The Asian Pacific Cultural Center presents an inaugural group exhibition in their new temporary building. Curated by APCC’s Board member June Sekiguchi, the show features the work of artists from Samoa and China. Samoan artists Kamu of Kaydrey’s Polynesian Tattoo and Marialina Wallace share the space with Chinese artist Yichao Zhang. Now on view through September 6,2023. 3513 East Portland Ave. in Tacoma. For details, call 253-383-3900 or try asianpcificculturalcenter.org.
“BANTER” is the title of the debut show by glass artist Granite Calimpong paired with “Invisible Microcosm”, a show of glasswork by Jiyong Lee. An excellent study in contrasts as Calimpong has a feel for organic textural surface inconsistencies and Lee treats glass like sleek luminous agates of light interfacing the shape of boundaries. On view through July 29, 2023. Upcoming is a show of new work by Northwest ceramic icon Patti Warashina entitled “The World Upside Down” from August 3 – September 2, 2023. Opening reception is August 3, 2023 from 5 – 8pm. Also on view is a “Group Artist Exhibition” that includes the work of Tom DeGroot, Lauren Grossman, Harold Hollingsworth, Naoko Morisawa and Eric Nelson. On view August 3 – September 2 with a First Thursday opening reception on August 3, 2023 from 5 – 8pm.Traver Gallery at 119 Union St. #200 in downtown Seattle. 206-587-6501.
Abstract work on ricepaper by Sherry Ying Ruden and paintings by Sandra Power share the space at Fountainhead Gallery through July 30, 2023. 625 W. McGraw St. in Seattle.206-285-4467 or FountaineadGallery.com.
The Frye Art Museum features “Formations” by Kelly Akashi now through September 10, 2023. Akashi is known for her materially hybrid works that are compelling both formally and in concept. The show encompasses work made over the past decade and a newly commissioned series in which the artist explores the inherited impact of her family’s imprisonment n a Japanese American incarceration camp during WWII. 704 Terry Ave. in Seattle.206-622-9250 or try fryemuseum.org.
Some of you may know Nathan Vass as that friendly bus driver who wrote a book about driving a Metro bus and the many passengers he’s encountered. But Vass is also a photographer and filmmaker. And now he has an exhibit entitled “Present Perfect” of his super-rare, handmade color analogue darkroom prints at Seattle’s Gallery 110 in Pioneer Square. Sharing the space is Saundra Fleming and her show entitled “Finding Form in the Invisible”. July 6 –29,2023. “Dabaru” is the title of a show by Marie Okuma Johnston and Gina Ariko that embraces the entire identities of a mixed race person. This joint exhibition reflects the parallels of the two artists’ bi-cultural experiences. August 3 – Sept. 3, 2023. 110 – 3rd Ave. S. 206-624-9336 or www.gallery110.com.
Junko Yamamoto has back-to-back shows of her work this summer. First up is a show of new work entitled “All Is One” that serves as a testament to the profound bonds that underlie our collective existence. There will be a closing reception as well on Thursday, August 3 from 6 – 8pm. Gallery 4Culture at 101 Prefontaine Place S. in Seattle. 206-296-7580 or www.4culture.org. Her show entitled “Cosmic Web” at J. Rinehart Gallery runs from August 3 – 26. The art contemplates the energy that binds together all of existence from the vast – the air, the universe –to the microscopic – molecules, cells- to make it one. Opening reception on Thursday, August 3,2023 from 6 – 8pm. 319 3rd Avenue South in Seattle. Hours are Wed. – Sat. from 10am – 5pm For details, try www.jrinehartgallery.com.
James Cheng has a show entitled “Capturing Spirit in a Box” which exhibits photography and mixed media showcasing handmade cameras with the most unique properties and what they see. With Deidre Wilcox’s “Earthscapes” at Core Gallery through July 29, 2023. 117 Prefontaine Place S. in Seattle. Wed. – Sat. from noon – 6pm.206-728-4444 or www.coregallery.org.
Though Davidson Galleries will continue on, its founder Sam Davidson is retiring. Kudos for his dedication and championing the art of printmaking for all these many years. The show “Selections From The Collection” is on view through August 26, 2023. Walk in hours are Fri. – Sat from 11 – 5:30pm and by appointment from Tues. – Sat. 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-624-7684 or try www.davidsongalleries.com.
Nina Vichayapai’s large cloud sculpture entitled “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” will hang above a walkway overlooking the Great Gallery in a major six-month art exhibition project which opens June 10, 2023 at the Museum of Flight. Other artists with work in this show include Jhun Karpio, Crystal Worl, Fumi Amano and June Sekiguchi. The institution will host a museum-wide, community-focused celebration connecting the region’s vibrant arts scene with its rich aerospace history. Dozens of artworks in all mediums by over 30 artists, including newly commissioned murals and an installation drawn from the museum’s collection will be on view. The project will host an artist-in-residence and offer performing arts programs, artist lectures, an interactive mural project and frequent family arts activities through January 7, 2024. Other artists with work in this exhibition include Jhun Karpio, Crystal Worl, Fumi Amano and June Sekiguchi. 9404 East Marginal Way South. 206-764-5720 or try www.museumofflight.org.
