The largest design festival in the Pacific Northwest kicks off on August 20 & 21, 2022 with a free, outdoor street festival. The Block Party features hands-on, large-scale design installations in Lake Union Park as well as pop-up design activities and experiences for all ages. In addition to the Block Party, there will be Community Spotlight events across the city with pop-up exhibitions and design tours in Fremont (August 22), Columbia City (August 24) and Downtown (August 25) neighborhoods. The Festival also includes virtual programming on Labyrinth design, public art planning, and more (August 22 – 24). For full details, go to seadesignfest.org.
Future-Arts presents “Augment Seattle 2022 – A Mixed Reality Urban Showcase” on view at various locations July 21 – August 28th, 2022. This free event features interactive art pieces open to the public 24/7 where you just have to scan the app to start. Some of the artists involved include Nina Vichayapai, Michelle Kumata and Tani Ikeda plus many others. The South Lake Union location at 9th & Thomas is on view August 12 – 28th, 2022. The #Glitchgoddess installations are on view July 21 – 24th, 2022 at Pioneer Square:Railspur AND July 21 – August 28th, 2022 at Downtown: Westlake Park.
“The Signified or if” is the title of a series of 7 etchings with aquatint and hand-coloring by Shusaku Arakawa now on view through August 27. Arakawa was a conceptual artist/architect who infused his work with philosophical ideas that considered art’s intrinsic functions, human perceptions of the physical world and the language of signs, symbols and visual images. Also on view is “What is Visible, What is Imagined”, a series by Virginia Hungate-Hawk through July 30, 2022 and “Passage”, a series of woodcuts by Charles Spitzack on view from through August 27, 2022. Davidson Galleries. 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-624-7684 or www.davidsongalleries.com.
“Flower Flower” is not a florist shop. Instead it’s a neighborhood “greenhouse” where community stores flourish, and creative expression is nurtured, cultivated and resourced. Founded by a collective of queer and trans, Pasifika and Asian artists and cultural workers who aim to create accessible, thriving art spaces in the CID for our communities to heal and grow. Check out their window art display from through August 31, 2022 at 619 South Jackson. Co-sponsored by Scidpda.
“Transcending Boundaries” is the title of a group show that signals the U.S. grand opening of the Yuanru Art Center, a gallery that originates from Taipei. Artists in this inaugural show include Angie Dixon, Cormac McCarthy, Racquel Miller, Judy Chia Hui Hsu, Mariestella Colin Astacio, Chien-Hsing Lien, Wen-Yueh Tao, Julie Hsieh, Yang Lin and Sheng Reui Yu. On view now through October 16, 2022. 12737 NE Bel Red Rd. Suite 200. For details, try [email protected] or [email protected].
“GATHER: 27 Years of Hilltop Artists” represents nearly 30 years of youth development and creative cultivation through glassblowing in this Tacoma neighborhood. Includes work from 21 Hilltop artists alumni with artistic practices rooted in this Tacoma community. Curated by Hilltop’s own Trenton Quiocho, Hot Shop manager and “GATHER” curator who’s presently artist-in-residence at the Glass Museum next door. On view through September 4, 2022. Also on view for an extended time is “Painting Deconstructed: Selections from the Northwest Collection” which includes the work of a number of Northwest Asian American artists. 1701 Pacific Avenue. 253-272-4358 or [email protected].
On view through October 9, 2022 is “George Tsutakawa – Language Of Nature”, a retrospective exhibition honoring Seattle native and international arts icon George Tsutakwa (1910-1997). An exhibition catalog is available for purchase. For a another introduction to the work of this artist, check out the article by his daughter Mayumi Tsutakawa entitled “Stolen Beauty” in the Summer 2022 issue of University of Washington Magazine (magazine.uw.edu). She also wrote the exhibition catalog essay. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. BIMA is located at 550 Winslow Way E. just as you get off the ferry dock.206-842-4451 or try biartmuseum.org.
Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds presents a complimentary pairing with the BIMA Tsutakawa show later this year when it presents “George Tsutakawa: Works on Paper- The Early Years” which is on view December 1, 2022 – March 26, 2023.190 Sunset Ave. #E in Edmonds. 425-336-4809 or try CascadiaArtMuseum.org.
Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location has the following. “”Folding Into Shape – Japanese Design and Crafts” is on view through September 25, 2022. Creating three-dimensional objects by folding, layering and weaving two dimensional materials is a core concept in Japanese design and crafts. Ranging from textiles and paintings to ceramics and bamboo baskets, this exhibit serves up various examples from the permanent collection and private holdings. Also on view is “Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, And Culture in Late Imperial China.” Seattle Asian Art Museum has the following. “Boundless: Stories of Asian Art” is an ongoing group show re-imagining of items from the museum’s permanent collection of Asian art. “Beyond The Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on the Classical Forms” is an ongoing exhibit that opens on July 22, 2022. In the Fuller Garden Court you will find Kenzan Tsutakawa Chinn’s permanent installation “Gather.” Tsutakawa Chinn is a Seattle-raised, New York-based LED light installation artist. Tickets released every Thursday at 10am. Purchase tickets online in advance and save $3. Ticket prices increase if you wait until the day of your visit to purchase so plan ahead and get the best price. Tickets are released online on a monthly rolling basis. Seattle Art Museum is downtown at 1300 first Ave. 206-654-3100 or try seattleartmuseum.org.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum reopens on March 5, 2021. Hours are Fridays through Sundays from 10am – 5pm. Reserving tickets online prior to visit is highly encouraged as it is operating at limited capacity. Just opened is “We Are Changing the Tide: Community Power for Environmental Justice”. This exhibit looks at BIPOC communities from the Quinault Nation fighting climate change to Duwamish River stewardship to the threat of rising seas on Pacific Island communities to Native Hawaiians opposing military installations and Beacon Hill neighbors fighting airplane noise and pollution. On view through April 23, 2023. “Reorient: Journeys Through Art and Healing” is on view now through May 14, 2023. Opening July 8, 2022 is “Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee”. “Woven Together: Stories of Burma/Myanmar” on view through November 12, 2022. “Lunar New Year: Altars, Ancestors, Traditions Blessings” on view through January 8, 2023. “Where Beauty Lies” looks at what defines beauty from an Asian Pacific American perspective on view through September 18, 2022. On going are the following – “The Heart of Our Journey” is a permanent exhibit dedicated to the Asian Pacific American experience, “I Am Filipino” looks at the story of Filipino Americans”, “Hometown Desi” covers the local South Asian experience and “Cambodian Cultural Museum and Killing Fields Memorial” looks at the Cambodian America experience and the impact of the Killing fields on that country’s history. Upcoming exhibits include the following – “Hai! Japantown” uncovers the history of Seattle’s Japanese American community and opens on August 13, 2022. An exhibition entitled “Paradice Avenue Souf” opens on August 18, 2022. In the fall on October 14, 2022, there will be an exhibit on those Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans who defied government regulations and refused to enlist during WWII entitled “Resistors”. There are virtual tours of the museum on weekday mornings. Pre-booking available for private groups. Contact the museum to sign up. Live virtual tours of the Freeman Hotel on Thursdays at 5pm PDT. Check out what’s in the gift shop with the Museum’s online marketplace. The monthly storytime programs can be watched at www.digitalwingluke.org/programs.
KOBO, a unique shop of arts and crafts from Japan and items made by Northwest artists has two shops in Seattle on Capitol Hill and in the Chinatown/ID/Japantown community downtown. The gallery features new work by Rob Vetter. Masks are required and you must use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering. Shipping and curbside pickup is still available by scheduling a Pickup Time at Checkout. They have a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop or try their website at koboseattle.com. KOBO at Higo hours are Wed. – Sat. from 11am – 5pm. The Capitol Hill store is at 814 E. Roy St. and their hours are Tues. – Sat. from 11am to 5pm. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. in the CID.
The Frye Art Museum presents the work of Portland artist Srijon Chowdhury with a solo show entitled “Same Old Song”. The artist creates dreamlike oil paintings that consider the present moment as part of a larger mythology. Opens October 8, 2022 and remains on view through January 15, 2023. 704 Terry Ave. in Seattle. 206-622-9250 or try fryemuseum.org.
Bellevue Arts Museum has the following – An ongoing collaborative exhibition of innovative glass works by Terri Grant & Purnima Patel entitled “Trace” is on view in the museum. 510 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue, WA. 425-519-0770 or try bellevuearts.org.
The Pacific Bonsai Museum has the following – “A Gallery of Trees: Living Art of Pacific Bonsai Museum” presents old and new favorites from the museum’s collection on view through November 5, 2023. “De Groot – A Retrospective” presents bonsai from the personal collection of the museum’s first curator, David De Groot on view through September 4, 2022. 2515 South 336th St. in Federal Way, WA. Admission is by donation. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am – 4pm. 253-353-7345 or email [email protected].
“Remembrance – The Legacy of Executive Order 9066 in Washington State” is a permanent exhibit on the third floor of the Washington State Historical Society. Visitors will experience history through photos, art, objects, letters and film. A significant part of this exhibit was sourced by working with individuals and families who were directly impacted including survivors and their descendants. Now through September 11, 2022 is “Art of the Aloha Shirt: Keoni of Hawaii, 1938-1951”. 1911 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. 1-888-238-4373.
“Looking Up – The Skyviewing Sculpture of Isamu Noguchi” through November 26, 2022. Skyviewing was an important theme in Noguchi’s art but has never been explored in depth before. More than 40 sculptures and drawings, comprising 60 years of his career, showcase the various forms the theme takes in his art. Western Gallery & Sculpture Collection on the campus of Western Washington University at 516 High St. Fl 116. 360-650-3900 or try westerngallery.wwu.edu.
The Outdoor Sculpture Collection on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham is open and accessible to everyone. This is an outdoor collection of major sculptures from the late 20th century to the present and includes work by Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Isamu Noguchi among others. Get a map from the information booth and explore the campus collection for yourself. Call 360-650-3900.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at WSU is a new art space for Eastern Washington. Inaugural shows include the following – The museum plans a retrospective exhibition for Eastern Washington artist Keiko Hara for 2022. “Keiko Hara: The Poetics of Space, Four Decades of Paintings” is set for May 2022 – December 2022. 1535 Wilson Road on the Washington State University campus in Pullman. 509-335-1910 or try [email protected].
“Start Here” is an exhibition curated by Bryce Kanbara of Graham Gallery that serves as an introduction to the work of four Nisei Japanese Canadian artists born in the latter half of the 1920s. It includes the work of Roy Kiyooka, Kazuo Nakamura, Shizuye Takashima and Takao Tanabe. September 17, 2022 – January 22, 2023. This exhibition will open in conjunction with the citywide arts symposium Gei organized by the National Association of Japanese Canadians, in collaboration with UVic with funding from the Canada Council. One hundred Japanese Canadian artists from across Canada will gather in Victoria for a three day symposium (September 16 – 18, 2022) at the newly restored pavilion at Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavillion, the historic site of the original Japanese tea house run by the Takata family who were forced to abandon it in 1941 when Canadians of Japanese ancestry were sent to internment camps. At the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria located at 1040 Moss St. in Victoria BC, Canada. 250—384-4171 or try https://aggv.ca/exhibits/start-here/.
The Museum of Vancouver has “A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia” which highlights the importance of food and restaurant culture in the Chinese-Canadian immigrant experience. Situated in Vanier Park at 1100 Chestnut St. in Vancouver, BC, Canada. 604-736-4431 or try museumofvancouver.ca.
The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum at 555 Columbia St. in Vancouver B.C. has an ongoing exhibit entitled “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia”. 604-658-8880 or go to cccvan.com.
“Broken Promises” is a 7 year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project that explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. Also on view is an ongoing exhibit on “TAIKEN: Japanese Canadians Since 1877”. Opening on October 23, 2021 is “SAFE/Home” is a collaboration between Kellen Hatanaka and Alexa Hatanaka. Through the lens of the historic Vancouver Asahi baseball team, these artists explore issues of race, xenophobia, representation and implicit bias that are relevant in both sport and society today. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby at 6688 Southoaks Crescent. 604-777-7000 or try nikkeiplace.org.
Portland-based artist Robert Dozono’s show “War is not the Answer” is on view at Newport Visual Art Center from August 6 – September 25, 2022. The artist is known for his use of recycled garbage assembled onto his large painted canvases. Hours are Wed., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4pm. 777 N.W. Beach Drive in Newport, Oregon. 541-574-3364 or try [email protected].
The Alexander Gallery located in the Niemeyer Center at Clackamas Community College presents a show by Portland sculptor/multi-media artist Kanetaka Ikeda entitled “Cosmic Tree” on view September 19 – November 30, 2022.This is yet another chapter in a continuing series the artist perceived of in a dream years ago. An artist talk on Wed., October 19, 2022 from noon – 1pm. Hours are M-F from 9 to 5pm except for holidays. Free admission. 19600 Molalla Ave. in Oregon City, Oregon. 503-594-3032 or [email protected].
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following – “On Earth: A Fragile Existence” is a group show culled from JSMA’s permanent collection that reflect a multi-layered understanding of humanity’s role in our shared ecology with the non-human, or more-than-human, world. On view through September 18, 2022. Upcoming exhibition on the work of the late Bay Area artist Hung Liu entitled “Remember This: Hung Liu at Trillium” is on view through August 28, 2022. The renowned California artist explores portraits, landscapes and still-lifes that reflect upon history, memory, tradition, migration and social justice. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Japanese American Museum of Oregon is now open in a new space. Current exhibits include the following – “Na Omi Shintani: Dream Refuge for Children Imprisoned”. This Bay Area artist builds a refuge for imprisoned children, whether they be Japanese Americans in WWII concentration camps, American Indian boarding school children or Central American children imprisoned and separated from their families. This show will be on view through September of 2022. “Resilence – A Sansei Sense of Legacy” is a group show of eight artists whose work reflects upon the effect of Executive Order 9066 and how it resonated from generation to generation. This group show will be on view from October 1 – December 22, 2022. Artists include Kristine Aono, Reiki Fuji, Wendy Maruyama, Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Tom Nakashima, Roger Shimomura, Judy Shintani and Jerry Takigawa. The show was co-curated by Jerry Takigawa and Gail Enns. Several online exhibits on the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon can also be viewed. 411 NW Flanders. 503-224-1458 or email [email protected].
Portland Chinatown Museum has the following –Portland installation artist Roberta Wong has a window installation in memory of Vincent Chin, the Chinese American man killed by two Detroit workers entitled “Vincent”. On view through September 10, 2022 will be a career retrospective of set designs for theatre and the performing arts by Northwest set designer Carey Wong. Wong had a hand in designing the interior of the museum itself. Portland Chinatown Museum is located at 127 N.W. Third Ave. 503-224-0008 or email [email protected].
“Sansei Granddaughters’ Journey” is a new group show set for display now through Saturday, September 3, 2022 at AZ Gallery at the Shops at Tanforan in San Bruno California. The gallery is on land where the former Tanforan Racetrack and temporary detention center for Japanese Americans during WWII stood. The work of five noted third generation Japanese American artists will be on view. Participating artists include Shari Arai DeBoer, Ellen Bepp, Reiko Fujii, Kathy Fujii-Oka, and Na Omi Judy Shintani. Media includes video, installation, prints, paintings, and mixed media pieces. 1150 El Camino Real, Suite 254 in San Bruno, California. Hours are Wed. – Fri. from 11am – 4pm and Sat. from 11am – 6pm and Sun. from 11am – 5pm. The following program activities are presented – Na Omi Judy Shintai will lead a “Shining a Light on Remembrance Lantern Making Workshop” on Sunday, August 7 from 1 – 4:30pm for 12 people. To register, go to www.sanseigrandaughters.com. Topaz Stories Project editor Ruth Sasaki will lead a reading with five local authors entitled “Topaz Stories: Preserving Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration” on Saturday, August 13 from 1 – 2:30pm followed by a Q&A and panel discussion. On Sunday, August 14, 2022, the short film “Sansei Granddaughter’s Journey” done in conjunction with the artists will be screened at 1pm with a Q&A to follow. “Remnants of Tanforan Incarceration” is the title of a taiko performance by Naoki Amemiya and Lori Honjiyo set for Sat., August 20, 2022 from 1pm – 2:30pm followed by a Tanforan artifact display and talk by Nancy Ukai, Project Director of “50 Objects”. There will be a “Flowering Cherry Blossom Workshop” on Sunday, August 21 from 1 – 3pm. Facilitated by artist Kathy Fujii-Oka, twelve attendees will create textile cherry blossom flowers using personal photos of their loved ones.Registration is required, go to www.sanseigranddaughters.com. On Sunday, August 28, 2022 from 1 – 2:30pm, producer/director Emiko Omori will introduce two films, “Flying Cranes” and “Tsuru History”. Members of the Tsuru for Solidarity group will share stories and display their large-scale origami creations with a hands-on origami art-making activity to follow. There will also be artist-led tours of the exhibition on Sunday, August 7 at 11am, Saturday, August 13 from 12 – 12:30pm, Sunday, August 31 from 3:30 – 4pm and Sunday, August 28 from 1 – 1:30pm and finally on Saturday, September 3 from 1 – 1:30pm. Go to www.sanseigranddaughters.com for details.
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following currently on view. “Team Lab: Sketch Ocean.” “Zheng Chongbin: I Look For The Sky.” “After Hope: Videos of Resistance.” “Afruz Amighi: My House, My Tomb.” Site-specific installations – “Momento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang.” Outside murals by Channel Miller and Jennifer K.Wofford are visible from Hyde St. Opening December 17, 2021 is “Weaving Stories – Indonesia, The Philippines and Malaysia”. “Seeing Gender” opens January 21, 2022. And coming in the Summer of 2022 is the first major museum retrospective for Bay Area iconic performance artist and visual artist Carlos Villa, a longtime noted instructor at San Francisco Art Institute. The show is entitled “Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collusion”. 200 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA. 415-581-3500.
The Berkeley Art Museum/PFA has the following – “Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping”. This L.A.-based artist creates multisensory environments that investigate the legacies of colonialism, racism and sexism. On view through November 27, 2022.155 Center St. Berkeley, CA 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
Three artists working in clay, wood and paper are in a group show entitled “Quietude, Stillness of the Mind”. Includes three dimensional mixed media work by Janet Jones, Vince Montague and Hideo Yoshida. On view through August 14,2022. At hugomento located at 795 – 22nd St. in San Francisco. [email protected] or +14155057609. Hours are Wed. – Friday from 1 – 6pm and weekends from 1 – 5pm or by appointment.
The San Jose Museum of Art has the following. A massive installation entitled “Factory of the Sun” by European artist Hito Steyerl is on view through September 25, 2022. It tells the surreal story of workers whose forced moves in a motion capture studio are turned into artificial sunlight. 110 South Market St. in San Jose, CA. 408-271-6840.
“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” will celebrate the designs of Guo Pei hailed as China’s first couturier and includes more than 80 works from the past two decades highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. The exhibition will be on view through September 5, 2022 at The Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The show was organized by Jill D’Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 100 – 34th Ave. 415-750-3600 or try https://legionofhonor.famsf.org.
Japan House Los Angeles has the following – “Life Cycles – A Bamboo Exploration with Tanabe Chikuunsai IV” on view now through January 15, 2023. This exhibition examines the artistic lineage of this family’s tradition of creating bamboo flower baskets and smaller sculptural works and traces the current 4th generation descendant’s forays into large-scale contemporary art works and installations. In the Hollywood & Highland Building on Level 2 & 5 on 6806 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles. 1-800-516-0565 or try japanhousela.com.
