Asian American & Pacific Islander Author Spotlight – May 2021
Posted on May 11, 2021
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.