Romsom Bustillo, Susie Kozawa and Moonyeka were selected for Jack Straw’s New Media Gallery Program. Look for their work on display at the gallery in the 2023-24 year. For details, go to [email protected].
ArtXchange Gallery has changed to a new name, they will now be known as ArtXcontemporary Gallery. Coming July 27 – September 23, 2023 is “This Land Is Me – Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art” featuring paintings from the world’s oldest continuous culture and explores the close relationship between nature and the Indigenous inhabitants of this ancient landscape. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 5:30pm. 512 1st Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org or try www.artx-contemporary.com.
The work of the late Bay Area figurative artist Hung Liu is included in a group show entitled “Strange Weather: From the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation”. This exhibition explores the relationships and boundaries between bodies and the environment. Remains on view through August 20,2023. Also on view photographs and art books by Preston Wadley in a show entitled “Abstract Truth” on view through October, 8, 2023. Also The annual BAM Arts Fair happens July 28 – 30, 2023. This is the largest arts & crafts festival in the Northwest and includes Kids Fair activities, live performances and food trucks. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue. Go to bellevuearts.org for details.
“Tying the Threads” is the title of Little Saigon Creative’s 4th exhibit and it features works by six artists of Vietnamese descent exploring the theme of intergenerational healing. This show will remain on view through December 2023. 1227 South Weller,Suite A in Seattle. 253-245-9341 or [email protected].
On view through September 5, 2023 is the exhibition entitled “Celebrating Pacific Northwest Artists: 25 Years of the Neddy Awards”. This group show showcases past Grand Prize Award recipients highlighting innovative visual artistry across media. Curated by Negarra A. Kudumu. Some of the past winners of this award include Mark Takamichi Miller, Joseph Park, Akio Takamori, Che Sehyun and Lakshmi Muirhead. The Neddy Artist Award program honors the legacy of Seattle painter and teacher Ned Behnke, son of Robert and Sally Skinner Behnke. The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) is located at 800 Terry Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-324-1126 or try mohai.org.
New work by the now well known Northwest landscape artist Z.Z. Wei will grace the walls of Patricia Rovzar Gallery during the month of September, 2023. 1111 1st Ave. in Seattle. 206-223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com.
A “2023 Kent Summer Art Exhibit at the Centenial Center Gallery by the City of Kent is on view through August 24, 2023. Hours are M-F from 8am – 5pm. The work of Kyler Pahang, Michiko Tanaka, Kay Bae Naoko Morisawa, Wen-His Tsen and Xin Xin is included in this group show. 400 W. Gowe St. in Kent, WA.
Northwest artist Lucia Enriquez has work in a number of upcoming exhibitions. She has work in a group show entitled “Arts at the Port” as part of Anacortes’ yearly art fair held in an event space overlooking the port. 100 Commercial Avenue. July 29 – August 6, 2023. Also in this show is work by Stacy Honda, Naoko Morisawa, Leilai Norman, Lana Sumi Price and Shobika Sekar. Go to https://anacortesartsfestival.com/festival-activities/arts-at-the-port/juried-art/. She has work in a group show entitled “Surface to Strata” sponsored by Allied Arts of Whatcom County. Through July 29, 2023 at 418 Cornwell Ave. in Bellingham,WA. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Go to https://www.alliedarts.org/gallery/#upcoming. She is also in a group show entitled “Surge: Mapping Transition, Displacement, and Agency in Times of Climate Change” set for the Museum of Northwest Art in La Connor,WA from October 14, 2023 – February 17, 2024. Each artist in this exhibit collaborated on a piece about climate change with a scientist. The work of Nina Vichayapai and Tesla Kawakami is also in this show. 121 South First St. [email protected] or 360-466-4446. Go to https://www.monamuseum.org/surge-2023-call-to-artists.
Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location has the following – “Reverberations: contemporary Art & Modern Classics” is ongoing. This group show seeks to spark a hum between historical works and artists working today. Includes work by Sarah Sze, Ruth Asawa, Senga Nengudi, Mickalene Thomas and many others. Many of the works on view are by artists of color and women artists. “American Art:The Stories
We Carry” is ongoing. ”Deities & Demons: Supernatural in Japanese Art” is ongoing. “Honoring 50 Years of Papunya Tula Painting” is ongoing. “Body Language” is ongoing. “Pacific Species” is ongoing. “Chronicles of a Global East” is up until October 23, 2023. “Lessons From The Institute of Empathy” is ongoing. Forthcoming shows to look forward to at Seattle Art Museum include the following – From October 19, 2023 – January 21, 2024, get ready for a traveling exhibit from Boston entitled “Hokusai: Inspiration And Influence, From the Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston”. This exhibition will present over 100 of the grand master’s prints, paintings and illustrated books from MFA Boston’s vast collection alongside other works by his teachers, students, rivals and admirers. 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.”Belonging: Contemporary Asian Art’ is an ongoing exhibit concerned with issues of individuals and their places in changing societies. Opening July 21 and running until December 3, 2023 is “Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Talouse Lautrec” which promises a closer look at the renegade spirit in the graphic arts that permeated both Tokyo and Paris at similar times. In the Fuller Garden Court of the museum, 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. Seattle Asian Art Museum is at 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. 206-654-3100 or try seattleartmuseum.org.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum. Hours are Wednesdays through Sundays from 10am – 5pm. “Guma’ Gela’: Part Land Part Sea, All Ancestry” remains on view through May 12, 2024. Explore the textiles, artwork and installations of this queer Chamoru art collective made up of members from the Marianas and in the disaspora. “Nobody Lives Here – The People in the Path of Progress” is an exhibit curated by Tessa Hulls that illuminates the businesses, homes and people who were displaced when the I-5 freeway was built through the CID in the 1960s. Remains on view through March, 2024. “Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee” is on view through July, 2023. “Resistors: A Legacy of Movement from The Japanese American Incarceration” is on view now through September 18, 2023. The exhibit leads visitors through a historical narrative beginning with the experience of Japanese American incarcerees in the 1940s and the complicated feelings of shame, anger, fear and varied forces of resistance within the community. Through art, first-person accounts, historical material, and artifacts, this show connects Japanese American resistance movements during WWII era to modern BIPOC justice movements and activism today. Includes the work of Laureen Iida, Kayla Isomura, Paul Kikuchi, Michelle Kumata, Glenn Mitsui, Erin Shigaki and Na Omi Shitani. “Woven Together: Stories of Burma/Myanmar” is on view through November 11, 2023. “New Years All Year Around” on view through July 16, 2024. Ongoing are the following – “Honoring 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. There are virtual tours of the museum on weekday mornings. Pre-booking available for private groups. Contact the museum to sign up. 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.
The Wing is bringing back their Food Tours on select Fridays from June – September from 4 – 6:30pm. Also Hometown Chinatown Walking Tours return on Saturdays from 11:30am through August 2023. Go to [email protected]. Other activities include the following – Designer Stephanie Mai shares her art prints and other items in a Wing Luke Marketplace pop-up event. August 5, 2023 from 11am – 4pm.
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 store has a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop. The Capitol Hill store is at 814 E. Roy St. and their hours are Mon. – Sat. from 11am to 5pm. Their # is 206-726-0704 to order or to inquire about the ingredients, contents and price. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. in the CID.
The Seattle Japanese Garden has the following arts-related activities. Their Family Saturday program (Free admission from 10am – 2pm for 12 & under) has a Natural Dye workshop by Botanical Gardens on August 12, 2023. There will be a Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) exhibit by Ritsuko Kashiba on September 9, 2023. Satoko Pettersson presents Hataori, Japanese hand-weaving on September 16, 2023. A new exhibit entitled “Maples of the Seattle Japanese Garden” opens on October 5, 2023. The annual Maple Festival has a scavenger hunt, origami and more on October 14, 2023. On November 2, 2023, admission to the garden is FREE after noon. November 15, 2023 gives visitors a last chance at colorful Koi viewing in the pond before the winter break. Go to www.seattlejapanesegarden.org for full details.
The Pacific Bonsai Museum has the following – “A Gallery of Trees: Living Art of Pacific Bonsai Museum through November 5, 2023. The museum also showcases a new exhibition entitled “Avant-garden” which displays the work of several artists who have evolved their bonsai practice through experimentation, innovation, and a willingness to take risks. On view now through September 10, 2023. Curator Aarin Packard notes “I wanted to create an exhibition that highlights trends in non traditional bonsai and broadens the public’s perception of what bonsai can be. While the cultural and aesthetic traditions of bonsai are beautiful and worthy of honor, bonsai, like all art, cannot be kept static.” The work of Denver-based artist Christine Nguyen’s 2D paintings and cyanotypes is included in this group show. 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].
The work of Northwest artist Paul Horiuchi is included in a group show on view at Christian Grevstad Gallery Space in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. 312 Occidental Avenue South. M – F, by Appointment only. 206-938-4360 or go to www.grevstad.com. Ongoing.
The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art presents “BIMA Spotlight”, their first juried group show of Northwest artists. The work of Leilani Norman, Tomoko Suzuki, Teruko Nimura, Juliet Shen, Bella Kim, Naoko Morisawa, MalPina Chan, Kevin Furiya and Laureen Iida joins the work of many, many others in this exhibition that remains on view through September 10, 2023. Also Seattle muralist Stevie Shao has a mural painted on the front outside wall of the museum This work entitled “Mountain to Sky” honors creators from the land and sky of the Pacific Northwest with the unique architectural aspects of the building in mind. Shao draws inspiration from her Chinese background and life in the Northwest. On view until September 14, 2023. Open daily from 10am – 5pm with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 8pm. Free admission. 550 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island. 206-451-4000 or try biartmuseum.org.