The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) has the following – Ongoing is “Common Ground – The Heart of Community” which features a WWII Japanese internment camp building. Ongoing is “The Interactive Story File of Lawson Ichiro Sakai”, an oral history project in which visitors can ask Japanese American elder Sakai any questions they want about his life and past history such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese internment camps, his service as a soldier in WWII. Opening on February 26, 2022 is “Sutra And Bible-Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration”. The exhibit examines the role that religion played in saving the exiled Japanese American community from despair during the war years. In additional news, the museum has announced the launch of their Google Arts & Culture web page which features the Mine Okubo Collection at JANM, an online exhibition and the video entitled “UNBOXED: Mine Okubo’s Masterpiece: The Art of Citizen 13660”. The online exhibition is included in Goggle Arts & Culture’s Asian Pacific American Cultures hub as part of Google’s celebration of Asian
American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The Collection features 210 drawings and paintings created by Okubo when she was incarcerated in California and Utah during WWII and after the war in New York. Artwork from her illustrated memoir, “Citizen 13660” is also part of the collection. 101 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles, CA. 213-625-0414.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA has the following – “Crossroads – Exploring the Silk Road” opens October 22, 2021. This new permanent exhibit tells the story of centuries of cultural exchange stimulated by the movement of travelers and goods along the ancient trade route. “Global Asia’s: Contemporary Asian And Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer & the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation” comes to the museum from March – June, 2023. 2680 N. Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, CA. 626-787-2680 or [email protected].
The Dallas Museum of Art presents the following – “Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity” looks at how this French design company was inspired by Islamic art. On view now through September 18, 2022. Also “The Keir Collection of Islamic Art” is on view through December 31, 2022. 1717 North Harwood St. 214-922-1200.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the following – “Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Art Rocks” through May 3, 2023.”Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculptures in a New Light” through September 30, 2022. 465 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA. 617-267-9300 or go to mfa.org.
The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA has the following ongoing exhibits – “South Asian Art”, “Double Happiness Celebration in Chinese Art”, “Japanese Art”, “Japanomania! Japanese Art Goes Global” and finally “Anila Quayyum Agha: All the Flowers Are For Me”. This Pakistani American artist creates precise, stylized floral forms to make a sculptural chamber of light and shadow. Her effort creates a sense of how women can reclaim and safely open up private space to invite others. 161 Essex St. in Salem, MA 816-745-4876 or go to pem.org.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan is on view through September 11, 2022. This exhibit reveals the ingenious ways that people of Japan use the materials that nature provides to make things of use and comfort. “The Prints of Maki Haku: Prints from the Kimm-Grofferman Collection on view through April 9, 2023. 2400 Third Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 888-642-2787.
The Walker Art Center has the following – “Paul Chan: Breathers” on view now through April 22, 2023. And a Pacita Abid retrospective planned for sometime in 2023. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN. 612-375-7600 or try [email protected].
The Art Institute of Chicago has the following – “Kingfisher Headdresses from China” is on view through May 21, 2023. “Recollections of Tokyo 1923-1945” is on view through September 25, 2023. “Among Friends & Family” is a group exhibit that reflects the importance of time spent with loved ones through objects from China, Japan and Korea. 111 South Michigan Ave./159 E. Monroe. Chicago, ILL. 312-443-3600.
The Cleveland Art Museum has the following on view – “Escaping to a Better World: Eccentrics and Immortals in Chinese Art” now on view through November 6, 2022. “Creating Urgency: Modern and Contemporary Korean Art” now on view through October 23, 2022. “Japan’s Floating World”,a show displaying the Ukiyo-e tradition on view through October 9, 2022. Opening August 26, 2022 and on view through March 5, 2023 is “Text and Image in Southern Asia. “Martial Art of India” on view through August 8, 2022. Opening December 11, 2022 and remaining on view through February 26, 2023 is “China Through the Magnifying Glass: Masterpieces in Miniature & Detail”. Opening June 11, 2023 and remaining on view through September 10, 2023 is “A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur.” 11150 East Blvd. Cleveland, Ohio. 261 – 421- 7350 or go to https://www.clevelandart.org.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has the following – “Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection” reveals itself to be more than just clothing but a silk canvas of wearable art. A terrific collection on view through February 20, 2023. “Companions in Solitude- Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art” through August 14, 2022. “Bodhisattvas of Wisdom: Compassion & Power” through October 30, 2022. “Celebrating the Year of the Tiger” through January 17, 2023. “Samurai Splendor – Sword Fittings from Edo Japan” is ongoing. 1000 Fifth Ave. 212-535-7710. Go to https://www.metmuseum.org.
Asia Society Museum has the following – These two shows now extended through December 31, 2022. “Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity” includes 19 works by seven artists born in China in the 1980s and reflects the dramatic economical, political and cultural shifts these artists have all experienced in their lifetimes. “Visionary Legacies: A Tribute to Harold J. Newman” celebrates artwork that Newman and his wife donated to the Asia Society Museum. “Buddha And Shiva, Lotus And Dragon” presents nearly seventy works of Asian art from the Rockefeller Collection on view through September 18, 2022. 725 Park Ave. in New York City.212-327-9721 or try www.asiasociety.org.
Ippodo Gallery has the following – “On The Axis” features works by glass artists Kota Arinaga & Kiyoko Morioka which expresses their interest in the Silk Road. On view through August 20, 2022. “Susumu Shingu- Sculpting With Wind” is the first solo exhibition in New York for this renowned kinetic sculptor. October 20 – December 29, 2022. 32 E. 67th St., 3rd Floor. New York City. +1-(212) 967-4899 or [email protected].
The Rubin Museum of Art announces the 2022 exhibition “Healing Practices: Stories From Himalayan Americans” which highlights the diverse ways that Tibetan Buddhist artworks and practices have served as roadmaps to well-being. The exhibition juxtaposes objects from the museum’s collection with stories from Himalayan Americans, revealing the many ways these living traditions are transformed and adopted for today’s world. On view through January 16, 2023. This exhibition was developed in collaboration with a Himalayan American and Asian American Community Advisory Group which includes New York tri-state area and DC artists, medical professionals, spiritual leaders, activists, educators and art therapists interested in the intersection between art, healing, and activism. A new podcast premieres on June 8, 2021 entitled “Awaken” hosted by musician/composer Laurie Anderson. It features stories of transformation by Aparna Nancheria, Alok Vaid-Menon, Tara Branch and more. Get the podcast on RubinMuseum.org/awakenPOD and other major podcast platforms. Mandala Lab” is the Museum’s new interactive space for social, emotional and ethical healing. Designed by Peterson Rich Office, it invites visitors to participate in five unique experiences inspired by a Tibetan Buddhist mandala. Through October 1, 2031. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” remains on view through June 5, 2023. “Journey Through Himalayan Art” remains on view through January 8, 2024.”150 West 17th St. in New York City. 212-620-5000 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
“With A Single Step – Stories in The Making of America” is on view through December 31, 2023. A presentation of the diverse layers of the Chinese American experience while examining America’s journey as a nation of immigrants. The Museum of Chinese in America. 215 Centre St. New York City. +1-855-955-MOCA or [email protected].
At the Korea Society is “Heeseop Yoon/ Agglomeration” on view through August 25, 2022. Yoon is known for her intricate installations that spread over walls onto ceilings and floors. Located at 350 Madison on the 24th floor. 212-759-7525. Go to Koreasociety.org for details.
The Noguchi Museum presents “Noguchi Subscapes” on view through May 7, 2023. These installations reveal his interest in the unseen and hidden. “Veronicka Spierenburg, Aus-Hohlen” shows two films on monastery caves in Georgia done by this filmmaker. Screening June 15 – October 2, 2022. Also on view is a group show entitled “In Praise of Caves: Organic Architecture Projects from Mexico” by Lazo, Goeritz, O’Gorman and Senosiain on view October 19, 2022 – February 26, 2023. 9-01 33rd Road. Long Island City, New York. 718-204-7088 or [email protected].
New York City-based Joan B. Mirviss LTD Gallery presents a group show entitled “Listening to Clay” which features work by all sixteen Japanese artists that are showcased in a new book entitled “Listening to Clay: Conversations with Contemporary Ceramic Artists (Monacelli Press). Opening July 19, 2022. An upcoming gallery event is a Zoom Talk entitled “Listening to Clay: The Artists, Curators, and Collectors Who Listen”. To register for this event, try https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MIK_lGV9SSmX3TGrg2AJkw. Go to: https://www.mirviss.com/exhibitions/listening-to-clay for more exhibition information. On view September 14 – October 28, 2022 is “Red Earth – New Works by Ogawa Machiko”. 39 E. 78th St. #401. New York City. 212-799-4021 or [email protected].
The Dai ichi Arts Gallery presents “Modern Splendor – Exceptional Contemporary Japanese Ceramics” on view through August 31, 2022. 18 E. 64th St. – Ste. 1F in New York City. Go to daichiarts.com for details.
The Chinese American Museum has opened in Washington DC. It’s the only museum in the nation’s capitol dedicated to the Chinese American story – its history, culture and voice. The museum had an exhibit tour of their exhibition “Golden Threads – Chinese Opera in America” which is now available on you tube for viewing. “China From China – Porcelain And Stories of Early American Trade” is a new exhibit that explores the dawn of economic trade and commerce between America and China.From the Dietrich American Foundation Collection. On view through October 1, 2022. Go to www.chineseamericanmuseum.org for details. 1218 – 16th St. NW. 202-838-3180 or chineseamericanmuseum.org.
The National Museum of Asian Art – Sackler/Freer Gallery has the following – Ongoing shows include “Engaging The Senses – Arts of the Islamic World”, “Body Image – Arts of the Indian Subcontinent”. The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room opens March 5, 2022. “Underdogs and Antiheroes: Japanese prints from the Moskowitz Collection” runs from through January 29, 2023. “Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain” on view through September 17. 2022. “A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur” runs from November 19 – May 14. 2023. “Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan – Calligraphic Paintings from the Museum’s Collection” on view February 26 – July 24, 2022. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Jefferson Drive at 12th St. SW. Try asia.si.edu for details.
The New Orleans Museum of Art has the following – “Katherine Choy: Radical Potter in 1950s New Orleans” is on view through April 23, 2023. This is the first monographic review of this artist whose work was celebrated by the 1950s craft world before her sudden death. Her early pots show inspiration from Asian clay traditions but expanded to include aggressively large asymmetrical forms with glazes that had intentionally left parts of the raw clay exposed. “The Free Hermit Life: Images of Reclusion and Retirement in Japanese Edo-period painting” remains on view through October 8, 2022. One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. 504-658-4100.
The Tate Modern has the following on view – The Traveling exhibition entitled “Surrealism Beyond Borders” will be on view through August 29, 2022 at the Tate Modern and will feature work by Japanese artist Koga Harue. Go to tate.org.uk for details on all these.
“Isamu Noguchi/Danh Vo: A Cloud and Flowers” is on view through September 19, 2022 at D. Leir Pavillion in Luxembourg. Noguchi’s cultural identity as a Japanese American which found expression in a formal expression that crossed eastern and western cultures can also be seen in the Danish-based Vo’s sculptural works and installation. In this location, Vo has created a conceptual garden – an interaction between Noguchi’s Akari lamps and the artist’s new mineral and plant-based work. 3, Park Drai Eechelen,L-1499 Luxembourg-Kirchberg. +352 453785-1 or [email protected].
“Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective” continues on its world tour with stops in Berlin and Tel Aviv. April 23 – August, 2022. Gropius Bau in Berlin. Niederkirchner Stra Be7,10963 Berlin. Tel Aviv Museum of Art from November 2 – April 23, 2022. The Golda Meier Cultural & Art Center, sderot sha’ul HaMelech Blvd., Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. +972-3-6077020.
The first major retrospective of artist Lee Ufan in Tokyo is set to be on view through November 7, 2022 at the National Art Center, Tokyo. This exhibit will then travel on to Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art where it will be on view from December 2022 – February,2023. The National Art Center, Tokyo is at 7-22-2 Roppongi Minato-Ku Tokyo 106-8558. For details, go to https://www.annohideakiten.jp/.
At the Mori Arts Center – In the Tokyo City View room, you will find “Hyakkiyako Exhibition of Mizuki Shigeru” from July 8 – September 4, 2022. The main museum has “Listen to the Sound of the Earth Turning: Our Wellbeing Since the Pandemic”, a group exhibition on artists in a time of healing. On view through November 6, 2022.In Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome-10-1, Roppongi Hills, Japan. +8150-5541-8600.
The late Hong Kong graffiti artist Tsang Tsou-Choi whose work has resurfaced on the city’s urban surfaces now takes on a new light as a symbol of political expression mostly stamped out by the current Chinese regime’s campaign of censoring dissent since 2020. Louisa Lim examines his legacy in her book, “Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong” as locals try to create a makeshift plan to preserve his legacy on the city’s streets.
Japanese historian Meher McArthur has curated a touring group exhibit entitled “Washi Transformed: New Expressions In Japanese Paper” which features the work of nine contemporary Japanese artists which include Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kyoko Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka, and Ayomi Yoshida. The exhibit tours over 6 cities across the United States beginning in October of 2021.The lone West Coast date thus far is at Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA. October 13, 2023 – January 7, 2024. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Lei Ann Shiramizu wil be hosting a social media takeover of Seattle’s Asian life-style publication, Origami Magazine for the next few months. Shiramizu who previously owned “MOMO” in Seattle’s Japantown will touch on topics related to Seattle’s Japanese arts and culture. Go to https/www.facebook.com/origami.seattle for details.
The work of the late pioneering Japanese American sculptor Leo Amino has been gaining renewed appreciation as of late with his work included in gallery and museum shows. Now comes word that the 13th Annual ReVIEWING Black Mountain College conference set for October 7-9, 2022 in Asheville, North Carolina will have a thematic focus on this Black Mountain College faculty member. In conjunction with the conference, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center will mount an exhibition entitled “Leo Amino: Black Mountain College Sculptor” as curated by Genji Amino, Director of The Estate of Leo Amino. This exhibition will demonstrate Amino’s ingenuity in working with new materials to investigate the dynamics of perception through material and phenomenal transparency. Amino is the innovator of cast plastics in the history of American sculpture, and the first artist in the U.S. to create a full body of work in the medium. Dr. Marci Kwon will be the keynote speaker. She is co-director for the Cantor Arts Center’s Asian American Art Initiative.
The 2022 “From Hiroshima To Hope” Annual Lantern Floating Peace Ceremony at Green Lake returns on Saturday, August 6, 2022 from 6 – 8pm (PST). The event is free but donations are welcome. This annual event honors victims of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all victims of violence. At 6pm, gather at Green Lake to get your lanterns personalized. At 7pm, the family program starts with Seattle Kokon Taiko, poet Sharon Hashimoto, Ukrainian singer Roman Vashcuk with a keynote by Lori Matsukawa. Tara Villalba is emcee. At 8pm, a lantern floating ceremony begins. Seattle Public Theater at the Green Lake Bathhouse located at 7312 West Green Lake Drive North. Sponsored by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Parks and Recreation and numerous local peace, community and faith organizations. Go to http://fromhiroshimtohope.org for details.
Christine Toy Johnson is in the touring production of the Broadway Tony Award-winning musical “Come From Away” which tells the story of a small town in New Foundland that welcomed the world when airplanes of passengers were diverted there after the 9/11 disaster. On stage at the 5th Avenue Theatre through August 7,2022. 1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle.206-625-1900 or try www.5thavenue.org.
Taproot Theatre brings classic mystery to the stage this summer when they perform Agatha Christie’s “Black Coffee” through August 13, 2022. When the formula for a secret weapon has been stolen and Sir Claude discovers the theft, he locks everyone in the library. Moments later there’s a dead body, a room full of suspects, and a Belgian sleuth in the shape of the famous Hercule Poirot at the door. The cast includes Nathan Brockett, Justine Yu-Ping Davis, Samuel Johns, Tyler Kimmel, Claire Max, Kim Morris, Nolan Palmer, James Schilling, Richard Nguyen Sloniker and Michael Winters. Lighting design by Chih-Hung Shao. Tickets are available at taproottheatre.org or call 206-781-9707 or in-person at the Box Office (Tues. – Sat., from noon-5pm) at 204 North 85th St. in Seattle.
The 2nd ever Salish Sea Butoh (Japanese contemporary movement) Festival takes place this summer from August 6 – 14, 2022 in Port Townsend, Washington. Besides performances, there will be immersive Butoh workshops available to the community. Performers/teachers include Hiroko Tamano, student of Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata, Katsura Kan from Kyoto, Yuko Kaseki from Berlin and Jacquelyn-Marie Shannon from New York. There will be a performance with live music as well as a FREE multimedia lecture for the community titled “Origins of Butoh: The Japanese Avant-Garde Artistic Movement of the 1960’s & 1970’s”. For details, try www.salishseabutoh.com.
The 2022-2023 Heritage Arts Apprenticeships have been announced. Sixteen teams of artists and craftspeople will conserve cultural traditions important to Washington’s communities. Some of those chosen from the Asian Pacific American community include the following –Master Srivani Jade will teach Suchitra Iyer “Abhangs: Marathi Songs of Devotion”. Devika Gates will teach Naya Gates “Bharatanatyam Kalakshetra Dance. Anwesha Das will teach Nidhi Achanta the ancient Indian classical dance known as “Bharatanatyam”. Ringtaro Tateishi will teach Eugene Arai “Japanese Taiko Drumming.” Sandhya Kandadai Rajagopal will teach Vibha Krishna the art of “Nattuvangam Techniques” which refers to the art of reciting syllables and playing cymbals to follow the footwork of a dancer. Deepti Agrawal will teach Prisha Mundra the “Madhubani/Mithila Painting” tradition that women practice on the walls of their home in the state of Bihar.
“An Introduction To Chanoyu (Japanese Tea Ceremony”) will be made available at the Shoseian Tea house in Seattle Japanese Garden from 1 – 4pm (PDT) for the following dates. August 6,13,14,27 & 28 AND September 3,10,16,17,24, & 25 AND October 1, 8,14,15,21,22 & 23, 2022.
Bob Antolin’s Comfort Food Band holds down a Wed. night spot at Rumba Notes Lounge at 5041 Rainier Ave. S. #108. 206-420-2192. Bob Antolin also does a program entitled “Solo Excursions” on sax, flute and guitar on Saturday nights from 6 – 9pm at Kezira Café. 5100 Rainier Ave. S. 206-588-1024 or try keziracafe.com. The Comfort Food Band plays the Madaraka Festival on August 13 – 14, 2022 at 2pm. Pier 62 at Waterfront Park at 1951 Alaskan Way. You can also catch Bob Antolin (saxes, flutes & guitar) and Norm Bellas (keys/vocals) as they play “Friday Night Jazz” at Harissa’s from 6 – 10pm. 2255 NE 65th St. in Seattle. 206-588-0650.
Seattle Opera has announced the line-up for their upcoming season. Some highlights include the following – Andrew Stenson has the role of Shepherd/Sailor in “Tristan & Isolde” set for October 15,21,23,26 & 29, 2022. Yonghoon Lee has the starring role as Samson in the Seattle Opera production of “Samson & Delilah” set for January 20 & 22, 2023. The world premiere of an adaptation of Afghani author Khaled Hosseini’s award-winning novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” takes place Feb. 25 & 26, March 3,5,8 & 11, 2023. Directed by Afghan filmmaker Roya Sadat. Rame Lahaj and Duke Kim share the role of Alfredo in “La Traviata” set for May 6,7,10,13,14 & 19, 2023. Samoan tenor Amitai Pati makes his Seattle Opera debut as Nemorino in “L’elisir d’amore” set for August 5 – 20, 2023. Seattle Opera perfroms out of McCaw Hall at 321 Mercer St. 206-389-7676 or try [email protected].
