, Yin Lige, a novelist known for her banned book, has been found dead in her tiny, humble room off the stairwell of a converted multi-family house. It seems that only a neighbor could have committed the crime, for the building is kept locked at night. But there is no apparent motive.

Cover of The Tattoo Murder Case

The Tattoo Murder Case
By Akimitsu Takagi

hoopla eBook

To be tattooed in Japan was once a punishment intended to brand criminals with an indelible mark of shame, setting them apart from the rest of society. Instead, they made it their badge of defiance. It was a test of will and strength to be tattooed, and an act of daring because the practice of this art was actually made illegal.

Cover of The Astonishing Color of After

The Astonishing Color of After
By Emily X.R. Pan

Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

Leigh travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. While she is there, she is determined to find her mother, whom she is absolutely certain has turned into a bird after she committed suicide. As she grieves, she has to come to terms with the fact that on the same day that her mother died, she was kissing her best friend and longtime crush.

Cover of Parachutes

Parachutes
By Kelly Yang

Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

Parachutes are what Claire Wang and her friends call teenagers who are dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Little did Claire know that she was going to be one of them until her parents plucked her from her very privileged life in Shanghai and enrolled her at a high school in California.

Cover of More than Just a Pretty Face

More than Just a Pretty Face
By Syed M. Masood

Overdrive eBook

Nineteen-year-old Danyal Jilani hopes to impress a potential arranged marriage match when he is chosen for a prestigious academic contest. But then he starts to fall for the girl helping him study instead!

Cover of Yolk

Yolk
By Mary H.K. Choi

Struggling with emotional problems and an eating disorder, Jayne, a Korean American college student living in New York City, is estranged from her accomplished sister, June. But then, June gets cancer and the only person that she can count on is her flaky little sister.

Cover of Once Upon an Eid

Once Upon an Eid
By S.K Ali

Overdrive eBook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

A collection of short stories that showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid!

Cover of Anna K

Anna K
By Jenny Lee

Overdrive eBook

Seventeen-year old Anna K seems above the typical problems of her Manhattan friends and siblings. That is, until she finds love in a notorious playboy.

Cover of The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars
By Adiba Jaigirdar

Overdrive eBook

Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is. It gets harder when a childhood friend walks back into her life. Nishat falls immediately for Flávia, who is both beautiful and charismatic. When a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, the two both jump to showcase their talents as henna artists.

Cover of Never Fall Down

Never Fall Down
By Patricia McCormick

Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio   |   hoopla eAudio

A raw and powerful historical novel about Cambodian advocate, Arn Chorn-Pond, who grew up as a child of war, and later on, a man of peace.

Cover of K-Pop Confidential

K-Pop Confidential
By Stephen Lee

hoopla eAudio

A Korean American girl travels to Seoul in hopes of debuting in a girl group at the same K-pop company behind the most popular boy band on the planet.

Cover of 29 Dates

29 Dates
By Melissa de la Cruz

Overdrive eBook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

Ji-su’s traditional South Korean parents are concerned by what they see as a lack of her attention to schoolwork and her future. Ji-su tries to compromise with her parents by going on the recommended dates after they work with Seoul’s premiere matchmaker to help them find her the right boyfriend as one step towards ensuring Ji-su’s success. When she flubs a test and skips out on a date set by her parents, they shock her by shipping her off to a private school in San Francisco!

Cover of Heiress Apparently

Heiress Apparently
By Diana Ma

hoopla eBook

Gemma Huang has recently abandoned her plans for college to pursue a career in acting, moving herself from Illinois to Los Angeles, where she finds herself living with three roommates in a two-bedroom hovel. What’s worse: she is auditioning for bit roles that hardly cover rent. A big break comes when she is asked to play a role in an update of M. Butterfly that is filming for the summer in Beijing.

Cover of Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere
By Celeste Ng

Large Print   |   Book Kit   |   Book on CD   |   Playaway   |   Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

In a progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned: from the layout of roads, to the colors of houses, to the successes of their residents. Elena relishes in this town, who loves nothing more than playing by the rules. An enigmatic artist and single mother, Mia, suddenly moves into the idyllic bubble with her daughter, disregarding the status quo that threatens to upend the carefully ordered community. When a family decides to adopt a Chinese American baby, a custody battle erupts and ultimately divides the town, as well as Mia and Elena. Troubled by her mysterious past, Elena is determined to uncover Mia’s secrets.

Cover of No One Can Pronounce My Name

No One Can Pronounce My Name
By Rakesh Satyal

Overdrive eAudio

A community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures in a suburb outside of Cleveland. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers have trouble pronouncing your name but will completely and utterly repeat Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Enter Harit, an Indian immigrant in his late forties who lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of his sister. In an attempt to keep his mother sane, Harit has taken upon himself to dress in a Sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana is an Indian woman who has just seen her only child off to college. Ranjana suspects that her husband is having an affair and seeks solace in writing paranormal romances. Harit and Ranjana meet and thus begins a strange, yet very necessary friendship.