Honey Church Antiques presents a “Foraging and Natural Dye Workshop” on Sunday, August 13, 2023 from 10am – 2pm with Kathleen Olsen from Waters Edge Fiber & Dye. Price per person is $115. Bring your own lunch. Select refreshments and dessert provided. In the Skagit Valley. For details, 206-310-8204 or [email protected] or go to www.honeychurch.com.
The Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum has their annual show of Korean Bojagi quilts entitled “Bojagi Journey” as curated by Patti King. Set for July 26 – October 8, 2023. 703 South Second St. in La Connor,WA. [email protected] or call 360-466-4288.
The Seattle Art Fair has announced it will return with its seventh edition July 27 – 30, 2023 to Lumen Field Event Center. Amp.events.
The June-August 2023 issue of the free Seattle arts newspaper Public Display.ART is available in locations all around the city. Artists Anida Yoeu Ali, Eliaichi Kimaro, Kevin Furiya, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Barbara Earl Thomas, Carol Milne, Brandon Vosika, Jalila Abdullah and Burl Norville are profiled in this issue.
Ching-in Chen and Cassie Mira talk about their Jack Straw New Media Gallery installation, “Breathing in a Time of Disaster” in the current JS New Media Gallery podcast. Listen at jackstraw.org or subscribe to Apple Podcasts.
“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. 1911 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. 1-888-238-4373.
Fourth Corner Frame & Gallery presents a group show entitled “East Meets West” showcasing work from Tibet, China, Japan and the US. Included is the work of NW master collage artist, Paul Horiuchi. On view through August 31, 2023.301 W. Holly, Suite D in Bellingham, WA. Hours are Mon. – Sat. 10am – 5:30pm. 360-734-1340 or go to www.fourthcornerframes.com.
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 Northwest Museum of Arts And Culture in Spokane has the following – “Humaira Abid: Searching For Home” features artwork of this Seattle-based, Pakistan-born artist. The beauty and mastery of her wood carvings of seemingly benign objects belie the upheavel and instabi- lity in society, especially that to which women are subjected. On view through August 6,2023. “Frank S. Matsura: Portraits From The Borderland” features studio images by Frank Sakae Matsura (1873-1913) alongside period-specific American Indian regalia from the Columbia Plateau. On view through November 26, 2023.
2316 West First Ave. in Spokane, WA.509-456-3931 or try northwestmuseum.org.
The first museum on Vancouver Island dedicated to Punjabi Sikh history called the Paldi Historical Museum is now open. It explores the history of Paldi, an historic migrant mill town founded in 1916. Japanese, Chinese, Punjabis and Europeans all worked and lived together in Paldi. The town had its own school and post office and a Japanese temple that doubled as a community hall. Located at 23 Paldi Road in Paldi on Vancouver island.
“Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia” brings 120 artworks and original artifacts from Angkor, never before seen in Canada. A companion documentary film will be coming to IMAX Victoria in June, 2023. At the Royal BC Museum at 675 Belleville St. in Victoria, BC Canada. On view through January 14,2024. Call 1-888-447-7977 or try royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.
The Chinese Canadian Museum will officially open in its permanent location at the Wang Sang Building at 51 East Pender St. in Vancouver BC’s Chinatown on July 1, 2023. This comes at a time when that community is struggling under a rising tide of racism and gentrification. The inaugural exhibition is called “The Paper Trail” crated by Catherine Clement and its opening day is also the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Immigration Act. The act required every Chinese person in Canada to register and banned entry to all but students, merchants, diplomats and Canadian-born Chinese returning from education in China. It remained in full effect until 1947. For details, go to chinesecanadianmuseum.ca.
“Tsuneko Kokubo: Of Light Itself” is a retrospective of this Kaslo-based artist. Working in both visual and performance art, her dynamic vision is captivating to both eye and heart. On view through August 26,2023. Gallery 2-Grandforks Gallery in the Reid Gallery. 524 Central Ave. Grand Forks, Canada. 250-442-2211 or try gallery2grandforks.ca.
The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre has the following – Opening March 18, 2023 is “Where Songs Surface” with Masako Miyazaki + Yoshimi Lee. Both of these artists work independently in the photographic medium to connect time, place and memory. On view through September 16,2023. Ongoing is “Women of Change: Celebrating Japanese Canadian Leaders”. Also on view is an ongoing exhibit on “TAIKEN: Japanese Canadians Since 1877”. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby at 6688 Southoaks Crescent.604-777-7000 or try nikkeiplace.org.