Pork Filled Productions present announce their new season. Some productions to look forward to in the upcoming season include – “She Devil Of The China Seas” by Roger Tang set for August 9 – 27,2022. A full live production at Theatre Off Jackson, developed in Unleashed 2017. “PFP’s First Devised Show – 2022 Cohort Auditions” follows. Theatre Off Jackson is at 409 – 7th Avenue South in the CID. [email protected] or call 206-340-1049.For more details, email [email protected].
East Coast based Thai American choreographer Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Dolly Sfeir and Nicole von Arx present “New Creations” for the Whim W’him Seattle Contemporary Dance Company as part of their “fall ‘22” program. September 9 – 11 & 15 – 17, 2022 at Erickson Theatre in Seattle – 1624 Harvard Ave. They also dance on September 14 at the Vashon Center for the Arts – 19660 Vashon Highway SW. For more details, try whimwhim.org/bemoved or call 707-350-9446.
The Seattle Symphony has released details of their 2022/2023 season. Some highlights include the following –Kahchun Wong guest conducts Seattle Symphony in a program featuring Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition on October 6 and 8, 2022. This year’s guest conductor Sunny Xia will be conducting a number of free “Community Concerts” with Seattle Symphony in 2023 – March 3 at Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center, April 21 at 7pm – “Dear Humanity” at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, May 18, “The Merriman-Ross Family Young Composers Workshop” at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall and June 7 – “Side-by-Side Concert with Yakima Music en Accion at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall. The highly praised composer and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun’s music will be featured in a series entiled “The Musical World of Tan Dun” from November 3 – 13, 2022 at Benaroya Hall. A special exhibit of “The Mogao Caves: An Immersive Experience” will be on view November 3 – 13 at Octave 9, a block from Benaroya. “Nature Resounds” is the title of a concert highlighting Duns’s interactive piece entitled “Passacaglia: Secret World of Wind And Birds” as conducted by Sunny Xia on November 5, On November 10 & 12 Tan Dun himself will conduct the symphony in his own piece “Buddha Passion” incorporating Chinese singers, instruments and dancers. November 11 brings “Tan Dun Ghost Opera” in which the composer evokes Bach, Shakespeare and the folk traditions of Shamanistic Chinese opera at Octave 9.
Sunny Xia conducts a program entitled “The Snowman”, a classic children’s film on December 3, 2022. December 16, 17 & 18 the classic Handel Messiah is performed. Among the singers will be bass, Adam Lau. Dec. 28, 29 and 30, 2022 are special performances of “Beethoven Symphony No. 9” with tenor Nicholas Phan joining the singers. Phan also performs with other singers on Dec. 31, 2022 in a “New Year’s Eve Concert, Coundown & Celebration.” January 6, 2023 in the Recital Series, you can catch Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho. From Japan, catch the young passionate pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii as he “Plays Rachmainov” January 26 and 28. And January 29 brings the annual “Celebrate Asia” special program with an all star cast of gifted performers both Asian and Asian American. February 16 and 18, virtuoso violinist Arabella Steinbacher performs Mendelssohn with Tianyi Lu conducting. March 23 and 25 brings conductor Yue Bao with Jan Vogler on cello in a concert entitled “Three Continents Cello Concert. March 30, April 1 and April 2, guest conductor Xian Zhang does “Carmina Burana”. Sunny Xia conducts “The Peasant Prince” as part of the April 1, 2023 “Family Concerts Series”. Based on the true story of Li Cunxin as recounted in the memoir, “Mao’s Last Dancer.” World-renowned violinist Midori does a recital on April 12. Sunny Xia conducts “Dances Around The World” as part of the “Family Concert Series” on June 10. Celebrate summer in a concert featuring a slack key guitarist from Hawai’i entitled “Hawaiian Summer Holiday with Makana” set for July 12, 2023. Visit seattlesymphony.org for complete information. Or call 206-215-4747.
Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio now located in the CID continues their classes in various aspects of the theatre both virtual and in-person. For a list of current classes, go to freeholdtheatre.org for details or call 206-595-1927.
Go to Nonsequiter’s website to listen to free links by local musicians performing original music at waywardmusic.org. Carol J. Levin on electric harp engages in a series of “Duo Improvisations” with Susie Kozawa who plays various sound objects. Jackie An performs music for violin and electronics. Sovan is an ambient music duo featuring songwriter Tomo Nakayama and film composer Jeramy Koepping. Classically trained pianist and designer Tiffany Lin plays a piano program of originals in this series. Local sound artist Susie Kozawa has a piece she did invoking the space at the Chapel. Percussionist/composer Paul Kikuchi explores new music.
Choreographer/dancer/singer Haruko Crow Nishimura performs a new vocal piece. Other performers include Leanna Keith, Nordra, Ahmed Yousefbeigi, Mother Tongue with Angelina Baldoz, trumpeter Cuong Vu and drummer Ted Poor, the wife/husband classical duo of Melia Watras and Michael Jinsoo Lim, Joshua Limanjaya Lim, Rahikka & James Lee, Kaoru Suzuki and Chris Icasiano with more to follow. The Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center has re-opened and is now booking again various kinds of adventurous/experimental music. Go to waywardmusic.org for details.
Community activists and performing artists Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu of First Voice present “The Story Circle of the Japanese Diaspora: Ikiru (To Live)” on Saturday, August 20, 2022 from 10am – 12:00pm (PDT). This event invites people of Japanese descent to share their stories online so that it can help to understand our history, its impact on our lives and lights the way to make a future together. Features artists, healers and spiritual leaders in conversation. Free but please register with eventbrite. For more information, contact [email protected].
City Opera Vancouver has the world premiere of a new opera entitled “Chinatown” with the libretto by Madeleine Thien and music by Alice Ping Yee and the Hoisan translation by Paul Yee. It’s a story of family and neighborhood, racism and resistance and history and tomorrow. It will run from September 13 – 17, 2022. For a sneak peek, go to cityoperavancouver.com.
Soho Rep is an off off Broadway theater company in lower Manhattan known for its experimental, inventive work. But in 2023, they will premiere a first for them. It’s a Bengali-English play by Shayok Misha Chowdhury entitled “Public Obscenities.” Set for February 15 – March 26, 2023, the play will be a co-production with the National Asian American Theatre Company’s National Partnership Project. The story follows a queer studies doctoral student who returns to his family in Kolkata with his Black American boyfriend only to make a startling discovery.
The Heath Theatre presents a play by Kathy Ng entitled “Happy Life” at Walkerspace in New York City. It imagines a world where the boundary between this world and the afterworld is porous and complicated. Priyanka Arya Krishnan and Sagan Chen play the souls of ghosts who meet untimely and gruesome ends.On stage through August 6, 2022. Go to www.thehearththeater.com for details.
David Henry Hwang has adapted his play “M. Butterfly” into an opera with his libretto and a score by Juang Rao. It stars Kangmin Justin Kim as Song Liling and Mark Stone as Gallimard. Orchestra conducted by Carolyn Kuan. At Santa Fe Opera through August 24, 2022. Go to santafeopera.org for details.
Phyo Zella Thaw, a hip hop star and later a democracy activist in Myanmar was executed in July by Myanmar’s military junta. He was 41. He was killed with three other political prisoners and convicted of terrorism charges during trials that many widely denounced as a sham.
Film & Media
“Free Chol Soo Lee” directed by Julie Ha & Eugene Yi is a documentary film about a Korean immigrant whose wrongful murder conviction ignites a national movement has a one night only event at theatres across the country on August 17, 2022. Locally screens at AMC Pacific Place, Regal Meridian, Regal Thornton Place, SIFF Uptown in Seattle and Landmark Crest in Shoreline. A MUBI release. Go to mubi.com for details.
Local poet Shin Yu Pai hosts “The Blue Suit”, part of a KUOW Radio Shorts Podcast series dedicated to locally produced short-run audio series. The series will debut on July 11, 2022 in the KUOW shorts feed. “The Blue Suit” is about our emotional kinship with everyday objects presented in eight episodes. It will explore how commonplace things that touch our daily lives can transform from the mundane into the remarkable. Pai will introduce listeners to artists, activists, thinkers and community leaders and the relics that they invest with meaning. Out of 84 submissions, it was only one of four shows that got the go ahead to move forward to a full series pilot. For details, go to kuow.org.
Northwest Film Forum screens the following –As the Kinuya Tanaka film series that was split between the NWFF and the Beacon winds down,at the Beacon, you will find the last Kinuya Tanaka film “Love Under the Crucifix” on August 7, 2022. In August, NWFF presents two Hong Kong classics. August 5,6,7,10 & 11 brings Johnny To’s “The Heroic Trio” in which Hong Kong female icons Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh and Anita Mui star as a trio who must track down an evil baby snatching eunuch in this wild, martial arts comedy. August 17 – 21, 2022 brings Johnny To’s sequel entitled “Executioners” co-directed by Ching Siu-Tung. In this one, the three kung fu crusaders Cheung, Yeoh and Mui return to battle a maniac intent on seizing political power in a post-nuclear landscape. The legendary Ghibli Studio co-founder/director Isao Takahata’s 1972 film “Panda: Go Panda!” is an early career classic from a concept by Hayao Miyazaki. This charming tale is about a little girl left alone when her grandmother goes on a trip and how she adopts as family a panda father and daughter who come to visit. This film pre-dates the formation of Ghibli Studio. Screens in-person from September 1 – 4 and September 12 & 13. Weekend shows are dubbed in English and all other show times are in Japanese. “A New Old Play” by Qiu Jiongjiong (Hong Kong & France) screens in-person only on September 10 & 11, 2022. It’s the 1980s and a leading clown-role actor in 20th century Sichuan opera departs this world for Ghost City only to meet old friends along the way. As they recall the past, earthly scenes creep up. “Yuni” by Kamila Andini (Indonesia, France, Singapore & Australia) in Indonesian with English subtitles screens in-person only September 28 – October 6, 2022. Yuni is a clever teenage girl with dreams of attending university. When two men she barely knows ask for her hand in marriage, she rejects them sparking gossip about the myth that a woman who rejects three proposals will never marry. So when a third suitor appears, Yuni must choose between the fulfillment of this myth or her dream of future happiness. The Northwest Film Forum is on 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629. The Beacon is at 4405 Rainier Ave. S.
“Wisdom Gone Wild” is a new documentary film. In this moving and original reflection on mortality and transformation, Rea Tajiri partners with her mother to create a film about the final sixteen years of Rose Tajiri Noda’s life as a person living with dementia. It has its world premiere at the Blackstar Fim Festival on August 6, 2022. Tickets and film trailer link at https://www.blackstarfest.org/festival/events/wisdom-gone-wild-2/. For more information, try wisdomgonewildfilm.com.
Ann Kaneko’s documentary film “Manzanar Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust”recently aired on PBS’s POV series. It can be screened online. The film connects the story of the Manzanar concentration camp to the longer history of the dispossession of Native American land. This film is a collaboration between a Japanese American director and a Native American executive producer (Tracy Rector) and combines native dispossession and sovereignty as well as issues related to climate change, conservation and the environment. There will also be a chance for a local screening with Ann Kaneko and Tracy Rector on Friday, January 27, 2023 at the University of Washington. More details forthcoming as we get closer to the date.
The film “Easter Sunday” hits theatres on August 5, 2022 via Universal Pictures. It’s a comedy directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and written by Ken Cheng and Kate Angelo. It stars stand-up comic Jo Koy as a struggling actor, comedian and single father who attends a gathering of his Filipino American family on Easter Sunday and complications arise. With an all-star cast of Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Brandon Wardell, Eva Nobblezada, Lydia Gaston, Asif Ali, Rodney To, Eugene Cordero, Jay Chandrasekhar, Tiffany Haddish and Lou Diamond Phillips.
“Bullet Train” was the American translation of Kotaro Isaka’s 2010 novel “Maria Beetle”. It is now adapted into an American action epic starring Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree and Joey King and opens in theatres on August 5, 2022 via Universal Pictures. The story revolves around multiple assassins trapped on a high speed train from Tokyo. The producers decided again an all Japanese cast (films with all Japanese casts in previous American films have not been a great draw) but does include Black, Latino and Japanese actors. There have already been complaints in the Asian American media about white washing through the Japanese author of the book feels his characters are ethnically malleable.
Steven Yuen stars with Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer in Jordan Peele’s new film “NOPE” which looks at residents in a small gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. In theatres now via Universal Pictures.
When a father (John Cho) learns he has cancer, he keeps it to himself, persuading his teenage daughter (Mia Issac) to accompany him on a road trip where he’s ostensibly teach her how to drive. But for the dad, this road trip has an ulterior motive, that of introducing the girl to her mother who ran away with his best friend. Directed by Hannah Marks with a screenplay by Vera Herbert. Streaming now on Amazon Prime.
“Malik” by Mahresh Narayanan is a Malaysian mafia epic about a grizzled ganster who decides to right his ways by embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca. But before he can, police arrest him and enlist his 17 year old nephew to kill him while he’s in prison. Streaming on Amazon.
“Clytaemnestra” is the debut film by Pak Ougie. An Acclaimed director gathers five actresses from Seoul in a house in Greece to workshop a production of Aeschylus’s “Agamemnon” and conflicts arise. Streaming on MUBI.
“The Deer King” is an animated feature directed by Studio Ghibli alumni Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji and is based on a series of fantasy books by Nahoko Uehashi. When wolves bring a deadly disease, attacking a chain gang of enslaved people – a pair of humans manage to escape. Fleeing to the countryside, they embark on a desperate search for a cure. Appearing in theatres (locally in the Regal Cinema chain) and distributed by G-Kids.
Gay Korean American comic Joel Kim Booster (Director of “Fire Island”) has a new stand-up comedy special entitled “Psychosexual” now streaming on Netflix.
“The Killer” adapted from the novel “The Girl Who Deserves to Die” by Bang Jin-ho is a film about a retired assassin who must come out or retirement to rescue a kidnapped girl abducted by thugs associatied with a sex trafficking ring with Russian ties. Directed by Jae-Hoon Choi and starring Jang Hyuk.In theatres now.
Director Dan Chen looks inside the world of a Louisiana private school rocked by scandal by its founders and how four promising high school seniors rise from the ashes. Cinematography by Chen and Daphne Qin Wu. Rent or buy on Apple TV, Google Play and other streaming platforms.
“Maika: The Girl From Another Galaxy” is a film from Vietnam directed by Han Tran that made its debut at Sundance. It is a children’s adventure story about a lonely boy who meets a friendly alien and the troubles that ensue all set in the urban landscape. Screens locally at AMC Southcenter 16 and other local theatres. Distributed by Well Go USA Entertainment.
“Ben & Jody” is the third film in a series by Indonesian director Angga Dwimas Sasongko. It’s a drama about pro-environmentalists who lead a strike with local cillagers against deforestation. Streaming on Netflix.
Kan Eguchi’s underworld thriller “The Fable: The Human That Doesn’t Kill” is based on a manga series about a hit man living in retirement with his female partner whose life is threated by a ruthless gangster. Streaming on Netflix.
“Railway Heroes” is a Chinese film set during the Second Sino-Japanese war by writer/director Yang Feng that tells the story of resistance miners and train workers struggling for Chinese independence. Rent or buy on Vudu.
Chie Hayakawa’s “Plan 75” looks at a government push to euthanize the elderly. It won a “special distinction” award at Cannes and deals with the very real issue of how to deal with one of the world’s largest older populations. Close to one third of Japan’s population is over 65.
Film Movement has exclusive premieres of three films based in Japan available for streaming and purchase. For details, email [email protected]. Available July 15, 2022 is Masaharu Take’s “100 Yen Love” in which a middle-aged woman living at home with her parents gets in a heated argument and leaves for good. With few employment options, she gets a job, the night shift in a 100 yen shop (dollar store). On her way home, she passes a boxing gym where she becomes infatuated with a man at practice. As the two enter into a relationship, her life changes. Available on Friday, July 22, 2022 is “While The Women Are Sleeping” Directed by Wayne Wang and starring Beat (aka Takeshi) Kitano who plays a mysterious older man in a relationship with a younger woman and involves the novelist who gets to know them. It’s been called “a stylish psycho noir”. Available on July 29, 2022 is Yujiro Harumoto’s “A Balance” in which a documentary director has mastered the balance between journalistic integrity and self interest. But things go awry when a scandal much closer to home is about to break. An official selection at the 2021 Berlinale and won the “New Currents Award” at the 2020 Busan IFF and the Rossellini Jury Award and Audience Award at the 2020 Pingyao IFF. “Adieu Godard” is a film by Amariya Bhatacharya. The story centers around an old man in a conservative Indian village who loves porn and rents films frequently at his local video store. But when he accidentally gets a film of legendary French avant-garde filmmaker Jean Luc Godard, he becomes obsessed and enlists his neighbors to help throw a film festival in his honor. This slice-of-life comedy premieres via VOD and digital from Film Movement. Streaming is a premiere of a trio of award-winning director Lee Issac Chung’s early films. “Munyurangabo” is a 2006 story that delves into the friendship between a Hutu and Tutsi and how these young men must battle through disapproval in the wake of the Rawadan massacre. Chung’s “Lucky Life” is inspired by the poetry of Gerald Stern and tells the story of a group of friends who travel to a beach town in hopes of encouraging their friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Inspired by a Korean fable, the last film by Chung is entitled “Abigail Harm” and tells the story of a woman who reads books to the blind and leads a solitary life on the outskirts of a city. Suddenly a strange visitor appears mysteriously in her apartment. In another exclusive Film Movement premiere, Phaim Bhuiyan’s “Bangla”, a romantic comedy that portrays the complications of young lovers caught between very different beliefs. Phaim portrayed by the director himself, is a 22 year-old Italian of Bangladeshi origin who lives with his family in Rome’s multiethnic neighborhood. When he meets an Italian girl, he must figure out how to reconcile his love for her with one of his faith’s most sacred rules.
MUBI presents the following –Takashi Miike’s 2019 feature “First Love” drops all cute pretence to depict a pair of lovers-on-the-lam racing through the streets of Tokyo, fending off yakuza, goons and femme fatales along the way. And completing this Miike double-bill is the director’s 2001 film “Ichi the Killer” based on a popular manga that plays like a subversive ode to “the greatest pervert of all.” Stars Tadanobu Asano. Also available for screening is a Diao Yinan double-bill. This Chinese director specializes in noir-thrillers with intricate plots. His 2019 film, “The Wild Goose Lake” puts you in a world of gangsters and double cross as police and criminals play a cat-and-mouse game around a city. Yinan’s 2014 film entitled “Black Coal, Thin Ice” is a film noir that won the Golden Bear at the 2014 Berlinale. When dismembered parts of a human body appear in shipments of coal to various cities, detective Zhang Zili is assigned to investigate. He soon falls into a rabbit hole mystery and intrigue. Johnny To’s 2012 “Drug War” is an edge-of-your-seat police procedural that has cops and criminals engaging in a cat-and-mouse rampage through a morally-skewed universe. “All the Crows in the World” is a 2021 short film by Tang Yi which won the Palme d’Or for “Best Short Film”. The nocturnal wonderland of garish karaoke rooms and dance breaks created by middle-aged men is examined through the wry gaze of a schoolgirl as witness. Diao Yi’nan’s 2019 “The Wild Goose Lake” is a stylized neo-noir story set in the underworld of modern China’s violent and modern decay. King Hu’s 1979 “Raining in the Mountain” is a film about a band of monks and thieves who fight for control of a sacred scroll at a temple. Kim Bora’s 2018 debut film “House of Hummingbird” portrays the everyday struggles of a teenage girl in Seoul and how one Teacher makes a difference in her life, if only briefly. Midi Z’s 2019 film “Ninawu” stars actor/writer Wu Ke-Xi as an actress that becomes a victim of the film industry’s callous sexism. “Lilting” is a 2014 film debut by Hong Khaou. This drama explores the contours of grief and how love can surpass the invisible barriers of language and cultural difference. Stars Cheng Pei-pei and Ben Whitshaw. Lee Chang-dong’s 2018 film, “Burning” is based on a Haruki Murakami story. It’s part ghost tale and part commentary on contemporary capitalism. Co-starring Steven Yuen. Hirokazu Koreeda’s touching family drama “I Wish” done in 2011 looks at the challenges of the nuclear family unit as the director observes the ebbs and flows of a family’s unstable dynamic. Another Koreeda film done in 2017 entitled “The Third Murder” is crime thriller and a mysterious whodunit that explores truth, memory and the power of stories that we tell ourselves and others. Hong Sang-Soo’s film done in 2000 entitled “Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors” is an erotic comedy drama that follows the romantic adventures of a video producer and a gallery owner and the deceit they conceal around their relationship. Andrew Ahn’s (“Fire Island”) intimate coming-of-age 2016 film “Spa Night” looks at the queer Asian American experience through the lens of L.A.’s Koreatown and the unspoken prejudices that exist with that community.