Cover of On Such a Full Sea

On Such a Full Sea
By Chang-rae Lee

Book on CD   |   Overdrive eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

In a future, long-declining America, society is divided by class. Abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as high walled, self-contained labor colonies. Members of the labor class are descendants of those brought over en masse from provincial China. In this world, Fan is a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home when a man she loves mysteriously disappears.

Cover of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
By Amy Chua

Book on CD   |   Overdrive eBook

The Yale Law School professor traces the rewards and pitfalls of a Chinese mother’s exercise in extreme parenting, describing the exacting standards applied to grades, music lessons and avoidance of Western cultural practices.

Cover of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
By Lisa See

Large Print   |   Book Kit   |   Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

A story about a Chinese mother and her daughter, who has been adopted by an American couple, tracing the very different cultural factors that compel them to consume a rare native tea that has shaped their family's destiny for generations.

Cover of A Map of Betrayal

A Map of Betrayal
By Ha Jin

Overdrive eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

Shocked by discoveries in her late CIA mole father's diary, Lilian Shang travels to China to meet the family her father was forced to abandon after World War II.

Cover of How to Pronounce Knife

How to Pronounce Knife
By Souvankham Thammavongsa

Overdrive eAudio

In the title story of Souvankham Thammavongsa's debut collection, a young girl brings a book home from school and asks her father to help her pronounce a tricky word, a simple exchange with unforgettable consequences. Thammavongsa is a master at homing in on moments like this—moments of exposure, dislocation, and messy feelings that push us right up against the limits of language.

Cover of The Lowland

The Lowland
By Jhumpa Lahiri

Book on CD   |   Playaway

Frequently mistaken for one another in spite of very different natures, brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue respective lives in rebellion-torn 1960s Calcutta, until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.

Cover of A Little Life

A Little Life
By Hanya Yanagihara

Book on CD   |   Overdrive eBook

Four college classmates are broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. Their lives are tinged by addiction, success, and pride as their relationships deepen over the decades.

Cover of Lucky Boy

Lucky Boy
By Shanthi Sekaran

Book on CD   |   Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

Solimar Castro-Valdez is eighteen and super optimistic as they embark on a journey across the Mexican border. After several weeks, she arrives in Berkeley, California, having found love and lost, and pregnant. And now, she is undocumented and unmoored. On the flipside, Kavya Reddy can’t get pregnant. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention, Kavya comes to care for little Ignacio, finally able to become the mother she dreamed of being, even under false pretenses.

Cover of The Queen of the Night

The Queen of the Night
By Alexander Chee

hoopla eBook

A mesmerizing story of Lilliet Berne, an orphan who was left on the American frontier of Europe and later swept into a life of glamour and terror of Second Empire France, and later on becoming a sensation of the Paris Opera. Someone is out to destroy her career by spreading a dark secret, and the legendary opera singer must find out who.

Cover of Forgotten Country

Forgotten Country
By Catherine Chung

Overdrive eAudio   |   hoopla eBook

While Janie is waiting for her sister, Hannah, to be born, she is told a story about how her family loses a daughter in every generation. Henceforth, Janie swears to keep Hannah safe. Years later, Hannah cuts all ties with the family, and disappears. Janie goes on a mission to find her sister, and finally uncovers the truth beneath their family’s silence.

Cover of The Cooked Seed

The Cooked Seed
By Anchee Min

Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio

Serving as a sequel to Red Azalea, Anchee Min returns twenty years later to continue the story of her own life in this next chapter.

Cover of Snow Hunters

Snow Hunters
By Paul Yoon

hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

A story about Yohan, who leaves his country at the end of the Korean War to seek a new life in Brazil. During his years there, he meets Kiyoshi, a Japanese tailor, Peixe, the groundskeeper at the town church, and two vagrant children, Santi and Bia. A truly heartrending story about a man who finds love, despite his loneliness and traumatic past.

Cover of The Story Hour

The Story Hour
By Thirty N. Umrigar

Book on CD   |   Overdrive eBook   |   Overdrive eAudio   |   hoopla eAudio

Maggie, an experienced psychologist, befriends a young Indian woman named Lakshmi, who is suicidal, lonely, and trapped in a loveless marriage. Their friendship becomes warped by conflicted expectations as well as threatened by long-buried secrets.

Cover of The Library of Legends

The Library of Legends
By Janie Chang

hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

Hu Lian and his classmates are ordered to flee when Japanese bombs begin to fall on the city of Nanking. Along with more than 100 students, faculty, and staff, they must walk 1,000 miles into China’s western provinces to seek refuge, all while entrusted with a 500-year old collection of myths and folklore called The Library of Legends.

Cover of 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

10 Things I Hate About Pinky
By Sandhya Menon

Overdrive eBook

Ashish’s friends, Pinky and Samir, pretend to date during a summer at Cape Cod to get their mothers off their backs. They bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats through the whole summer. One thing is definite and that is that this will be a summer they will never forget.

Cover of I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love
By Maurene Goo

Overdrive eBook

Desi Lee decides to tackle her flirting failures by watching K-Dramas, something that her father has obsessed over for years. Believing the power of K-Drama and its simple formula, Desi decides to go after the moody and elusive artist, Luca Drakos. Boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue.

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