Portland Art Museum features the US premiere of German contemporary artist and theorist Hito Steyerl’s “This is the Future”. This piece explores a vibrant, imagined garden through an immersive environment of video projection, sculpture and spatial intervention. Ongoing. 1219 SW Park Ave. Try portlandartmuseum.org.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following – Ongoing is “Framing the Revolution: Contemporary Chinese Photographs from the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection”. “Fit to Print II: Constructing Japanese Modernity in Action and Body” is a deep look at Meiji graphic arts from two local collections. On view through August 6, 2023. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Portland Japanese Garden has the following exhibit – “Growing With Community: Celebrating Cultural Festivals at Portland Japanese Garden” on view until August 21, 2023. 611 SW Kingston Ave. 503-223-1321 or japanesegarden.org.
Japanese American Museum of Oregon is now open in a new space. Current exhibits include the following – “hapa.me-15 years of the hapa project.” This term describes the Hawaiian transliteration of the English word “half” or “half white.” Artist Kip Fulbeck created this project in 2001, traveling around the country to photograph Hapas. In this exhibit the photos and statements from the 2006 exhibit are paired with contemporary portraits of the same people with newly written statements. On view through August 13, 2023. Permanent exhibit is “Oregon’s Nikkei”. “A Sense of Place: The Art of George Tsutakawa” opens at the museum on Thursday, September 7, 2023. Show opening from 5:30 – 6:30pm at the museum at 411 NW Flanders St. Community reception follows from 6:30 – 7:30pm the same night at Lan Su Chinese Garden at 239 N.W. Everett St.(Lansugarden.org). Tsutakawa was a beloved and respected painter, teacher and sculptor. His work can be seen in cities across the U.S., Canada and Japan. He loved the landscape of the Northwest and visited Oregon frequently. The exhibition is on view until December 31, 2023.In early 2024, there will be an homage to writer/community activist Bob Shimabukuro who long before he made his mark in Seattle’s Japanese American community, was a noted presence in Portland’s Japanese American community as an activist, woodworker and restaurant owner. Questions? Email [email protected]. The museum is at 411 Flanders St. in Portland, Oregon.
Portland Chinatown Museum has the following – “Bue Kee: An Artist’s Life And Legacy” is on view through October 8, 2023. Kee (1893-1985) was a painter, sculptor and ceramicist born in Portland’s Chinatown. Kee worked for the Federal Art Project and was a student of the Museum Art School. He never sold his work but gave it away to friends and family. His work fell into obscurity in the 1950s but in 2021, his nephew brought his art to the attention of the museum. Go to the museum’s website to see the artist’s photographs. 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”. Portland Chinatown Museum is located at 127 N.W. Third Ave. 503-224-0008 or try portlandchinatown.org or email [email protected].
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following currently on view. Opening on June 16, 2023 is a traveling exhibition from Asia Society entitled “HELL: Arts of Asian Underworlds.” From the grotesque to the hilarious, journey through diverse depictions of HELL from across Asia. Kongkee, animation director and visual artist invites visitors to step into a glowing series of animated vignettes as they follow the journey of the legendary poet Qu Yuan from the past into the future in “Kong Kee: Warring States Cyberpunk”. “Delightful Luxury: The Art of Chinese Lacquer” surveys the museum’s collection from court accessories, scholar’s objects, luxury items and household furniture. Both of these shows open on November 17, 2022. And coming March 31, 2023 will be an exhibition entitled “Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art”. “Afruz Amighi: My House, My Tomb” is an installation that uses light and shadow to evoke forgotten histories of the Taj Mahal. Outside murals by Channel Miller and Jennifer K. Wofford are visible from Hyde St. “Delightful Luxury: The Art of Chinese Lacquer” is on view through September 18, 2023. 200 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA. 415-581-3500.
Berkeley Historical Society presents their exhibit “Touching Ground, Putting Down Roots: Chinese in Berkeley” through September 30, 2023. The Berkeley Historical Society is located in the Veterans Memorial Building at 1931 Center St. in Berkeley. Their hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 – 4pm. For more information on their activities call 510-848-0181 or try [email protected].
Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford University campus has the following – “The Faces of Ruth Asawa” exhibits the 233 ceramic life masks that originally hung on the exterior of her Noe Valley home. Ongoing. ‘All of M” is a video that restages the high school prom by Kenneth Tam. On view through November 2, 2023.328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way on the Stanford University Campus, Stanford, CA. 650-723-4177 or go to https://museum.stanford.edu/eop.
Roberts Projects presents “Suchitra Mattai: In the absence of power. In the presence of love” on view July 15 – August 26, 2023. Includes new mixed-media paintings, tapestries and a soft-sculpture that invokes he artist’s Indo-Carribean heritage. Mattai’s work engages with the subject and from of European pastoral landscapes and figuration as well as Indian minature paintings. There will be a panel discussion set for July 29, 2023 at 4pm (PT). 442 South La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. 323-549-0223 or go to Robertsprojectsla.com.