“Hansan: Rising Dragon” directed by Han-Min Kim is a war movie which depicts the victories of 16th century Korean national hero Yi Sun-Shin who repelled Japanese invaders in the late 1500s. In theatres now.
Director Alex Liu’s personal take on American sex education entitled “A Sexplanation” got a “Critic’s Pick” designation in a recent New York Times. In this documentary film, Liu looks at the politics and culture of sex education in the U.S. and examines his own shame regarding sexuality that dates back to his adolescence. Available on demand via Apple TV, Amazon and other streaming platforms.
“The Policeman’s Lineage” is a new film by Kyu-maan Lee. It stars Choi Min-jae (“Parasite”) as a clean-cut young cop assigned to shadow a top officer (Cho-jin Woong) under suspicion. Now on Google Play, Vudu and other streaming platforms.
One of Japan’s leading directors of anime, Mamoru Hosada takes on the story of “Beauty and the Beast” in his version entitled “Belle”. Available on most major platforms.
The Written & Spoken Arts
Hugo House, a Seattle-based literary center that offers readings and writing classes offers a full slate of Fall & Winter writing classes for all levels. Some classes are in person or on a learning platform or via ZOOM. Go to hugohouse.org for complete details.
Elliott Bay Book Company has a full slate of events in their reading series. Here are a few. Sunandini Banerjee is an esteemed editor, book designer, artist and translator based in Kolkata. She is best known for her work in several roles at award-winning Seagull Books, one of the foremost English language literary publishing houses in the world. She will discuss her varied art and craft with Michelle Dunn Marsh who is the guiding presence behind Minor Matters Books, one of the most distinct photography/art book publishers in the U.S. This live/in-person event takes place on August 5, 2022 at 7pm (PDT). Ru Freeman is a Sri Lankan writer/activist/catalyst and the author of the novels, “A Disobedient Girl” and “On Sal Mal Lane” and an editor of anthologies, a book of essays and published poetry. She appears virtually on behalf of her new book of short stories entitled “Sleeping Alone” (Graywolf Press).This book is set around the world and grapples with issues of race and class. She will discuss the book tonight with artist and media student Hasadri Kelina Freeman. On Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 6pm (PDT). Coming on Monday, August 15, 2022 at 6pm (PDT) will be an excellent pairing of poets – Allison Adelle Hedge Coke and Craig Santos Perez. This is a virtual reading. Coke’s new book “Look At This Blue” (Coffee House Press). These are poems that look at the biodiversity of the planet but through the lens of colonialism, capitalism and ecological disaster. Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous poet from the Pacific island of Guahan (Guam). He is also a scholar, editor, publisher, essayist, critic, book reviewer, artist, environmentalist and political activist and presently taches at the University of Hawai’I, Manoa. He will talk about his newest book “Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization” (University of Arizona Press) and perhaps read from his latest book of poetry “Habitat Threshold” (Omnidawn). Registration for this event is at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/allison-adelle-hedge-coke-and-craig-santos-perez-tickets-382335936077. Seattle-based husband and wife team of Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton are considered among the foremost translators of Koren fiction in English today. They appear in person with their newest translated work “The Catcher in the Loft” by Un-yong Ch’on. Spanning a period from the 1980sinto the 2000s, it tells the story of a young woman who doesn’t know her fugitive father was a torturer in earlier times. In the early twentieth century, torture was seen as an essential technololgy of goverance that sustained authoritarian regimes. This novel forces a confrontation with the fundamental nature of political violence and gendered power. On Monday, August 22, 2022, the bookstore will host the Jack Straw Writers 2022 Group reading at 7pm (PDT). Still in the planning stages – A reading with writer Anuradha Roy about her new novel “The Earth Spinner” (HarperVia) for the last week of July and a virtual event with popular Japanese writer Banana Yoshimoto for her new book entitled “Dead-End Memories” (Counterpoint) tentatively set for the last week of August.
For making reservations to the virtual events, go to elliottbaybook.com and click on the “events” page or call 206-624-6600 or toll-free at 1-800-962-5311. Most events are virtual and accessed through eventbrite.com. The bookstore remains open. 1521 – 10th Ave. 206-624-6600.
Third Place Books has the following – On August 4, 2022 at 6pm, there is a virtual event with Melissa Blair who discusses her book “A Broken Blade” with Marie Lu, Roseanne A. Brown and Zoraida Cordova. Her book documents the author’s own experiences as an indigenous woman in the “fantasy” community dealing with issues of anti-colonialism and rebellion. August 13, 2022 at 7pm (PDT) will bring Portland-based author Cecily Wong who will talk about her new novel “Kaleidoscope” with Seattle writer Lucy Tan at the Ravenna store at 6504 – 20th Ave. NE. It’s the story of two sisters caught up in their parent’s ambition of building a global shopping empire. When a catastrophic event beings the business crashing down, one sister looks for answers as she sets off across the globe. 206-525-2347. On Wed., August 10, 2022 at 7pm (PDT) at the Lake Forest Park location, catch Dr. Julie Pham who talks with Dr. Elisebeth VanderWeil about her book “7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work”.17171 Bothell Way NE #A101 in Lake Forest Park. 206-366-3333. All readings are free but advance registration is required. Try thirdplacebook.com for details.
Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton are a married couple who have together translated dozens of contemporary Korean fiction writers into English. Recently they listed their most recent translations as well as a pick of what they considered the best translations of Korean literature available in English. Go to the link, https://shepherd.com/best-books/hell-chosn to read about it.
Humanities Washington has announced their 2021 – 2023 Speakers Bureau Roster with presentations ranging from the personal to the global. Public presentations are free and will start July 1, 2021. Some speakers include the following – Under “Arts & Literature”, Deepti Agrawal will speak on “The Ancient Art Of Madhubani Painting.” Under “History”, Julie Pham speaks on “Hidden Histories: The South Vietnamese Side of the Vietnam War.” Under “Life & Culture”, Lori Tsugawa Whaley talks about “The Samurai Code: How Bushido Changes Lives”. Under “Race & Identity”, Michelie Liu talks about “Laughing Matters: Asian Americans, Comedy And Inclusion” and Rals Bhulyan speaks about being shot by a White supremacist in “One Second of Hate: A Story of Forgiveness” and how he learned to forgive. To reserve an online virtual program, contact [email protected]. For more information, try [email protected].
The University of Washington Press is seeking writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. UW Press editors are eager to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. Contact them via email of set up a meeting by phone or Zoom. Executive Editor is Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“Future Library: Contemporary Indian Writing – An Anthology” (Red Hen) edited by Anjun Hasan and Sampurna Chattarji. This collection brings together one hundred contemporary Indian poets and fiction writers located anywhere from Michigan to Mumbai. The editors present a historical background to the various Englishes apparent in this collection while also identifying the shared traditions and contexts that hold together their uniquely diverse selection.
“A Summer Day in the Company of Ghosts” (NYRB) by Wang Yin as translated by Andrea Lingenfelter with a foreword by Adonis. Wang Yin is recognized as a leading member of the post-Misty poets, a group inspired by the underground movement that resisted the artistic mores of 1970s China. This collection maps his 40-year career in its brushes with Romanticism, Surrealism, satire and Deep Image poetry.
“Abundance” (Graywolf) is a novel by Jakob Guanzon. A father and son on the edge of poverty lose their safety net and fall into the abyss of hopelessness that plagues the American landscape. What makes people poor and what kind of system keeps them mired in that condition.
Step away from your daily life and enter the stillness of “Mindfulness Travel Japan” (Hardie Grant) by Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh. This book brings you 100 of the best travel experiences all over Japan.
“Glorious Boy” (Red Hen) by Aimee Liu. “Set in a penal colony on the remote Andaman Islands, this novel is the whirlwind story of vanishing cultures, Unbreakable codes, rebellion, occupation, and colonization, all swirling around the disappearance of a mute four-year-old boy on the eve of the Japanese occupation of Port Blair.” – Rahna Reiko Rizzuto.
“Model Machines – A History Of The Asian As Automaton” (Temple University Press) by Long T. Bui. “In this powerful and indispensable historiography, Long Bui puts to rest any lingering doubt about the pernicious pervasiveness of the model machine myth that has long cast Asians as technologized non-humans in American cultural and economic histories.” – Betty Huang
“The Age of Goodbyes” (Feminist Press) by Li Zi Shu as translated by YZ Chin. In 1969, in the wake of Malaysia’s deadliest race riots, a woman named Du Li An secures her place in society by marrying a gangster. In a parallel narrative, a critic known only as The Fourth Person explores the work of a writer also named Du Li An. And a third storyline is in the second person: “you” are reading a novel titled “The Age of Goodbyes”. Floundering in the wake of your mother’s death, you are trying to unpack the secrets surrounding your lineage. This novel is a profound exploration of what happens to personal memory when official accounts of history distort and render it taboo.
“The Curious Thing” (W. W. Norton) by Sandra Lim. “These are poems of passion and self-scrutiny and femal rage, but Sandra Lim is not a poet of explosive feeling. The poems have a prose elegance; they are cool, detached, ruminative, with a kind of whistle-in-the-dark bravado. Here is a mind studying itself and its ambivalence, exact at every turn, and by the end, breathtaking.” –Nobel-Prize winning poet Louise Gluck.
PAON – Real Balinese Cooking” (Hardie Grant) by Tjok Maya Kerth Yasa and I Wayan Kresna Yasa. Direct from the traditional home kitchens of Bali, “PAON” is a cookbook of true Balinese food and recipes. Locals share more than 80 traditional dishes alongside essays and beautiful photography, capturing the life, culture and food from across the island.
Avatasha Rao’s “Latitude” (The American Poetry Review) was the 2021 winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize as selected by Ada Limon. It’s a book of poems that honor both the human animal and the timelessness of our earth in poem after poem.
“Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club” (Berkley) by Roselle Lim. When a disgraced matchmaker returns from Shanghai to her hometown of Toronto, the prospects seem bleak. That is until she meets a group of older Chinese men who never found love. They adopt her and shower her with support. This is a story rich with a love of food, family support and cultural identity.
“A Bit of Earth” (Greenwillow)by Karuna Riazi. A reimagining of the classic “The Secret Garden” tells the story of a Pakistani girl bounced between relatives after her parent’s death and then shipped off to America shere she feels lost until she discovers the garden, a place off limits yet where her self identity can bloom.
Gina Apostol’s “Bibliolepsy” (Soho) marked her literary debut. It nabbed the Philippine National Book Award when first published. It tells the story of a young woman caught between her love of literature and a real world revolution. Set during the Marcos dictatorship, this is a satire with real bite.
“This Place is Still Beautiful” (Balzer + Bray) by Xixi Tian is a story of two estranged sisters who could not be more unlike, forced together after a racially-motivated hate crime marks their fmaily in small town Ohio. It explores racism, identity, the model minority myth, sisterhood and how hometowns are inextricably part of who we are even as we leave them.
“O.B.B.” (Nightboat Books) by Paolo Javier. Crafted through years-long collaborations O.B.B. aka The Original Brown Boy is a postcolonial techno dream pop comics poem. It is a book that can’t be pinned down with many identities; it is a comics poem and a manifesto on comics poetry; an experimental comic book sequel to a poem twenty years in the making;; and an homage to the Mimeo Revolution, weird fiction, Kamishibai, the political cartoon, Pilipinx komiks history, and the poet bp/Nichol. Javier deconstructs a post-9/11 Pilipinx identity, amid the lasting fog of the Philippine American War, to compose a far-out comic book awit.
“I Want To Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki”(Bloomsbury) by Baek Sehee as translated by Anton Hur. This Korean bestseller is part memoir and part self-help book. It captures the edgy relationship many millennials and Gen Z-ers have with hopelessness, hunger, and the pressure to be perfect. It tells the story of a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her depression.
“Poukahangatus” (Knopf) by Taye Tebble. Hilarious, intimate, moving and virtuosic, this young woman is one of the most exciting new voices in poetry today. She challenges a dazzling array of mythologies – Greek, Maori, feminist, Kiwi – peeling them apart, respinning them in modern terms. Along the way, Tibble scrutinizes perception and she as a Maori woman fits into trends, stereotypes, and popular culture.
“You’ve Changed – Fake Accents, Feminism, and Other Comedies from Myanmar” (Catapult) by Pyae Moe Thet War. A Myanmar millennial speaks back in this electric debut essay collection playfully challenging us to examine the knots and complications of immigration status, eating habits, Western feminism in an Asian home, and more, guiding us toward an expansive idea of what it means to be a Myanmar woman today.
“Virgil Kills: Stories” (Nightboat Books) by Ronaldo V. Wilson. Linked stories, alighting from a US, Black and Filipino imaginary through a central character, Virgil, and his accounts of race, sex, and desire. This book forms, manifesting a set of poetic investigations—revealing black and brown life, memory, dreams, the sea, the sex-act, the line. Virgil travels in theaters and lots, moves against class, whiteness, on stages, at lecterns, in studios and a luxury vehicle. Virgil records in the sensorium of cruising lovers, real love, family, T.V., and characters with names like “Butch,” “Stream,” “Clean”—his precise unfurling.
“Koreatown, Los Angeles – Immigration, Race, and the ‘American Dream’” (Stanford University Press) by Shelly Sang-Hee Lee. This book tells the story of an American ethnic community often equated with socioeconomic achievement and assimilation, but whose experiences as racial minorities and immigrant outsiders illuminate key economic and cultural developments in the United States since 1965.
“Becoming Nisei – Japanese American Urban Lives in Prewar Tacoma” (UW Press) by Lisa M. Hoffman & Mary L. Hanneman. Based on more than forty interviews, these informants share stories of growing up in Japanese American Tacoma before the incarceration. Recording these early twentieth-century lives counteracts the structural forgetting and erasure of prewar histories in both Tacoma and many other urban settings after WW II.
“The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern” (Melville House) by Rita Zoey Chin. Raised as “the youngest and very best fortune teller in the world” by her mother, Leah Fern is devastated when that very same mother disappears from her life. Fifteen years later and no sight of her mom, Leah decides to end her life only to be interrupted by a knock on the door and a message that takes her on an journey that will be a revelation.
“The Dawn of Yangchen – Chronicles of the Avatar” (Amulet) by F. G. Yee. Yangchen has not yet earned the respect felt for her predecessor, and the loss of her sister has left her with few true allies. But in Bin-Er – a city run by corrupt shang merchants seeking to extract themselves from the Earth King’s influence – a chance encounter with an informant named Kavik leads to a wary partnership. This propulsive third installment in the Chronicles of the Avatar series illuminates our heroine’s journey from uncertain, young woman to revered leader.
“The Backstreets – A Novel From Xinjiang” (Columbia University Press) by Perhat Tursun as translated by Darren Byler and anonymous. “The publication of this book, together with Byler’s illuminating introduction, is a landmark event in English-language world literature. The narration of the life of a Uyghur office worker in Urumchi is unforgettable and mind-blowing. The style, mood and scope are evocative of Camus while still feeling utterly distinctive and unprecedented. A triumph.”- Elif Batuman. This novel is by a contemporary Uyghur author who was disappeared by the Chinese State.
“Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun” (Salaam Reads) by Hena Khan. The first book in a humor-filled middle grade series starring a young Muslim girl with an endless list of hobbies searching for ways to maximize fun for her family and neighborhood friends.
“Diary Of A Void” (Viking) by Emi Yagi as translated by David Boyd and Lucy North. A thirty-something Japanese woman gets a new job in Tokyo to escape sexual harassment at her old one. In her new capacity, she finds as the only woman in the office, she is expected to do all the menial tasks. When she invents a story that she is pregnant, she is relieved of these tasks. But how long can she perpetrate this ruse before being discovered?
“A Catalog of Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On (Columbia) by Dung Kai-Cheung as translated by Bonnie S. McDougall and Anders Hansson. “These half-allegorical sketches by a uniquely gifted Hong Kong writer bring to us a nostalgic mosaic of the sights and sounds of a city whose cosmopolitan splendor is fast fading.” – Leo Ou-Fan Lee
“Fuccboi” (Little Brown), a novel by Sean Thor Conroe. It’s late 2017, a year after Trump’s election and our main character is broke, bitter and washed up as a failure at everything he’s attempted in life. As he wonders how sustainable is this mode of failure, the reader gets a look at an unvarnished, playful and searching examination of what it means to be a man in today’s world.
“The Art Of Prophecy – The War Arts Saga – Book One” (Del Ray) by Wesley Chu. “This is an ambitious and touching exploration of disillusionment to faith, tradition, and family, but it’s also unexpectedly funny. I loved following Chu’s intricate narrative through this sprawling universe full of the glorious reinvention of fantasy and wuxia tropes.” – Naomi Novik
“If You Could See The Sun” (Inkyard) is a young adult novel by Ann Liang. In this genre-bending debut, a Chinese American girl monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates’ most scandalous secrets. But as the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, she must decide if it’s worth losing her conscience for –or even her life.
“The Boy Who Met a Whale”(Peachtree) by Nizrana Farook. The author of “The Girl Who Stole an Elephant” returns with a tale of a Sri Lankan fisherboy who gets swept up in a thrilling seafaring adventure, complete with a kidnapping, missing treasure, and a huge blue whale. Set against the vibrant landscape of Sri Lanka, this delightful caper will thrill young fans of adventure with empathetic heroes, missing treasure, and a great beast lurking beneath the waters.
“Trinity Trinity Trinity” (Astra House) is a novel by Japanese writer Erika Kobayashi as translated by Brian Bergstrom. A work of speculative fiction that reckons with the consequences of the past and continued effects of nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The book follows the lives of three generations of women as they grapple with the legacy of mankind’s quest for light and power.
“Navigating Chamoru Poetry – Indigeneity, Aestheties, and Declonization” (University of Arizona Press) by Craig Santos Perez. Poet and scholar Perez looks at Indigenous CHamoru poetry from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam) and brings critical attention to a diverse and intergenerational collection of CHamoru poetry and scholarship.
“While I was Away”(Quill Tree) by Waka T. Brown is a young adult non-fiction book. When Waka’s mother suspects her twelve-year old daughter can’t understand basic Japanese, she makes a drastic decision to ship Waka from her rural Kansas home to Tokyo to live with her strict grandmother and reconnect with the culture and master the language. If she’s always been the “smart Japanese girl” in American but is now the “dumb foreigner in Japan, where is home…and who will Waka be when she finds it?