Kylin Gallery presents a group show entitled “Dialogue Beyond Time and Space” featuring Seattle Chinese American painter Agnes C. Lee, Pasadena-based Japanese American ceramicist Joan Takayama-Ogawa and Japanese ceramicist Keiko Fukuzawa. August 19 – September 30, 2023.Opening reception is August 19, 2023 from 3 – 6pm. 8634 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA. 310-990-6378 or go to www.kylinggallery.com.
James Fuentes Gallery presents “Juliet Jo:Point of No Return” on view through July 22, 2023. Jo’s paintings come from a deeply intimate space, depicting relatable memories, narratives and passions from her personal life. Jo, born in Seoul, is based in Brooklyn, New York. 5015 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. Try [email protected].
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has the following –Ongoing is “Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads”. “Sam Francis & Emptiness” covers the painter’s work in Japan on view through July 16, 2023. LACMA is at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA. 323-857-6000 or go to www.lacma.org.
The Fowler Museum at UCLA explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on Africa, Asia, the Pacific and indigenous Americas – past and present. Present exhibitions include the following – Ongoing is “Intersections: World Arts Local Lives”. Upcoming exhibitions include the following – “Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance” on view through July 16, 2023. 308 Charles E. Young Drive N. in Los Angeles, CA. 310-206-5663 or try fowler.ucla.edu.
Japan House Los Angeles has the following –“Pokemon x Kogei – Playful encounters of Pokemon and Japanese Craft” July 25, 2023 – January 7, 2024.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 – “Don’t Fence Me In: Coming of Age in America’s Concentration Camps” explores the experiences of Japanese American youth who asserted their place as young Americans confronting the injustice of being imprisoned in WWII concentration camps and embarking on the universal journey into adolescence. On view through October 2,2023. A companion book and four public programs will accompany this exhibit. The book is available at janmstore.com. On Saturday, June 17, 2023, JANM will host an all-camps swing dance with survivors of the wartime incarceration. A little-known facet of life for incarcerated teens and young adults was that they held swing dances in these camps for recreation. Starting at noon, there will be a panel discussion with June Berk and Takayo Fischer entitled “From Barbed Wire to Boogie Woogie”. Then after a media photo op at 1:30pm, there will be an All-Camps Swing Dance with the Fabulous Esquire Big Band with free dance lessons starting from 2pm into the evening. Check janm.org/events for details on the pubic events. Ongoing at JANM 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. In additional news, the museum has launched an online exhibition on Issei artist Wakaji Matsumoto entitled “Wakaji Matsumoto – An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917 – 1944”. This exhibition highlights rarely seen early photographs of Los Angeles prior to WWII and of Hiroshima before the US dropped the atomic bomb all through the lens of photographer Matsumoto. This photographer documented the lives of Japanese immigrant farmers in rural Los Angeles during the early 1900s and created rare images of urban life in Hiroshima prior to the 1945 atomic bombing. Go to janm.org/wakaji-matsumoto to see this photo exhibit. 101 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles, CA. 213-625-0414.
The Getty Museum currently has online selections from a rarely seen collection of “Japanese American photographs, 1920-1940” recently acquired by the museum. Try www.getty.edu.
Craft in America is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit arts organization with the mission to promote and advance original handcrafted work through programs in all media. They are sponsoring two in-person workshops at their center with Lesley Kice Nishigawara. “Frame Loom Weaving Workshop on Saturday, July 23, 2023 from 12 – 4pm. Fee is $100. “Backstrap Loom Weaving Workshop” on Saturday, August 26, 2023 from 11am – 5pm. Fee is $175. Direct all inquiries to Victoria May at [email protected]. 8415 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles,CA. 323-951-0610 or www.craftinamerica.org/page/center.
On view now is “25 Million Stitches/One Stitch, One Refugee” which is a community project that sheds light on the number of refugees in the world. Guest-curated by Korean American fiber artist Jennifer Kim Sohn. At the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA. For details, go to https://mingei.org/exhibitions/23million-stitches.
The San Diego Museum of Art has the following – “Mountain, Meadow, Citadel: The Many Landscapes of Afghanistan” on view through September 17, 2023. Includes photographs by Luke Powell joined by illustrated pages from medieval manuscripts from an Islamic court and depictions of Afghans living outside the country. Also ongoing are shows on the Arts of Iran and Arts of South and S.E. Asia. Also available in the masterpiece minute podcast series, you can hear Bay Area artist Ruth Asawa discuss working with printers at Tamarind Lithographs Workshop in “Exploring the Void” at https://www.sdmart.org. The museum is at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA has the following – “Imprinting in Time – Chinese Printmaking at the Beginning of a New Era” August 11 – November 12, 2023. “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. Their online exhibit is “Nature of the Beast: Animals in Japanese Paintings and Prints”. 2680 N. Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, CA. 626-787-2680 or [email protected].
The Chinese American Museum presents “Origins: The Birth and Rise of Chinese American Communities” and a permanent exhibit of the Sun Wing Wo General Store and Herb Shop. 425 North Los Angeles St. 213-485-8567 or go to camla.org.
Utah Museum of Fine Arts present the following up and coming shows – “TATAU: Marks of Polynesia” explores the tradition of Samoan tatau and the pivotal role it plays in the preservation and propagation of Samoan Culture. On view August 12 – December 30,2023. “Pictures of Belonging: Miki Hayakawa, Hisako Hibi and Mine Okubo. Features more than ninety artworks of three American Artists who shared the distinction of being trailblazing women of Japanese descent from pre-WW II generations whose work should be better known. February 24 –June 2, 20224. The museum is in the Marcia & John Price Museum Building. 410 Campus Center Drive. Salt Lake City, Utah. 801-581-7332 or try umfa.utah.edu
The Honolulu Museum of Art presents the following – A show of Japanese woodblock prints is ongoing. 900 South Beretania St. 808-532-8700 or try honolulumuseum.org.
The Denver Art Museum presents the following – “Islands Beyond Blue – Niki Hastings McFall & Treasures from the Oceania” is an upcoming exhibition. Celebrated contemporary artist McFall will create site-specific work in conversation with the arts of Denver Art Museum’s Oceania Collection.100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. 720-865-5000 or www.deverartmuseum.org.
The MIT List Visual Arts Center has the following – Multi-media artist Sung Tieu
Employs sculpture, drawing, sound, video and installation to examine a wide range of subjects in which social or political power is articulated through sensory ad psychological realms. On view through July 16, 2023.20 Ames St., Bldg. E15 on the Atrium level. Cambridge, MA. 617-253-4680 or [email protected].
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the following – “Hokusai: Inspiration & Influence” now through July 16, 2023. 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”,”Asian Export 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. “Gu Wenda: United Nations” through November 5, 2023. 61 Essex St. in Salem, MA 816-745-4876 or go to pem.org.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “The Art of Literacy in Early Modern Japan” on view through August 6, 2023. “Fukuda Kodojin: Japan’s Great Poet & Landscape Artist” on view through August 6, 2023. “Azechi Umetaro: Call of the Mountains” explores the work of this modern Japanese printmaker on view through July 23, 2023. 2400 Third Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 888-642-2787.
The Walker Art Center has a Pacita Abid retrospective on view now through September 5, 2023. Abid moved to the US to escape political persecution after leading student demonstrations during the Marcos regime. She was determined to give visibility to political refugees and oppressed peoples through her art. She traveled extensively and incorporated art forms and technologies from Korean ink brush paintings to Indonesian batik and also used textiles, a medium often marginalized as craft. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN. 612-375-7600 or try [email protected].
WNDR Chicago presents the US debut of the “Yellow Dots Obsession”, a three-story infinity installation by Yayoi Kusama.1130 W. Monroe St. or try wndrmuseum.com.
Monique Meloche Gallery presents the intricately detailed beauty of paper cut artist Antonius-Tin Bul in the show, “Antonious-Tin Bul: There are many ways to hold water without being called a vase” Now through July 29, 2023. 451 N. Apulina St. Chicago, IL. 312-243-2129 or try https://www.monquemeloche.com.
The Art Institute of Chicago has the following – “Recollections of Tokyo 1923-1945” is on view through September 25, 2023. Includes modern Japanese printmakers memories of Tokyo before and after WWII. “Ink Play – Paintings by Lui Shou-Kwan through July 16, 29023. “The Arranged Flower: Ikebana and Flora in Japanese Prints” through July 9, 2023. “Ghosts and Demons in Japanese Prints” runs from July 15 – October 15, 2023. I111 South Michigan Ave./159 E. Monroe. Chicago, ILL. 312-443-3600.
The Cleveland Art Museum has the following on view –Opening June 11, 2023 and remaining on view through September 10, 2023 is “A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur.” “Imagining Rama’s Journey” is on view through September 17, 2023. “Raja Deen Dayal: The King of India’s Photographers” is on view now through August 13, 2023. “China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta” is on view from September 9, 2023 – January 7, 2024. 11150 East Blvd. Cleveland, Ohio. 216 – 421- 7350 or go to https://www.clevelandart.org.
“Washi Transformed-New Expressions in Japanese Paper” is a group show that explores the potential of this traditional Japanese paper in thirty-five highly textured works, expressive sculptures and dramatic installations. Nine Japanese artists go beyond the folding traditions of origami and explore the infinite possibilities of the medium, giving this ancient art form renewed relevance in the realm of international contemporary art. Includes work by Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kiyoshi Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka and Ayomi Yoshida. “Born of Fire” is another group show that features a diverse selection of fourteen works by b oth emerging and internationally established Japanese women ceramic artists from the Carol & Jeffrey Hurvitz Collection, the largest collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics outside of Japan. Both shows on view through September 17, 2023. Dayton Art Institute at 456 Belmonte Park N. in Dayton, Ohio.937-223-4ART or try daytonartinstitute.org.