“Afterparties” (Ecco) – Stories by Anthony Veasna So was the debut short story collection about Cambodian American life that offered insight into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communities. It garnered much praise upon publication even after the author’s untimely death before its publication. Now this summer, it will make its paperback edition debut.
“Fairest” (Penguin) by Meredith Talusan. This book tells the story of a precocious boy with albinism raised in a rural Philippine village who would grow up to become a woman in America. Perceived as white in the U.S., Talusan would go on to Harvard but required a navigation through complex spheres of race, class and sexuality until she found her own place within the gay community.
“An Immense World – How Animal Senses Reveal The Hidden Realms Around Us” (Random House) by Ed Yong. Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “I Contain Multitudes”. In this book Yong does a deep dive into a new dimension, the world as it is truly perceived by other animals. We hear stories of pivotal discoveries in this field while looking ahead at the many sensory mysteries that remain unsolved. What do bees see in flowers, who do songbirds hear in their tunes, and what do dogs smell on the street?
“Vanished” (University of Nebraska Press) – Stories by Karin Lin Greenberg. Winner of the RAZ/Schumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, this book tells the story of women and girls in upstate New York who are often overlooked or unseen by those around them. Humorous and empathetic, the collection exposes the adversity in each character’s life, each deals with something or someone who has vanished – a person close to her, a friendship, a relationship – as she seeks to make sense of the world around her in the wake of that loss.
“Golden Age” (Astra House) is a novel by the late Wang Xiaobo as translated by Yan Yan. When a rumor surfaces that a man is having an affair with a woman in a Chinese village, a 21 year-old ox herder is shamed by local authorities and forced to write a confession for his crimes. Instead, he takes it upon himself to write a modernist literary tract. A leading icon of his generation, Xiabo’s cerebral and sarcastic narrative is a reflection on the failures of individuals and the enormous political, social and personal changes that traumatized 20th century China.
“People From Bloomington” (Penguin Classics) by Budi Darma. Translated by Tiffany Bao. This is the first English translation of a short story collection about Americans in Mid-west America by one of Indonesia’s most beloved writers. Set in Bloomington where the author lived as a grad student in the 1970s. In an eerie, alienating, yet comic and profoundly sympathetic portrait, the author paints a picture of the cruelty of life and the difficulties that people face in relations to one another.
“And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilivered Vase of Moonlight” (Wave) by Lynn Xu. This unique book-length poem is part protest against reality, part metaphysical reckoning, part international for the world-historical surrealist insurgency and part arte povera for the wretched of the earth.
“Complicit” (Atria) is a novel by Winnie M. Li. It tells the story of a young but eager daughter of Chinese immigrants who takes a lowly but coveted position at a New York film production company. Gradually she works her way up the ladder only to see her dream crumble to dust. Ten years pass and when a reporter appears, investigating the director she once worked for before quitting the business – she must decide what to do. Does she tell the world her story? Does she want revenge? And can she face her own involvement in her downfall?
“No Escape – The True Story of China’s Genocide of the Uyghurs” (Hanover Square) by Nury Turkel. “Turkel’s book is part autobiography, and part biography, of his homeland and people. In combination he paints a picture that is both vivid and unrelenting, of Beijing’s crackdown on the Uyghurs of Xinjiang and the destruction of their families and the erasure of their culture.” – Richard McGregor, author of “The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers”.
“Beating Heart Baby” (Flatiron) by Lio Min is a tender friends-to-enemies-to lovers story with AAPI leads, celebrates first love, second chances, indie rock and transitions in life of many kinds. An anime-influenced queer coming-of-age love story not without complications and challenges.
“House of Sticks”(Scribner), a memoir by Ly Tran. The author weaves together her family’s immigration experience with her own fraught and courageous coming-of-age to form a portrait of one girl’s struggle to reckon with her heritage and forge her own singular path.
“Solo Dance” (World Editions) by Li Kotomi is an important queer Chinese-Japanese novelist who as a millennial paints a picture of growing up in today’s Japan and Taiwan and his efforts to find a place for himself in a this shifting, confusing landscape. Translated by Arthur Reiji Morris.
“A Mermaid Girl” (Viking) by Sana Rafi and illustrated by Olivia Aserr. When a Muslim girl enters the water at a community pool in her yellow birkini, she is met with skepticism. But when her mother instills confidence in the tradition of her family, she begins to shine.
“Chinatown” (New Directions) by Thuan. An abandoned package is discovered in the Paris Metro: the subway workers suspect it’s a terrorist bomb. A Vietnamese woman sitting nearby with her son, begins to reflect on her life, from her constrained childhood in Communist Hanoi, to a long period of study in Leningrad and finally to the Parisian suburbs where she now teaches English. Through everything runs her passion for Thuy, the father of her son, a writer who lives in Saigon’s Chinatown, and who, with the shadow of the China-Vietnam border war falling darkly between the, she has not seen for eleven years.
“Tomorrow In Shanghai” (Blair) by May-Lee Chai is a book of short stories that explores multicultural complexities through the lenses of class, wealth, age, gender, and sexuality—always tackling the nuanced, knotty, and intricate exchanges of interpersonal and institutional power. Essential reading for an increasingly globalized world.
“Bloom and other poems” (New Directions) by Xi Chuan as translated from the Chinese by Lucas Klein. This poet delves into the incongruities of daily existence—its contradictions and echoes of ancient history—with sensuous exaltations and humorous observation. Melding lyrical beauty with philosophical intensity, the collection ends with a conversation between the poet and the writer Xu Zhiyuan.
“Identitti” (Astra House) is a novel by Mithu Sanyal as translated by Alta L. Price. This is a wickedly satirical debut novel about a German Indian student whose world is upended when she discovers that her beloved professor who passed for Indian is, in fact white. Following the uproar after this controversy, the student is forced to reflect on the key moments in her life, shen she doubted her identity and her place in the world.
“I Guess I Live Here Now” (Viking) by Claire Ahn. When Melody and her mother are suddenly forced to leave New York to join her father in Seoul, she is resentful and homesick. But she adjusts into her fashionable Korean lifestyle until cracks begin to appear on its glittering surface. The story is a revealing exposure of who and what “home” really is.
“If I Were the Ocean, I’d Carry You Home” (Red Hen Press) is a book of short stories by Pete Hsu. This debut collection tells the stories of children and young people navigating a world not made for them, where the presence of death and violence is found everywhere. Each story is a meditation on living in a world not made for us – the pervasive fear, the adaptations, the unexpected longings. Hsu’s writing beats with the naked rhythms of an unsettled human heart.
“Kundo Wakes Up” (Tordotcom) by Saad Z. Hossain. “Cyberpunk, high fantasy, climate catastrophe, and at its heat, a compelling story about broken people finding each other and a way to become whole again.” –Samit Basu. A companion to the Ignite And Lucus Award-nominated novella “The Gurkha And The Lord Of Tuesday”.
“Sewing Love – Handmade Clothes for Any Body” (Sasquatch) by Sanae Ishida, author of “Sewing Happiness”. Learning to create and customize your own patterns empowers you to make exactly the kinds of clothes you want, and it solves the fit issues of ready-to-wear clothing (and even commercial patterns) designed to fit one “ideal” body type. Take a journey to loving the body you have, as you learn to sew beautiful, simple handmade clothes.
“UNNIE” by Yun-Yun is inspired by a true tragedy. Yun-Young’s sister who was a secondary school teacher and was one of those who go missing during the sinking of the Sewol ferry in South Korea in 2014. Yun-young and the family await word of her rescue or that her body has been found. Yet no news comes as the days, months and years go by. Yun-Young’s sorrow feels poisoned. She can’t move on with her life without understanding her sister’s life. Thus begins a journey to discover who her sister really was.
“Zachary Ying And The Dragon Emperor” (McElderry Books) by xiran Jay Zhao.Zachary Ying had never had many opportunities to learn about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy enough making sure they got by, and his schools never taught anything except Western history and myths. So Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of Chin for a vital mission. To save the mortal realm, a young hero must journey into a world where myth and history collide.
From the winner of the Philippine National Book Award for Fiction comes the novel entitled “The Betrayed” (Europa) by Reine Arcache Melvin. This book tells the story of two sisters who love the same man. As dictatorship and political upheaval ravage the Philippines, the sisters’ conflicting passions threaten to lead them to betray not only each other, but all that their father stood for.
“The Book Eaters” (TOR) by Sunyi Dean. Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom spy novels are a peppery snack and romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries. When Devon, part of an old and reclusive clan of book eaters, learns that his son is born with a different kind of hunger- not for books but for human minds, things get complicated.
“COSPLAY – The Fictional Mode of Existence” (Minnesota) by Frenchy Lunning. Flourishing far beyond its Japanese roots, cosplay has become an international phenomenon with fervid fans who gather at enormous, worldwide conventions annually. Lunning offers an intimate, sensational tour through cosplay’s past and present, as well as its global lure.
“Bronze Drum – A Novel Of Sisters And War” (Grand Central) by Phong Nguyen. This is a fictionalized account of the true story of the Trung sisters, shared in Vietnam through generations for thousands of years. A tale of women warriors who rise up against the oppressive rule of the Han Chinese, ushering in a new period of freedom and independence.
“TSUCHI: Earthy Materials In Contemporary Japanese Art” (University of Minnesota Press) by Bert Winther-Tamaki. This book is an examination of Japanese contemporary art through the lens of ecocriticism and environmental history. Collectively referred to by the word “tsuchi”, earthy materials such as soil and clay are prolific in Japanese contemporary art. Highlighting works of photography, ceramics, and installation art, the author explores the many aesthetic manifestations of “tsuchi” and their connection to the country’s turbulent environmental history, investigating how Japanese artists have continually sought a passionate and redemptive engagement with the earth.
“Fierce And Fearless – Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Congress” (NYU Press) by Gwendolyn Mink. “This book chronicles Mink’s transformative leadership as she fought for ethnic, racial, gender, and environmental justice-and an end to war – even as she encountered systemic discrimination, physical and psychological abuse, and betrayal by her party. This gripping narrative illuminates the extraordinary policy accomplishments and the astounding personal costs of a principled and path breaking life in U.S. politics.” Excerpted from a quote from author Mary Hawkesworth.
“Taste Tibet – Family Recipes from the Himalayas” (Interlink Publishing) by Jule Kleeman & Yeshi Jampa. Nourishing, simple, seasonal food that heals as well as fuels might be popular today but it has been traditional in Tibet for over 8,000 years. This book offers over 80 recipes from the Tibetan Plateau, written for today’s home cook. Alongside the recipes, stories are interwoven of a Tibetan childhood in Tibet.
“Dream of the Divided Field” (One World) by Yanyi. “Here is a book of the body, a book like no other: tender and eloquent, a singing across borders, across silences. This is a book to read when we wake in the middle of the night and need a voice that is filled with longing, triuth, and the delight of being, despite all the painful odes” – excerpted from a quote by Ilya Kaminsky.
“Activities Of Daily Living” (Norton) is a novel by Lisa Hsiao Chen. Built around the performance art of Tehching Hsieh and the act of witnessing the end of a father’s life, our narrator struggles with issues of time, death, illness and the making of art and its symbiotic relationship to everyday life.
“Self-Portrait With Ghost” (Mariner) by Meng Jin (publication date of July 5, 2022) is a new book of short stories by the author of “Little Gods”. Written during the turbulent years of the Trump administration and the beginning of the pandemic, this book explores intimacy and isolation, coming-of-age and coming to terms with the repercussions of past mistakes, fraying relationships, and surprising moments of connection. The stories move between San Francisco and China, and from unsparing realism to genre-bending delight, this collection considers what it means to live in an age of heightened self-consciousness, with seemingly endless access to knowledge, but to have little actual power.
“The Noh Family” (Kokila) by Grace K. Shim. A Korean American teenage girl in Tilsa, Oklahoma is obsessed with K-dramas but she gets a real shock when she learns she’s related to an extended family on her deceased father’s side. When an invitation is extended, she is exposed to this family’s luxurious life-style. While the grandmother is welcoming, the rest of the family gives her the cold shoulder. What deep, dark secrets are hiding in this family’s closet?
“Japan’s Best Friend – Dog Culture In The Land Of The Rising Sun” (Prestel) by Manami Okazaki. For thousands of years, dogs have played a crucial role in Japanese society. This profusely color illustrated book looks at the country’s love affair with canines, exploring how they are represented through local traditions, as well as the extraordinary lengths to which they are exalted within pop culture.
“Only the Cat knows” (Red Hen Press) is a novella by Ruyan Meng. This harrowing and extraordinary story, based on a true event, is part of a series of tales illuminating the microcosm of all humanity contained in a typical Chinese “worker village” in the 70s. Here, an exploited young factory worker has nothing to live for beyond a frail chance of a pay raise. When it never happens, he feels trapped between his family and official greed, indifference, and corruption.
“The Interrogation Rooms Of The Korean War – The Untold History” (Princeton) by Monica Kim. “This is a deeply researched and insightful book. Drawing on a parade of fascinating characters, surprising scenes, and recently declassified material. Kim casts a fresh, innovativ1e light on the Korean War and shows how the ideological struggle in prisoner-of-war camps and their interrogation rooms became the final front line of a pivotal American conflict.” – Charles J. Hanley, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.
“Kin Thai – Modern Thai recipes to Cook at Home” (Hardie Grant) by John Chantarasak. The title translates as “Eat Thai” and is a collection of accessible, modern and classic recipes from one of London’s leading chefs. Influenced by his Thai and British heritage, Chantarasak shines a light on lesser-known Thai cuisine as well as the more popular dishes by exploring the use of western ingredients to achieve the flavors synonymous with Thai food. With over 60 delicious recipes and accompanying photography, “Kin Thai” is a celebration of the culture, cooking techniques and flavors of Thailand.
“Scatterted All Over The Earth” (New Directions) by Yoko Tawada as translated by Margaret Mitsutani. In this novel, the world’s climate disaster and its attendant refugee crisis are viewed through the loving twin lenses of friendship and linguistic ingenuity. In the not-too-distant future, Japan as a country has vanished. Hiroko, a former citizen and climate refugee teaches immigrant children in Denmark. As she searches for anyone who an still speak her native tongue, she makes new friends through her travels.
“Troubling the Water – A Dying Lake and a Vanishing World in Cambodia” (Potomac Books – University of Nebraska Press) by Abby Seiff. A eulogy to Cambodia’s once magnificent Tonle Sap Lake and the water culture of Cambodia and how it was destroyed by global warming, a dam and the greed of people.
“Love Decoded” (Razobill) by Jennifer Yen. When the niece of a professional matchmaker gets it in her head to create a fun-friend-making app online, it goes viral. But when this success turns into a major scandal and threatens her relationship with her best friends, this teenage girl is put in a dilemma only she can solve, but can she really?
“Winter Love” (McNally Editions) by Han Suyin. This short novel by the author of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” recalls a love affair between two women at the end of WWII in war-torn London.
“The Last Ryu” (Levine Querido) by Emi Watanabe Cohen. Kohei has never seen a big dragon in real life like his grandpa says he has. But when his grandfather falls seriously ill, Kohei goes off on a journey to find this dragon with the help of friends.
“Woman Running in The Mountains” (NYRB) by Yuko Tsushima with an introduction by Lauren Groff as translated by Geraldine Harcourt. A young single mother seeks refuge in the company of other women, then ventures beyond the city into the countryside towards a mountain that captures her imagination and desire for a wilder freedom.
“Tokyo Dreaming” (Flatiron) by Emiko Jean is the sequel to “Tokyo Ever After” in which a common Japanese American family learn their connection to Japanese royalty and a teenage girl becomes a princess. But just as her parents are about to be married, the Imperial Household questions their pedigree. What can she do if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own path and the failure to follow her own heart.
“Racist Love – Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy” (Duke) by Leslie Bow. The author traces the ways in which Asian Americans become objects of anxiety and desire. Conceptualizing these feelings as “racist love”, she explores how race is abstracted and then projected onto Asian-ized objects.
“Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight” (Bitter Lemon) by Riku Onda as translated by Alison Watts. Set in Tokyo over the course of one night, a couple meets for one last time before breaking up. Their relationship broken down by the death of their guide on a mountain trek, each believes the other to be a murderer.
“All the Flowers Kneeling” (Penguin) by Paul Tran. Visceral and astonishing, this debut book of poetry investigates intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and US imperialism in order to radically alter our understanding of freedom, power and control.
“Peasprout Chen – Battle of Champions” (Henry Holt) by Henry Lien. Now in her second year at Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout Chen tries to reclaim her place as champion of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful sport of martial arts figure skating. But Peasprout faces a surprising threat. As Peasprout guides her mission to save a kingdom, she must learn what it truly means to be a leader.
“Vulgar Beauty – Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium” (Duke) by Mila Zuo. In this book, Zuo offers a new theorization of cinematic feminine beauty by showing how mediated encounters with Chinese film and popular culture start to produce a feeling of Chineseness.
“Disorientation” (Penguin Press) by Elaine Hsieh Chou tells the unforgettable story of a Chinese American grad student trying to finish a dissertation on a late canonical Chinese poet and be done with the cultural thing. A curious note in the archives leads to an explosive discovery that sets off a rollercoaster of mishaps and mis-adventures. A blistering send-up of privilege and power in America.
“All About Vietnam – Projects & Activities for kids” (Tuttle) by Phuoc Thi Minh Tran as illustrated by Dong Nguyen & Hop Thi Nguyen, In this lavishly detailed picture book, children will get an inside look at Vietnam’s vibrant culture, while learning through fun, hands-on games, songs, and activities. This multicultural children’s book is a great fit for story time at home or in a classroom.
“Climate Lyricism” (Duke) by Min Hyoung Song looks at how climate change affects the work of American authors as varied as Frank O’Hara, Tonny Pico, Sholmaz Sharif, Kazuo Ishigoro and others. This is a powerfully argued case for literature and poetry as a way of cultivating sustained attention to climate change in this tumultuous time.
“Birds of Paradise Lost” (Red Hen Press) by Andrew Lam is a collection of short stories that looks at what happened to the “Boat People” who escaped after the fall of Saigon.
“My Mechanical Romance” (Holiday House) by Alexene Farol Follmuth. When Bel accidentally reveals her talent for engineering, she finds herself a loner in her school’s legendary robotics club. Fortunately, Mateo who is captain of the club recognizes Bel as a potential asset. As competition heats up for national competition, the two form a closer relationship. This YA novel explores the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with wit and honesty.
“Eighteen Vats of Water” (Creston) by Ji-Li Jiang as illustrated by Nadia Hsieh. The award-winning author of “Red Scarf Girl” returns with another story of Chinese culture and history. Xian has always wanted to be a great calligrapher like his father. As he studies, Xian learns how much work and creativity go into what look like effortless strokes. Based on actual history, this book is about creativity, learning to see, and determination, as well as the importance of family traditions.
“Love Decoded” (Razorbill) by Jennifer Yen. A young adult novel about a teenage girl creates a friend-making app to earn a shot to represent her school and the chance at a prestigious tech internship. Trouble is, the app becomes a major scandal and ends up hurting her friends. How can she salvage her friendships?
“When I’m Gone, Look For Me In The East” (Pantheon) by Quan Barry. From the acclaimed author of “We Ride Upon Sticks” comes her new novel that moves across a windswept Mongolia, as estranged twin brothers make a journey of duty, conflict, and renewed understanding. Are our lives our own, or do we belong to something larger? This novel is an examination of our individual struggle to retain our convictions and discover meaning in a fast-changing world, as well as a meditation on accepting simply what is.
“And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight” (Wave) by Lynn Xu. This book-length poem is epic yet intimate and in various shades of design that unrolls itself across the page s it spreads its words like seeds in the wind. Part protest against reality, part metaphysical reckoning, part international for the world-historical surrealist insurgency and part arte povera for the wretched of the earth.
“Tokyo Dreaming” (Flatiron Books) by Emiko Jean is a sequel to the bestseller “Tokyo Ever After”. When Japanese American teenager Izumi Tanaka learns that her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she goes to Tokyo to finally find a place she belongs. When it appears that she will have a royal wedding and marry her bodyguard turned boyfriend, things turn awry. Her parents are breaking up, the Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage and her boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. Will Izumi pull it all together.
“Peach Blossom Spring” (Little, Brown) by Melissa Fu. It is 1938 in China, and Meilin, a young wife, has a bright future. But when the Japanese army approaches, Meilin and her four-year old son, Renshu are forced to flee their home. Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter, Lily, is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. Spanning continents and generations, this book is a look at the history of China, told through the journey of one family.
“CURB” (Nightboat) by Divya Victor won the 2022 Pen Open Book Award. These poems document how immigrants and Americans navigate the liminal sites of everyday living undergirded by violence. It bears witness to immigrant survival, familial bonds, and interracial parenting within the context of nationalist and white-supremicist violence against South Asians.
“The Verifiers” (Vintage) is a novel by Jane Pek. Claudia Lin is an amateur sleuth who verifies people’s online lives and lies for a dating detective agency in New York. Things go smoothly until a client with an unusual request goes missing. She breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery and part family story, this novel offers an incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.
“Set On You” (Berkley) by Amy Lea is a romance novel that follows the life of a fitness instructor who after a recent break-up takes solace in the gym, her place of power and positivity. That calm turns competitive when a firefighter enters the gym and the two begin to spar.
“Red Thread Of Fate” (Berkley) by Lyn Liao Butler is a story of loss and recovery and a powerful message about the ties of family. After the tragic death of her husband and cousin on the eve of their adoption of a son from China, things get complicated. Tam Kwan finds herself a widow and sudden mother. She is named the guardian of the cousin’s five- year-old daughter without her knowledge. Now, Tam must decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage.
“Sunday Funday in Koreatown” (Holiday House) written and illustrated by Aram Kim. Yoomi has big plans for her day – make kimbap for breakfast, wear her favorite shirt, get her favorite books from the library and visit Grandma with her dad. But nothing goes right. This charming picture book shows how even when things don’t turn out the way you want to, the day can be rewarding. This is a story of resilience, family, and Korean culture.
“The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void” (Nightboat) by Jackie Wang. Although dreams, in psychoanalytic discourse, have been conceptualized as a window into the unsconscious, Wang’s poetry emphasizes the social dimensions of dreams, particularly the use of dreams to index historical trauma and social processes.
“Search History” (Coffee House Press) is a novel by Eugene Lim. Frank is dead—or is he? While eavesdropping on two women discussing a dog-sitting gig over lunch, a bereft friend comes to a shocking realization: Frank has been reincarnated as a dog! This epiphany launches a series of adventures—interlaced with digressions about AI-generated fiction, virtual reality, Asian American identity in the arts, and lost parents—as an unlikely cast of accomplices and enemies pursues the mysterious canine.
“A Magic Steeped In Poison” (Feiwei & Friends) by Judy I. Lin. When Ning realizes it was she who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her mother and now threatens to take away her sister too, she is beside herself. But she takes on the challenge to find the kingdom’s true masters of the magical art of tea-making for the princess will grant a favor to the winner. A favor she hopes will save her sister.
“The Trees Witness Everything” (Copper Canyon Press) by Victoria Chang. This latest book of poetry by Chang balances the Japanese traditional from of tankas to grab at the core of the world. Largely insipid by the poet W.S. Merwin, she explores the self and how it abuts nature, often running through that boundary entirely.
“Aerial Concave Without Cloud” (Nightboat) by Sueyeun Juliette Lee. This is a collection steeped in the bluest apocalypse light of solar collapse and the pale, ghostly light of personal devastation.nr Lee channels and interprets the language of starlight through her body into poetic form.
“Hana Hsu And The Ghost Crab Nation” (Razorbill) by Sylvia Liu. Desperate to figure out what’s going on, Hana and her friends find themselves spying on one of the most powerful corporations in the country – and the answers about the mystery could be closer to home than Hana’s willing to accept. Will she be able to save her friends – and herself – from a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows?
“Cadenzas” (Redbat Books) by Alex Kuo. This is a unique, double-sided work of fiction that narrates a conversation between music and languge, with walkins by Dorothy Parker, Dante, Edith Sitwell, J.S. Bach, Qiu Jin, Dmitri Shostakovich and June Jordan. It is Alex Kuo’s accumulation of more than eighty years of living, listening, and writing on several continents and breathing in the cadences of several languages, including three Chinese dialects.
“Loveboat Reunion” (Harper Teen) by Abigail Hing Wen. A couple teenagers emerge from a tumultuous past in which hearts were broken and revenge was plotted but all is forgiven as they become friends Determined to forge a future, Sophia has college plans and Xavier plays the waiting game, hoping to dodge his overbearing father long enough to collect his trust fund when he turns eighteen. But obstacles are in their way, can they succeed together or are they destined to combust? Find out in this young adult romance novel.
“Two at the Top: A Shared Dream of Everest” (Groundwood) by Uma Krishnaswami as illustrated by Christopher Corr. In this colorfully illustrated picture book, the author lets the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and mountain climber Edmund Hillary both tell their story as they ascend Mt. Everest.
“Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous” (Sourcebooks) by Suzanne Paek. A comedic YA novel about a Korean American teenager cyber star whose addiction to social media has taken over her life. She is hauled off to a social media detox camp in the Midwest where she is forced to confront herself.
“Back To Japan – The Life and Art of Master Kimono Painter, Kunihiko Moriguchi” (Other Press) by Marc Pettijean and translated from the French by Adriana Hunter. This book describes the life and art of a master Kimono painter and Living National Treasure whose influences ranged from the Paris art scene of the1960s to the Japanese world of tradition where he began to contemporize the craft of yuzen (resist dyeing) through his innovative use of abstraction in patterns.
“Maizy Chen’s Last Chance” (Random House) by Lisa Yee. A Chinese American teenage girl finds herself in a small all-white town where her family’s Chinese restaurant has been around for years. But something’s not right. A family treasure is missing and someone has left a racist note. This book is a tribute to Chinese Americans and to immigrant families, and an unforgettable celebration of love, belonging and asking hard questions.
“The Village Of Eight Graves” (Pushkin Vertigo) by Seishi Yokomizo as translated by Bryan Karenyk. A mountain village called “Eight Graves” takes its name from a centuries-old massacre. When a young man arrives from the city to claim a mysterious inheritance and death follows in his wake, the villagers suspicions fall upon the newcomer. The young man must rely on the help of detective Kosuke Kindaichi to uncover the murderer and save his own reputation before the villagers take justice into their own hands.
“Brother’s Keeper” (Holiday House) by Julie Lee. Its 1950 in North Korea and everything is restricted. A family prepares to flee but war breaks out. Only the twelve year old daughter and her mother’s eight-year old son can make it out to escape to the South. They face insurmountable obstacles as they begin this journey.
“The Dreamweavers” (Holiday House) by G. Z. Schmidt. As Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, 12 year olds Mei and Yun Wu are excited as the Emperor of China’s son comes to their village to sample their grandfather’s incredible moon cakes. But when disaster strikes that night, these kids are left to their own devices on how to rescue their grandfather and village from a terrible fate. A middle-age novel for youngsters.
“The Wishing Tree” (Harper) by Meika Hashimoto and illustrated by Xindi Yan. This picture book tries to depict the spirit of giving and the spirit of xmas in a young child and how it lights up a whole town.
“The Grandmaster’s Daughter” (Green Willow) by Dan-ah Kim. In a small quiet village sits a martial arts school where the daughter of the grandmaster must teach as well as learn from every daily task. Colorful illustrations enhance this picture book.
“Love and Reparation – A Theatrical Response To The Section 377 Litigation In India” (Seagull Books) by Danish Sheikh. On 6 September 2018, a decades-long battle to decriminalize queer intimacy in India came to an end. The Supreme Court of India ruled that Section 377, the colonial anti-sodomy law, violated the country’s constitution. ‘LGBT persons,’ the Court said, ‘deserve to live a life unshackled from the shadow of being “unapprehended felons”.’ But how definitive was this end? The playwright navigates these questions with a deft interweaving of the legal, the personal, and the poetic in these two plays.
“It All Comes Back To You” (Quill Tree) by Farah Naz Rishi. For fans of “Pride & Prejudice” comes an enemies-to-lovers rom com about first love and second chances by this Pakistani American YA novelist.
“Rouge Street – Three Novellas” (Metropolitan Books) by Shuang Xuetao and translated by Jeremy Tiang. With an introduction by Chinese Canadian novelist Madeleine Thien. An inventor dreams of escaping his drab surroundings in a flying machine. A criminal, trapped beneath a frozen lake, fights a giant fish. A strange girl pledges to ignite a field of sorghum stalks. These are the characters that populate the world of this writer who evokes the voice of people from China’s frigid northeast in Shenyang, China. A gritty region once an industrial hub but now weighed down by unemployment, poverty, alchoholism, domestic violence, divorce and suicide.
“Word Travelers And The Taj Mahal Mystery” (Sourcebooks) by Raj Haldar and illustrated by Neha Rawat. Best friends Eddies and MJ are going to play outside, create an obstacle course for MJ’s newts, watch their favorite movies and then travel to India to solve a mystery and save a kingdom.
“Touring The Land of The Dead” (Europa Editons) by Maki Kashimada as translated by Haydin Trowell. This book consists of two novellas that concern memory, loss and love. The title story invokes a woman who takes her chronically ill husband to a spa, the site of a former luxury hotel that her grandfather had taken her mother to when she was small. “Ninety-Nine Kisses” portrays the lives of four unmarried sisters in a close-knit neighborhood of Tokyo. Inspired by Tanizaki’s “The Makioka Sisters”.
“Longing and Other Stories” (Columbia University Press) by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki. Tanizaki is one of the most eminent Japanese writers of the twentieth century and known for his investigations of family dynamics, eroticism, and cultural identity. He is acclaimed for postwar novels such as “The Makioka Sisters” and “The Key”. This book presents three early stories of family life from the first decade of the author’s career. Translated by Anthony H. Chambers and Paul McCarthy.
“Pillar of Books – The Moon Country Korean Poetry Series” (Black Ocean) by Moon Bo Young as translated by Hedgie Choi. Still in her early 30’s, Young is part of a younger generation of poets in South Korea. As Kim Na-Young, judge of the Kim Soo-Young Prize awarded to this volume said, “The work of witnessing and representing life is so easily marred and thwarted by the anxieties and loneliness present in each of our lives, and yet, this poet looks squarely at the world, presenting the truth in it with such solidity and composure that I can’t help but root for her and the new language she discovers in the process.”
“Winter Phoenix – Testimonies In Verse” (Deep Vellum) by Sophia Terazawa. A book of testimonies in verse, this book is a collection of poems written loosely after the form of an international war crimes tribunal. The poet, daughter of a Vietnamese refugee, navigates the epigenetics of trauma passed down, and across, the archives of war, dislocation and witness, as she repeatedly asks, “Why did you just stand there and say nothing?”
“The One Thing You’d Save” (Clarion) by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng. In this book, a Newbery medalist poses a provocative question about what matters most. Students talk, argue and stand by their choices as they discover unexpected facets of one another—and of themselves. With insight and humor, Park captures the voices of an inclusive classroom in verse inspired by the Korean poetry form sijo.
“The Wandering Earth” (Tor) by Cixin Liu. A collection of ten stories that form an ode to earth, its pasts and its futures. Liu’s stories show humanity’s attempts to reason, navigate and survive in a desolate cosmos.
“Murakami T – The T-Shirts I Love” (Knopf) by Haruki Murakami. Photographs of Murakami’s T-shirt collection are paired with short, frank essays that include his musings on the joy of drinking Guinness in local Irish pubs, the pleasure of eating a burger upon arrival in the United States and Hawaiian surf culture in the 1980s.
In “Gamma Draconis” (Titan Comics), acclaimed artist Eldo Yoshimizu teams up with writer Benoist Simmat to create a dazzling crime tale of a Japanese heroine who takes on a sinister crime organization.
The Gleaner Song – Selected Poems” (Deep Vellum) by Song Lin as translated by Dong Li. Song Lin is one of China’s most innovative poets. When the Tianamen protest exploded in Beijing, Song led student demonstrations in Shanghai for which he was imprisoned for almost a year. Leaving China, this selection of poems spans four decades of exploration with a focus on poems written in France, Singapore and Argentina and more recently, his return to China.
“Leilong the Library Bus” (Gecko Press) by Julia Liu and illustrated by Bei Lynn. This award-winning book from Taiwan translated by Helen Wang tells the charming tale of a dinosaur who loves books and story time. Unfortunately his huge size causes problems when he tries to enter the library with the kids. How the problem is solved and how the dinosaur becomes an ambassador of library books is cleverly and humorously resolved in this picture book that parents will enjoy reading to their kids.
“Wombat” (Candlewick) by Christopher Cheng and illustrated by Liz Duthie. This picture book teaches kids about the wombat, Australia’s “bulldozer of the bush.”
“The Wedding Party” (Amazon Crossing) by Liu Xinwu and translated by Jeremy Tiang. A wedding party is planned in a Beijing courtyard. Set at a pivotal point after the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, Xinwu’s tale weaves together a rich tapestry of characters, intertwined lives, and stories within stories. A touching, hilarious portrait of life in this crowded city.
“The Secret Listener – An Ingenue In Mao’s Court” (Oxford) by Yuan-Tsung Chen tells the fascinating tale of an extraordinary life in a tumultuous China from the 1920s to the 1970s. It’s a vivid, compelling portrait of life, conflict and love among the elite and downtrodden circles in the Republican and Communist eras.
Newbery Medal winner Erin Entrada Kelly makes her middle-age level debut which she illustrates herself with “Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey” (HarperCollins). It’s a story about friendship and being brave when you feel shy or shaky.
“Bodhi Sees the World – Thailand” (bala kids) is written and illustrated by Marisa Aragon Ware. A young girl finds herself in a foreign city, exploring the streets of Bangkok where she begins to experience the world through a new culture.
“The School For Good Mothers” (Simon & Schuster) is a novel by Jessamine Chan. A taut thriller of a story about a mother who struggles to get her daughter back under the punishing scrutiny and judgment aimed at mothers everywhere – especially against those who aren’t wealthy or white.
“Dragon Legend – The Dragon Realm Series, Book 2” (Sterling) by Katie & Kevin Tsang. When a friend is kidnapped and taken through a time portal, Billy Chan and his friends must travel through time on their dragons to save him in this middle-grade level adventure novel.
“Scars of War – The Politics of Paternity and Responsibility for the Amerasians of Vietnam” (University of Nebraska Press) by Sabrina Thomas. This book explores ideas of race, nation, and gender in the aftermath of war. Thomas exposes the contradictory approach of policymakers unable to reconcile Amerasian biracialism with the U.S. Code. As they created an inclusionary discourse deeming Amerasians worthy of American action, guidance, and humanitarian aid, federal policymakers simultaneously initiated exclusionary policies that designated these people unfit for American citizenship.
“India Mahdavi” (Chronicle) is the first monograph on this world-renowned, award-winning Iranian interior designer. Along with her design projects, the book highlights her custom furniture, lighting, accessories and brand collaborations in a visually stunning design that sets off the work.
“Of Arcs And Circles – Insights from Japan on Gardens, Nature and Art” (Stone Bridge Press) by Marc Peter Keane. From his vantage point as a garden designer and writer based in Kyoto, the author examines the world around him an delivers insights on the Japanese garden, the meaning of art and other fascinating topics.
“Happy Diwali” (Henry Holt) by Sanyukta Mathur and Courtney Pippin-Mathur. Pippin-Mathur also did the illustrations This radiant picture book celebrates Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
“Borderless – A Memoir Of A Young Revolutionary In The 21st Century” (Wake Up Press) by Gary Pak. A fifteen-year-old revolutionary of mixed ethnicities, narrates this story of promise and opportunity in a post-captitalist/post-imperialist country formerly part of the USA. Join this teenager and his sister on a journey through a city devastated by earthquakes and breed, but during a time when a new world of sharing and equality is being built from the ashes of the old.
“Ready for the Spotlight” (Candlewick) written and illustrated by Jaime Kim. This picture book demonstrates the sometimes competitive but always loving relationship between two sisters who shine in different ways. Little sister trains hard to be a ballerina but is always overshadowed by her big sister who gets the leading role.
“Roxy The Unisaurus Rex presents Oh NO! The Talent Show” (Feiwel & Friends) by Eva Chen and illustrated by Matthew Rivera. The annual talent show is coming. Many dinosaurs have brilliant skills to show off but Dexter feels like he has no talent at all. With encouragement from Roxy, he learns being a good friend could be the most important talent of all.
“Where Is Bena Bear?” (Henry Holt) written and illustrated by Mike Curato. Tiny is having a party but the bear is nowhere to be found. Searching for Bina, Tiny realizes something is wrong and sets out to make it right. A humorous picture book about friendship, understanding and embracing our loved ones just as they are (even if they are painfully shy).
“American Home” (Autumn House Press) by Sean Cho A. won the 2020 Autumn House Chapbook Prize. The poems reflect a keen eye on everyday occurrences and how these small events shape us as individuals.
“Genghis Chan on Drums” (Omnidawn), poems by John Yau. This noted arts writer and poet returns in his latest book to his alter-ego of Genghis Chan and lacerates with acerbic humor and wit the topics of the day, clichés about being Chinese, the language of philosophers and the residue of racism and popular culture.
“Usha and the Big Digger” (Charlesbridge) by Amitha Jagannath Knight and illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat. Part of the “storytelling Math” series in which books depict children using math as they play, build, and discover the world around them. When two kids look up at the seven stars in the sky, they see different things. One sees the Big Dipper and another sees the Big Digger and a cousin sees the Big Kite. What exactly is going on?
“Anzu The Great Kaiju” (Roaring Brook Press) written and illustrated by Benson Shum. All great Kaiju are born with a superpower to strike fear into the heart of their city but Anzu is different. Instead of mayhem, he likes mayflowers. Instead of striking fear, he prefers to be sincere. Can Anzu find a way to make his family proud and still stay true to himself. From this Disney illustrator comes this heartwarming book about making your own way and the unexpected power of gentleness.
“Idol Gossip” (Walker) by Alexander Leigh Young. A Korean American girl from San Francisco goes from singing lessons to a K-pop boot camp when she and her mom move to Seoul. This debut YA novel is all about dreaming big but staying true to your own values.
“Brown Boy Nowhere” (Skyscape) by Sheeryl Lim. When a 16 year old Filipino American boy is uprooted from his San Diego home to the middle of nowhere just as he plans to enter a big skateboarding competition, he can’t help but think that “life sucks”. And now he’s the only Asian in an all-white school. But being an outcast has its rewards when he bands together with the rest of his high school outsiders.
“Remembering Our Intimacies – Modelo, Aloha Aina, and Ea” (University of Minnesota Press) by Jamaica Healimeleikalani Osorio. Hawaiian “aloha ‘aina” is often described in Western political terms as nationalism, nationhood, or even patriotism. In this book, the author focuses on the personal and embodied articulations of aloha aina to detangle it from the effects of colonialism and occupation.
“Faraway” (Columbia University Press) by Taiwanese novelist Lo Yi-Chin and translated by Jeremy Tiang. A Taiwanese man finds himself stranded in mainland China while attempting to bring his comatose father home. He finds himself locked into a protracted struggle with byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. A book that examines the rift between Taiwan and China on the most personal of levels.
“Manifest Technique – Hip Hop, Empire, and Visionary Filipino American Culture” (University of Illinois) by Mark R. Villegas. Filipino Americans have been innovators and collaborators in hip hop since the culture’s early days. But despite some success, the genre’s significance in Filipino American communities is often overlooked. The author takes into consideration the coast-to-coast hip hop scene to reveal how Filipino Americans have used music, dance, and visual art to create their worlds.
“Enforced Rustification In The Chinese Cultural Revolution” (Texas Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng sounds like an academic study when it actually is a poetic retelling of the author’s experience working in the countryside as a young student. It’s told in poems full of humor, wit and poignancy.
“This Jade World” (University of Nebraska Press) by Ira Sukrungruang , Thai American poet and writer, chronicles a year of mishap, exploration, experimentation, self-discovery, and eventually, healing. It questions the very nature of love and heartbreak, uncovering the vulnerability of being human.
“Personal Attention Roleplay” (Metonymy Press) – Stories by Helen Chau Bradley. A young gymnast crushes on an older, more talented teammate while contending with an overworked mother. A newly-queer twenty-something juggles two intimate relationships. A codependent listicle writer becomes obsessed with a Japanese ASMR channel. A queer metal band’s summer tour unravels in the summer heat. These tales offer portrayals of awkward interactions and isolations of a generation, community and culture.
“Pure Invention – How Japan Made The Modern World” (Crown) by Matt Alt. Japan is the forge of the world’s fantasies: karaoke and the Walkman, manga and anime, Pac-Man, online imageboards and emojis. But in this book, a Japan media reporter proves in his investigation, these novelties did more than entertain, they paved the way for our perplexing modern lives.
“ABC Of Feelings”(Philomel) written and illustrated by Bonnie Lui. This picture book is a journey through the alphabet that shows kids it’s perfectly okay to feel many different things, sometimes all at once. The perfect read-aloud for little ones learning all about feelings and their ABC’s.
“Beasts Of A Little Land” (Ecco) is a novel by Juhea Kim. It is an epic story of love, war, and redemption set again the backdrop of the Korean independence movement. From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in Pyongyang to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul and the boreal forests of Manchuria, where battles rage, Juhea Kim’s unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation’s.
First published in 1937, Genzaburo Yoshino’s “How Do You Live?” (Algonquin) has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers and a favorite of Academy Award-winning anime director Hayao Miyazaki who will base his final film on the book. With a foreword by Neil Gaiman and translated by Bruno Navasky, the story involves a young boy who loses his father at the age of fifteen and the journal entries he receives from his uncle about life’s big questions.
“Goodbye, again – essays, reflections, and illustrations” (Harper Perennial) by Jonny Sun. The author of “everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too” returns with this offering of meditative essays, short humor pieces and memorable one-liners covering topics such as loneliness and burnout, advice on caring for dying houseplants, and a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry.
“Faultlines” (Custom House) by Emily Itani. A bittersweet love story of a bored Japanese housewife in a dilemma who must make choices and a piercing portrait of female identity.
“Outside Voices, Please” (Cleveland University Press) is a new book of poetry by Valerie Hsiung due out October 5, 2021. “Hsiung orchestrates a symphony of voices, past, present, and prescient: time (and with it, history) compresses and expands, yielding long poetry sequences reminiscent of Myung Mi Kim’s sonic terrains and C.D. Wright’s documentary poetics.” – Diana Khoi Nguyen
“Heaven” (Europa Editions) by Mieko Kawakmi. From the best-selling author of “Breasts And Eggs”, a striking exploration of working women’s daily lives in Japan comes a new story of the experience of a teenage boy who is tormented by his schoolmates. It explores the meaning and experience of violence and the consolations of friendship. Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd.
“Alma Presses Play” (Make Me A World) by Tina Cane. Alma is a half-Chinese and half-Jewish teenage girl going through changes with her Walkman on most of the time. Friends move away, love comes and goes and her parents divorce. In this world of confusing beginnings, middles, and endings, is Alma ready to press play on the soundtrack of her life?
“Japanese Dress in Detail (Thames & Hudson/Victoria & Albert Museum) by Josephine Rout is the catalog for an exhibition held in Britain in 2020. It brings together more than 100 items of clothing and reveals the intricacies of Japanese dress from the 18th century to the present and includes garments for women, men and children. The details have been selected for their exquisite beauty and craftsmanship and for how much they impart about the wearer’s identity.
A Way of Looking” (Silverfish Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng. Winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Book Award. Zheng, shaped by the Cultural Revolution in China somehow ended up in Mississippi and fell in love with the blues and in this book, he takes the haiga Japanese literary form (one prose journal entry followed by the echo of a haiku poem to end it) and plants it in the deep south. autumn night/a freight train chugging/across the Yazoo.
“XOXO” (Harper Teen) by Axie Oh. A teenage romance that blossoms in L.A. and re-ignites in Seoul. A Korean American girl meets a Korean guy on his last day in the city of angels and sparks fly. But she forgets about him when he flies off to Seoul. But when the girl and her mother fly to Seoul to take care of an ailing grandmother, guess who she discovers is in her class. But he is not an ordinary guy, he’s in one of the most popular K-pop bands in the land. And in K-pop, dating is strictly forbidden. Read the book if you want to find out how this complex relationship turns out.
“Head – Hoard” (University of Chicago Press) by Atsuro Riley. Winner of the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, juror Julie Carr had this to say about Riley’s new book – “A landscape charged with the bright light of discernment, where emotions are stirred by rhythmic torsion and sonic density.”
“Amira’s Picture Day” (Holiday House) by Reem Faruqi and illustrated by Fahmida Azim. A joyful and sensitive look at the Muslim holiday of Eid as seen through the eyes of a young girl who loves to celebrate but feels conflicted because her school class photo shoot happens the same day.
“Colorful” (Counterpoint) by Eto Mori. Translated from the Japanese by Jocelyne Allen. This popular novel in Japan finally finds its way to the U.S. in this English translation. A young adult tale of death, mental health and what it means to truly live. When a formless soul is given a second chance to return to earth and inhabit the body of a fourteen-year-old boy who has just committed suicide, things get complicated.
Now it’s becoming more common for foreign players to break into U.S. professional baseball but “MASHI – The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams Of Masunori Murakami, The First Japanese Major Leaguer” (Nebraska) by Robert K. Fitts takes us back to 1964 and tells the story of Japan’s first major leaguer in America. A baseball pioneer’s tale.
“The Alpactory – Ready, Pack, Go!” (Harper) written and illustrated (charmingly, I might add) by Ruth Chan. Most kids when embarking on a trip have trouble deciding what and how to pack. Let an alpaca with unusual packing skills be your guide as you contemplate your next journey.
“In The Watchful City” (Tor Dot Com) by S. Qiouyi Lu. Anima is an extrasensory human with the task of surveilling and protecting the city. But what happens when a mysterious outsider enters this world with curiosities from around the world? A multifaceted story of borders, power, diaspora and transformation.
“City of Illusion” (Viking Graphic) is the graphic novel follow-up to Victoria Ying’s “City of Secrets”. In this sequel our child heroes Hannah and Ever live with the Morgan family in peace until Mr. Morgan is kidnapped. The kids get in a spat with street magicians but the two must learn to work together if the mystery of the missing is ever solved.
“Silent Parade – A Detective Galileo Novel” (Minotaur) by Keigo Higashino. Detective Galileo, the author’s best-loved character from “The Devotion of Suspect X” returns in a complex and challenging mystery – several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence. DCI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manbu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.
“The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round” (Orchard) by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and illustrated by Lorian Tu. A clever twist on “The Wheels on the Bus” in which the eating of Chinese food is celebrated with love and laughter within a multi-generational family.
Ghost Food (One World) by Pik-Shuen Fung. A sparely written novel about a first generation of immigrants in Canada whose father decides to stay in Hong Kong earning him the title of “astronaut” father. With a lonely mother and ill father, a daughter struggles to understand her family history revealing threads of matrilineal history and the inheritance of stories and silences.
“Intimacies” (Riverhead) by Katie Kitamura. An American woman newly relocated to The Hague works as an interpreter at a war crimes tribunal. Interpreting for a notorious former president accused of crimes against humanity, and entangled in a complicated love affair with a married man, she wrestles with mounting professional and personal dramas.
“On The Ho Chi Minh Trail –The Blood Road, The Women Who Defended It, The Legacy”(ASIALINK, London) by Sherry Buchanan. Buchanan reveals the stories of the women who defended the Trail against the sustained American bombing campaign – the most ferocious in modern warfare – and of the artists who drew them. She focuses on what life was really like for the women and men under fire, bringing a unique perspective to the history of the Vietnam War.
“Not Here to Be Liked” (Katherine Tegen Books) by Michelle Quach. This young adult novel is about a high school girl Eliza Quan who sees herself as the perfect candidate to be editor of her school paper until an ex-jock white male candidate appears and threatens her ambitions. To thwart his challenge, she writes a viral essay inspiring a feminist movement. But what happens when she starts to like the guy?
“Anne’s Cradle – The Life & Works of Hanako Muraoka” (Nimbus) by Eri Muraoka as translated by Cathy Hirano. Hanako Muraoka is revered in Japan for her translation of L. M Montgomery’s children’s classic, “Anne of Green Gables.” Because of her translation the book had a massive and enduring popularity in that country. This bestselling biography of Muraoka written by her granddaughter, traces the complex and captivating story of a woman who risked her freedom and devoted her life to bringing quality children’s literature to the people during a period of tumultuous change in Japan.
“Second Sister” (Black Cat) by Chan Ho-Kei. When a schoolgirl commits suicide by leaping from the twenty-second floor, her older sister refuses to believe it. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game through the streets of Hong Kong as big sister hunts for the truth about the murder and the murderer.
“Faraway Places” (Diode Editions) by Teow Lim Goh. The poems in this book reside in the spaces between the wild and the tamed, from orchid gardens and immense seas to caged birds and high alpine landscapes. It resists narrative and instead inhabits the residues of experience. It may be a private dictionary.
“Jenny Mei Is Sad” (Little, Brown and Company) written and illustrated by Tracey Subisak. This book introduces young readers to the complexity of sadness and shows them that the best way to be a good friend – especially to someone sad – is by being there for the fun, the not-fun, and everything in between. Charmingly illustrated.
“Vessel – A Memoir” (HarperVia) by Cai Chongda. This tender collection of personal essays by the Editorial Director of GQ China spotlights the family, friends and neighbors of his small town who helped shape him as he struggled to understand himself and what the future might bring as a young boy from simple means.
“A Way of Looking” (Silver Fish Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng. Half prose, half verse, this book is a heartfelt account of exile and homecoming. Uprooted from Chinese soil after the Cultural Revolution, this immigrant found new roots in the rich dark soil of the Mississippi delta and the home of the blues. Winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Book Award.
“Singing Emptiness – Kumar Gandharva Performs The Poetry Of Kabir” (Seagull) by Linda Hess. In this book, two men, five centuries apart, make contact with each other through poetry, music and performance. A great twentieth-century Hindustani classical vocalist takes up the challenge of singing the songs of Kabir, the great fifteenth century poet.
“Boys I Know” (Peachtree Teen Books) by Anna Gracia. A high school senior navigates messy boys and messier relationships in this bitingly funny and much-needed look into the overlap of Asian American identity and teen sexuality. June Chu is leaving high school to face an unknown world, battling her mother’s expectations and the drama of relationships and unsure on how she should work her path through it all.
“Glyph – graphic poetry + trans. sensory” (Tupelo) by Naoko Fujimoto. The poet finds a new way to connect word and image. Inspired by Emaki (Japanese picture scroll). The poet/artist uses bright colors and designs to bring the words of each poem to the reader in novel ways and from different directions. Or as Gabrielle Bates states, “I was wondering around the house of poetry and this book showed me to a door I didn’t know existed.”
“Lurkers” (Soho) by Sandi Tan. The author peoples her corner of surburban Los Angeles with two Korean American sisters rocked by suicide and a cast of characters like a creepy drama teacher, a gay horror novelist and a white hippie mom and her adopted Vietnamese daughter. Add drama and stir with a deft pen for optimum results.
“The Many Meanings of Meilan” (Kokila) by Andrea Wang. Meilan’s world is made up of a few key ingredients: her family’s beloved matriarch, the bakery the family owns and a run in Boston’s Chinatown; and her favorite Chinese fairy tales. But things change after her grandmother dies putting the family on the road in search of home. This young adult novel is an exploration of all the things it’s possible to grieve, the injustices large and small that make us rage, and the peace that’s unlocked when we learn to find home within ourselves.
A God at the Door” (Copper Canyon) by Tishani Doshi. Doshi is an award-winning writer and dancer of Welsh-Gujarati descent. She has published seven books of fiction and poetry. This new volume of poems calls on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to redefine belonging and unveil injustice.
“Finding My Voice” (Soho) is a reprint of a classic young adult novel by Marie Myong-Ok Lee. It is a timeless coming-of-age story of a Korean American teenage girl who attends an all-white high school in Minnesota. She struggles to fit in while being different. When she falls for a popular white football player. Can this relationship withstand the bigotry of a small town and her family’s disapproval?
“Tokyo Ever After”(Flatiron) by Emiko Jean. It’s hard growing up Japanese American in a small, mostly-white Northern California town with a single mom. But when Izumi or “Izzy” as she’s known discovers her missing dad is the crown prince of Japan, things become surreal. Traveling to Japan to find her dad, her life is turned upside down. Not American enough in the States, not Japanese enough in Japan. Will Izumi ever land on her feet?
“The Bombay Prince” (Soho) by Sujata Massey. This popular mystery writer’s latest book is a Perveen Mistry series volume. Bombay’s fist female lawyer tries to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as the city streets erupt into riots protesting British rule. Set in 1920s Bombay.
“Angel & Hannah – A Novel in Verse” (One World) by Ishle Yi Park.The electricity of first love in the heart of New York’s neighborhoods. When a Korean American girl from Queens meets a Puerto Rican American boy from Brooklyn at a quincecanera, sparks fly and so does family opposition and cultural complexity. This former poet laureate of Queens uses bursts of language and imagery in sonnet and song form to bring alive the glow of first love.
“Swimming Back To Trout River” (Simon & Schuster) by Linda Rui Feng. It’s 1986 and a ten-year-old girl lives in a small Chinese village with her grandparents. Her parents left for the opportunities in America years ago. Now her father promises to pick her up and take her to America by her 12th birthday. The little girl is determined to stay. And what she doesn’t know is that her parents are estranged, burdened by demons from their past. Can one family, with an ocean between them, start anew without losing themselves –or each other? Jean Kwok calls this novel, “A beautifully written, poignant exploration of family, art, culture, immigration, and most of all, love.”
“Body Facts” (Diode Editions) by Jody Kim. These poems tell the story of a voice that is Korean, American, woman and body. It weaves together Korean history and aesthetics, the speaker’s childhood and family stories, US foreign policy with North Korea, and the things we do and shouldn’t do to our bodies.
“Made In Korea” (Simon & Schuster) by Sarah Suk. A “rom-com” novel debut depicts two entrepreneurial teens who butt heads – and maybe fall in love- while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
“At The End Of The Matinee” (Amazon Crossing) by Keiichiro Hirano as translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. Billed as a love story and psychological thriller, this novel traces the years long relationship between a concert guitarist and a journalist and examines whether the relationship will endure and perhaps blossom into something deeper.
“Finding Junie Kim” (Harper) by Ellen Oh. A young adult novel about a Korean American girl who tries to fit in at school by not sticking out. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school, she must make a decision. When a teacher assigns an oral history project, Junie decides to interview her grandparents about the Korean war and her world changes.
“Never Have I Ever” (Small Beer Press) by Isabel Yap is a collection of powerful short stories of speculative fiction/fantasy that explores themes ranging from monstrousness, shared trauma, systemic violence, friendship and the ambiguity of love.
“A Pho Love Story” (Simon & Schuster) by Loan Le is a romantic YA rom-com in which two Vietnamese American teens must navigate their new found love amid their family’s age-old feud about their competing pho restaurants.
“If I Were A Tree” (Lee & Low) by Andrea Zimmerman as imaginatively illustrated by local artist Jin Jing Tsong. This picture book traces two siblings journey into the woods and how they use the five senses to explore the natural world. Tsong’s kaleidoscopic art makes the wooded world come to life and illuminates the author’s poetic ode to trees.
“Death Fugue” (Restless) by Sheng Keyi as translated by Shelly Bryant. This novel is a dystopian allegory of the Tiananmen Square massacre and banned in China.
“When Father Comes Home” (Orchard) is written and illustrated by Sarah Jung. June’s father is like a goose: he flies away for long periods of time so when he comes home, it’s a special occasion. This picture book turns the story of migrant fathers who work abroad in hopes of widening the field of opportunity for their children into a heart-warming, reflective tale.
“The Intimacies of Conflict – Cultural Memory and The Korean War” (NYU) by Daniel Y. Kim. The author delves into novels, films and photos to reconstruct memories of war and what it means to Koreans, Asian Americans and people of color
“The Tangle Root Palace” (Tachyon) by Marjorie Liu (“Monstress”} is her debut collection of dark, lush and spellbinding fantasy fiction. It’s full of thorny tales of love, revenge and new beginnings.
“Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, And Identity” (Penguin Random House) by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi. Two 17 year old girls (a Chinese American and an Indian American) take a year off after high school and travel the country asking Americans how race has impacted their lives. Out of 500 stories, they edited it down to 115 for this anthology.
Inspired by the Peabody Award-winning podcast, “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” (Walker) by Sheila Chari is a young adult thriller. As kids are disappearing one by one from a middle school and their parents don’t seem to care, Mars Patel and his crew go on a desperate search for answers.
“Mapping Abundance For a Planetary Future- Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai’i” (Duke) by Candance Fujikane. Fujikane criticizes settler colonial cartographies that diminish life and instead highlights the all encompassing voices of Hawaiian communities and their perspective of abundant healing and protection for the land.
“All You Knead Is Love” (FSG)by Tanya Guerrero. When a 12 year old girl must leave her mother to live with her grandmother in Barcelona, she feels estranged. But then she grows to love that city that her mother once called home. She connects with her Spanish roots, becomes close with her Filipino grandmother and discovers a passion and talent for baking bread. When her favorite bakery is in trouble, she learns what she can do to help.
International bestseller “Kim Jiyong, Born 1982” (Liveright) by Cho Nam-Joo as translated by Jamie Chang is now available in a paperback edition. It follows one Korean millennial “everywoman” as she descends into a psychic deterioration in the face of a rigid misogyny. A rallying cry of feminism and gender that resonated with women all over Korea.
“I Am A Bird” (Candlewick) by Hope Lim as illustrated by Hyewon Yum. When a little girl goes on her morning bike ride with her dad, she imitates the sounds of birds. But when she sees a strange woman with a stern demeanor and a mysterious bag, she becomes frightened. A children’s book that encourages readers to embrace over similarities rather then letting our differences divide us.
“Planet Omar Incredible Rescue Mission” (Putnam) by Zanib Mian as illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik. Omar is excited about his first trip to Pakistan but then tragedy strikes. His favorite teacher goes missing. Could his teacher been abducted by aliens? Omar investigates. Will creative thinking and a galactic spirit of adventure help solve this young adult mystery?
“Much Ado About Baseball” (Yellow Jacket/Little Bee) by Rajani LaRocca. When Trish finds herself on the same summer baseball team as Ben, her math competition rival, two people must set aside their animosity and join together to help their team win. Will solving a math puzzle help the team succeed? Trish and Ben think so.
“The Unicorn Rescue Society – The Secret of the Himalayas (Dutton) by Adam Gidwitz & Hena Khan is a continuation of the New york Times bestselling young adult series about the juvenile members of this group who travel to the rugged mountains of Pakistan to rescue a unicorn.
“The Elephant Doctor of India” (Chicago Review Press) by Janie Chodosh. When a young elephant touching a sagging electric line in Assam, India gets stuck in the mud, there is only one person to call – Dr. Sarma, the elephant doctor. Chodosh spends time with the doctor and reveals to young readers what this unique veterinarian does for the elephants he encounters.
“Kudo Kids – The Mystery in Manhattan” (Razorbill) by Maia and Alex Shibutani. This brother & sister Olympic ice skating pair have turned their hands at writing young adult novels. The Kudo Kids come to New York to see the sights but when a dress from their fashion designer auntie’s collection goes missing, they end up in a chase around the city to nab the culprit.
“From Little Tokyo With Love” (Viking) by Sarah Kuhn. Rika is an adopted bi-racial girl with formidable judo skills and a fiery temper. When she hears rumors in her neighborhood that her real mother is not only alive but a Hollywood movie star, she goes on a quest to find her. Accompanied by actor friend Hank, she must make some big decisions that could change the direction in her own life.
“Dial A for Aunties” (Berkley) by Jesse Q. Sutanto. In this rom-com/murder mystery mash-up of mistaken identity and sisterhood, a wedding photographer enlists the aid of her mother and her sisters in hiding the dead body of her blind date while attempting to pull off an opulent wedding for a billionaire client.
“Renegade Flight” (Razorbill) by Andrea Tang. In this YA fantasy adventure, a young pilot-in-training is grounded when found cheating on an entrance exam. Eager to re-join, she competes in a combat tournament to regain entry only to find she must battle a strangely attractive nemesis.
“Daddy’s Love For Me” (Mascot) by Sarah and JoAnn Jung as illustrated by Chiara Civati. A daughter feels resentment towards her overworked dad when he has no time to spend with her and show his love. When she overhears a conversation between her parents, she realizes how wrong she was.
“Counting Down With You” (Inkyard) by Tashie Bhuiyan. A reserved Bangladeshi teenage girl looks forward to a restful break when her demanding parents go abroad. Instead, she is roped into tutoring the school’s resident bad boy and then talked into a fake-dating façade. But then her life changes as the days go by and the two get to know each other.
“Nina Soni, Sister Fixer” (Peachtree) by Kashmira Sheth as illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky. This continuing series on the adventures of a young Indian American girl who looks for a new project while at the same time getting aggravated by her little sister’s behavior. Maybe there is a way to solve both issues at the same time?
“Fatima’s Great Outdoors” (Kokila) by Ambreen Tariq as illustrated by Stevie Lewis. This picture book is a celebration of an immigrant family’s first outdoor camping trip and how it brings them all together for once inside one big tent under a canopy of stars.
“Queen of Ice” (Duckbill) by Devika Rangachari. This young adult historic novel delves into the turbulent history of tenth-century Kashmir and Didda, princess of Lohara who learns how to hold her own in a court ridden with factions and conspiracies.
“Foreign Bodies” (Norton) by Kimiko Hahn. Inspired by her encounter with the Jackson Collection of ingested curiosities at the Mutter Museum, this poet investigates the grip that seemingly insignificant objects have on our lives.
“Black Water Sister” (ACE) by Zen Cho. A modern fantasy tale of ghosts, gods and the eternal bonds of family ties in the setting of modern-day Malaysia. A young woman returns to Penang and reunites with her extended family while at the sa
“Leave Society” (Vintage) is Tao Lin’s first work of fiction since 2013. It follows a thirty-year-old novelist living part-time with his parents in Taiwan and part-time in New York who grows increasingly alienated from friends and community back in the U.S. As he rotates between places, the novel chronicles his growth as son, writer and misfit.
“The Henna Wars” (Page Street Kids) by Adiba Jaigirdar. This romcom about two teen girls with rival henna businesses who find despite their competition, they have to come to terms with a realization of the affection they have for each other.
“In the Watchful City” (TorDotCom) by S. Qiouy Lu. An unforgettable futuristic tale in a secondary world that feels familiar in essence, and that centers trans, nonbinary, queer, mentally ill and Chinese-coded identities. It asks the eternal question, “What good is a city if it can’t protect its people?”
“Clues to the Universe” (Quill Tree) is the Young Adult debut novel by Chrsitina Li. What do an aspiring young rocket scientist reeling from her father’s death and an artistic boy who loves superheroes and comic books have in common? When the two become science class partners, they embark on an adventure and discover themselves while banding together to confront bullying, grief and their own differences.
“Love Without A Storm” (Blood Axe Books) by Arundhathi Subramaniam is filled with poems that celebrate an expanding kinship: of passion and friendship, mythic quest and modern day longing, in a world animated by dialogue and dissent, delirium and silence.
“Heiress Apparently” (Abrams) by Diana Ma is the first book in an epic, romantic young adult series following the fictionalized descendants of the only officially recognized regent of China. When a young Chinese American woman from Illinois embarks on an acting career in Los Angeles having abandoned plans for college – things turn strange. When she gets a role in “M. Butterfly” shooting in Beijing, she uncovers a royal Chinese legacy in her family her parents would rather she never knew.
“Catcalling” (Open Letter) is a book of poems by Lee Soho. This poet is part of the new wave of innovative feminist and queer poetry appearing in South Korea today.
“Terminal Boredom – Stories” (Verso) by Izumi Suzuki. This book of short stories introduces readers to a cult figure in Japanese literature who takes a unique slant on science fiction and concerns about technology, gender and imperialism.
“Forty Two Greens – Poems of Chonggi Mah” (Forsythia) as translated by Youngshil Cho. Winner of the Korean Literary Award, this poet’s search for the infinite in nature illuminates moments of beauty in the subconscious.
“Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing” (LACMA/Prestel) by Stephen Little and Virginia Moon is the exhibition catalog for a major show that illuminates the restrained beauty strength and flexibility of Korean calligraphy. It is the first exhibition held outside Asia to focus on the history of writing and calligraphy in Korea.
“A Sky Beyond The Storm” (Razorbill) is the finale to the popular “Ember in the Ashes” series by Sabaa Tahir. This fantasy series finds the soul catcher must look beyond the borders of his land and take on a mission that could save or destroy – all that he holds dear.
“The Surprising Power of a Dumpling” (Scholastic) by Wai Chin. A teenage girl balances looking after her siblings, working in her dad’s restaurant and taking care of a mother suffering from a debilitating mental illness. A deep true-to-life exploration through the complex crevices of culture, mental illness and family.
“The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World” (Overlook) by Laura Imai Messina. A Japanese woman loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami. When she hears of a phone booth where people come to speak to departed loved ones, she makes a pilgrimage there only to find her grief won’t allow her to pick up the phone. A novel based on a true story.
“Ten – A Soccer Story” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Shamini Flint. A good half-Indian girl in 1980’s Malaysia isn’t supposed to play a “boys” sport but Maya is all game as she achieves her goals while placating a bossy Indian grandmother and holding together a mixed race family on the verge of drifting apart. A young adult novel that will inspire
“The Secret Talker” (HarperVia), a novel by Geling Yan as translated by Jeremy Tiang. Hongmei and Glen seem to have the perfect idyll life in the Bay Area even though their marriage is falling apart. When a secret admirer contacts Hongwei on the internet, his flirting turns into an obsession.
“The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa” (Modern Library) won the Pen Award for “Poetry in Translation” for translator/poet Sawako Nakayasu. Now it’s brought back in print in the new Modern Library Torchbearers Series that highlights women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity and a spirit of resistance. Sagawa was a turn-of-the-century daringly experimental voice in Tokyo’s avant-garde poetry scene. Her life was cut short by cancer at the age of 24 but the words she left behind linger on.
“CURB” (Nightboat) is a new collection of poems by Divya Victor. This book documents how immigrants and Americans both, navigate the liminal sites of everyday living, ripped by violence and paved over with possibilities of belonging.
“Séance Tea Party” (RH Graphic) by Reimena Yee. A lonely girl meets a ghost who haunts her home and finds a new friend. But what happens as the girl grows older and the ghost stays the same age?
“Nina Soni, Master of The Garden” (Peachtree) by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky. This young adult series about an Indian American fourth grader finds her working on a garden project with her siblings supervised by their landscape architect mom. What they hadn’t counted on was the unpredictability of mother nature. Can Nina Soni help this garden survive?
Mindy Kim, Class President” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee is part of a series of books on the adventures of a teenage Korean American girl. In this story, she decides to run for class president but first she must overcome her fear of public speaking.
“The Truffle Eye” (Zephyr) by Vann Nguyen is the debut collection of poems by this Vietnamese-Israeli poet as translated by Adriana X. Jacobs. In it she tackles questions of identity and cultural legacy from points of emotion and shock.
“Flowering Tales – Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan” (Columbia University Press) by Takeshi Watanabe. This is the first extensive study of this historical Japanese tale. It unravels 150 years of happenings in Heian era society penned by female writers.
“Pippa Park Raises Her Game” (Fabled Films Press) by Erin Yun. This loose reimaging of “Great Expectations” follows a young Korean American girl learning to navigate her new life at an elite private school in this young adult novel.
“Some Girls Walk Into The Country They Are From” (Wave) is a new book by Sawako Nakayasu, an artist working with language, and translation – separately and in various combinations. She, alone is responsible for introducing a wide variety of modern Japanese poets to English readers throughout the years with her fresh and skillful translations. This new volume is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry.
“A Taste for Love” (Razorbill) by Jennifer Yen. When a rebellious teenage girl agrees to help her mom’s bakery stage a junior competition, she soon realizes it’s a setup. All of the contestants are young Asian American men her mom has handpicked for her to date. What can she do?
“That Was Now, This Is Then” (Greywolf Press) is the first new collection from Paris Review Editor Vijay Seshadri since his 2014 Pulitzer Prizewinning book, “3 Sections.” Rosanna Warren says of this new book, “These are poems of lacerating self-awareness and stoic compassion. It is a book we need, right now.”
“Midsummer’s Mayhem” (Yellow Jacket) by Rajani LaRocca. When her dad , a renowed food writer loses his sense of taste, it puts a damper on this eleven-year old girl’s dream of becoming a baker and winning a cooking contest. When she meets a boy in the forest, he teaches her about new natural ingredients. Will the everyday magic of baking give her the courage she needs to save her father?
“Every Reason We Shouldn’t” (Tor Teen) by Sara Fujimura. When a teenage girl’s Olympic figure skater dreams fade, she meets a young man at her family’s rink who’s driven to get to the Olympics in speed skating. As a rivalry develops, so does a romance.
“My Name Will Grow Wide Like A Tree” (Greywolf) by Yi Lei and translated from the Chinese by Changtai Bi and Tracy K. Smith. Yiyun Li says of this book, “Yi Lei, one of China’s most original and independent poets, documents not only Chinese history in the past four decades, but also more importantly a woman’s private history of rebellion and residence.”
“Disappear Doppelganger Disappear” (Little A) is by the author of “The Hundred-Year Flood”, Matthew Salesses. Laura Van den Berg writes “How to live in a world that refuses to see you? Matt Kim’s intoxicating battle with his mysterious doppelganger moves him deeper and deeper into the vast and urgent sea of this question – and towards a possible answer. Inventive and profound, mordantly hilarious and wildly moving.”
“The Boys in the Back Row” (Levine Querido) by Mike Jung. When band geeks, comic nerds and best friends Eric and Matt tire of being bullied by racist comments and being called “gay”, they hatch a plan to meet a famous comic book artist during regional marching competition but an enemy has other ideas.
“The Girl Who Stole an Elephant” (Peachtree) by Nizrana Farook. Deep adventures in the Sri Lankan jungle await young readers as a nobleman’s rebellious daughter steals the queen’s jewelry and makes her escape on the king’s elephant. How will things turn out in the end?
“Pink Mountain on Locust Island” (Coffee House) by Jamie Marina Lau. In her debut novel, shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Stella Prize, old hazy vignettes conjure a multi-faceted world of philosophical angst and lackadaisical violence. A teenage girl drifts through a monotonous existence in a Chinatown apartment until her dad and boyfriend plot a dubious enterprise that requires her involvement.
“Kimono Culture – The Beauty of Chiso” (Worchester Art Museum) by Vivian Li and Christine D. Starkman tells the story of a Kyoto-based designer that is one of the oldest and most prestigious kimono makers in Japan today.
“Everything I Thought I Knew” (Candlewick) by Shannon Takaoka. A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor when odd things begin to happen. As she searches for answers, what she learns will lead her to question everything she assumed she knew.
“Goat Days” (Seagull Books) by Benyamin as translated by Joseph Koyippally. A poor young man in Southern India dreams of getting a job in a Persian Gulf country so he can earn enough money to send to his family back home. When his wish becomes reality, things don’t turn out as planned and he is locked into a slave-like existence herding goats in the desert. Circumstances force him to conceive of a hazardous scheme to escape his life of loneliness and alienation. But will it be enough?
“Last Tang Standing” (Putnam) by Lauren Ho. “Crazy Rich Asians” meets “Bridget Jones” in this funny debut novel about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact and opening one’s self up to love.
“AN I NOVEL” (Columbia) by Minae Mizumura as translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. This novel focuses on a single day of a Japanese expatriate in America as she reflects on her life in this country and why she wants to return to Japan to become a writer and write again in Japanese.
“Sacrificial Metal” (Conduit Books & Ephemera) by Esther Lee. It won the Minds on Fire Open Book Prize. Sean Dorsey writes that the book “dances with astute curiosity and deep tenderness across the shifting grounds of grief, touch, bearing witness, memory, and our obstinate human instinct for future planning. With great compassion, Lee’s poems remind us that everything human eventually unravels…”
“Forbidden Memory – Tibet During the Cultural Revolution” (Potomac) by Tsering Dorje. Edited by Robert Barnett and translated by Susan T. Chen. The author uses eyewitness accounts with expert analysis to tell the story of how Tibet was shaken by foreign invasion and cultural obliteration. This book is a long-overdue reckoning of China’s role in Tibet’s tragic past.
“Paper Bells” (The Song Cave) by Phan Nhien Hao and translated by Hai-Dang Phan is a new volume of poems by a poet shaped by the Vietnam War, forced to re-start a life as a teenager in the U.S. His poems bear witness to a delicate balance between two countries and cultures.
“So This Is Love: a Twisted Tale” (Disney) by Elizabeth Lim. A young adult re-telling of the Cinderella story. In this one, Cinderella leaves the house where she works and gets a job as the palace seamstress. Here she becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to overthrow the king. Can she find a way to save the kingdom?
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M. L. Gold and N. V. Fong as illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from a big sister’s point of view, this picture book makes the complicated adoption process clear for the youngest readers and the colorful art show
“Butterfly Sleep” (Tupelo) by Kim Kyung Ju as translated by Jake Levine is a historical drama based in the early Joson Dynasty. With a mixture of magic realism and dark humor, he tells an existentialist allegory of Korean’s rapid development. This play is a modern fable of a rapidly changing country that must confront its ghosts.
“Lion Boys and Fan Girls” (Epigram) by Pauline Loh looks at teenage boys who make a pledge to ban dating and focus on lion dancing. But they must contend with unusual girls and cyberbullying. The rich culture of Singapore and the fascinating history of lion dance make this a compelling young adult read.
Set in a New England town where accusations led to the Salem witch trials, Quan Berry’s novel “We Ride Upon Sticks” (Pantheon) looks at a 1980’s girls field hockey team who flaunt society’s notions of femininity in order to find their true selves and lasting friendship.
“People From My Neighborhood – Stories” (Soft Skull) by Hiromi Kawakami and translated by Ted Goossen. From the author of the internationally bestselling “Strange Weather in Tokyo”, this new book is a collection of interlinking stories that masterfully blend the mundane and the mythical. In these people’s lives, details of the local and everyday slip into accounts of duels, prophetic dreams, revolutions and visitations from ghosts and gods. Here is a universe ruled by mystery and transformation.
“A Bond Undone” (St. Martin’s Griffin) by Jin Yong is the second volume of “Legends of The Condor Heroes”, one of Asia’s most popular martial arts novels. Translated by Gigi Chang.
“Taiwan In Dynamic Transition – Nation Building And Democratization” (UW) edited by Ryan Dunch and Ashley Esarey. This book provides an up-to-date assessment of contemporary Taiwan highlighting that country’s emergent nationhood and its significance for world politics.
“The Journey of Liu Xiabao – From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate” (Potomac) edited by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman with Yu Zhang, Jie Li and Tienchi Martin-Liao. Liu Xiabao was more than a dissident poet and this collection of essays capture the intellectual and activist spirit of this late literary critic and democracy icon.
“Harris Bin Potter And The Stoned Philosopher” (Epigram) by Suffian Hakim. This young Singapore-based writer’s parody of Harry Potter bases the story in Malaysia and seasons it with local and pop cultural references.
“Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee and illustrated by Dung Ho. Mindy is excited to go to the annual lunar new year parade but things don’t go as planned. Can she still find a way to celebrate?
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M.L. Gold and N.V. Fong and illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from the view of an eager older sister, this is an endearing story about adoption from an often-neglected point of view.
News & Information
Centrum has announced the 2022 Emerging Artist and Writer residents for residencies at Centrum, a residency program for creative artists in Port Townsend. This year marks the first Emerging Writers component to the annual Emerging Artist Residency. All residents will receive a month of lodging and stipends for October 2022. Among the ten selected are Frank Abe, Josephine Lee and Satpreet Kahlon. Congratulations to them all and may their stay there reap creative rewards that we all can enjoy. For more details, go to centrum.org.
Mukai Farm & Garden on Vashon Island has two food-related events. On Sunday, June 19, 2022 from 11am – 2pm, enjoy a gourmet $25 lunch box created by chefs Michaella Olacarri, Dre Neeley and Chantel Jackson. On Sunday, June 26, 2022 from 1 – 4pm, come to an Asian Pacific American Community Potluck Picnic. Bring food to share and your own beverages. Eating utensils, plates, cups, napkins will be provided. 18017 – 107th Ave. SW/Mukai Way. Go to [email protected] for details.
Artist Trust has a new source of emergency support for Washington State artists in their Artist Trust Endurance Grants which will provide 40 need-based artists grants of $2,500 each. Go to artisttrust.org for details.
The Seattle Public Library offers free tickets to visit Puget Sound museums. Visit www.spl.org/museumpass for details. Also available for loans is the Discover Pass which provides access to more than 100 state parks and other recreational amenities. Go to www.spl.org/outdoorrecreation.
The University of Washington Press issues a call for writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. The editors at this local press want to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. They invite writers to contact them by email to set up a meeting by phone or zoom. If interested, contact Executive Editor Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
Congratulations to Wendy Lu, a journalist, disability rights advocate and editor for the New York Times. She was one of 20 recipients of $50,000 grants from the Ford and Mellon Foundation’s 2022 Disability Awards. Winners were selected by fellow disabled artists from a pool of about 60 nominees.