Ongoing is “Collection Highlight: Ceremonial Teahouse.” Philadelphia Museum of Art.2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215-763-8100 or try www.philamuseum.org.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum has the following – “Traditions of Japanese Art” on view through October 8, 2023. 4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO. 816-751-1278 or try www.nelson-atkins.org.
The Newark Museum has an ongoing exhibit entitled “From Meiji to Modern: Japanese Art Goes Global- The Art of Japan”. 49 Washington St., Newark, New Jersey. 973-596-6550 or try www.newarkmuseum.org.
The work of Nobuyoshi Araki on his wife is included in a group show with the theme of “Love Songs: Photography & Intimacy” at ICP through September 11. 2023. 79 Essex St. in New York City. Go to icp.org for details.
“Matsumi Kanemitsu: Figure and Fantasy” is on view through October 7, 2023. This exhibition of 60 early works offers an intimate glimpse into Kanemitsu’s past experiences and surreal imagination during his early years in Baltimore in the late 1940s. It captures his evolution before his later established Abstract Expressionist style in New York and L.A. At the Baltimore Museum of Art on 10 Art Museum Drive in Baltimore, Maryland. Try artbma.org for details.
“Tuan Andrew Nguyen: Radiant Remembrance” is the first major solo museum exhibition for this artist who won the 2023 Joan Miro Prize in Barcelona. It features Nguyen’s videos and sculptures that weaves artifacts and stories from the Vietnam War that still resonate. “Mire Lee: Black Sun” is a new site specific installation featuring an architectural environment, kinetic sculpture and fabric works by this Korean American artist. Both shows June 29 – September 17,2023. The New Museum at 235 Bowery in New York.212-219-1222 or try newmuseum.org.
An-My Le is a Vietnamese American artist whose photographs for over 30 years inform how we justify, represent and mythologize warfare and other forms of conflict. Now the Museum of Modern Art in New York is giving the artist a retrospective entitled “An-My Le:Between Two Rivers/Giira hai giong song/Entre deux rivieres” The show combines her photographs along with her forays into film, video, textiles and sculpture. Organized by Roxana Marcoci and Caitlin Ryan. On View November 5, 2023 – March 9,2024. 11 West 53rd St. For details, try moma.org.
Hannah Traore Gallery presents a show of new work by Misha Japanwala entitled “Beghairati Ki Nishaani: Traces of Shamelessness”, a historical record of artists, activists and beshairats in the artist’s native Karachi, Pakistan. The artist documents her community through moldings of the body to preserve the stories of femme, queer and trans lives in Pakistan compiling a visual archive of their resistance and resilience. On view now through July 30,2023. 130 Orchard St. in New York City. 416-508-3475 or try https://hannahtraoregallery.com.
China Institute in New York presents “The Legendary Offering Art from Nanjing Daobao’en Temple” set for the Fall of 2023. 100 Washington St. in New York City.212-744-8181 or try chinainstitute.org.
Poster House Gallery presents the following – “Made in Japan: 20th Century Poster Art” on view now through September 10, 2023. Coming later in the fall is “Advertising India’s Sandalwood Film Industry” from November 16, 2023 – April 14, 2024. 119 W. 23rd St. in New York City. 917-722-2439 or try posterhouse.org.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has the following – “Tree & Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 B.C.E.-400 C.E” on view through November 13, 2023. “Jegi: Korean Ritual Objects” is on view through October 15, 2023. “Ganesha: Lord of New Beginnings” through June 16, 2024. “Learning to Paint in Pre-modern China” through January 7, 2024. “Samurai Splendor – Sword Fittings from Edo Japan” is ongoing. “Michael Lin: Pentachrome” is ongoing. 1000 Fifth Ave. 212-535-7710. Go to https://www.metmuseum.org.
Asia Society has “Buddha, Sage of the Shakya Clan” which captures the mythology of Buddha’s life and the “eight great events” that transformed it. On view through August 27, 2023. 725 Park Ave. in New York City.212-327-9721 or try www.asiasociety.org.
The Rubin Museum of Art announces the following – “Death Is Not The End” remains on view through January 14, 2024. This exhibition explores notions of death and the afterlife through the art of Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity. “The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room” on view through October 30, 2023. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” remains on view through June 4, 2023. “Masterworks – A Journey through Himalayan Art” on view through January 8, 2024. “Shrine Room Project” on view through October 30, 2023. 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. 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].
The Noguchi Museum presents the following – “Noguchi Subscopes” is on view through September 3, 2023. The show is a survey of Noguchi’s interest in the unseen and hidden: invisible forces, subterranean structures and their markers, spatial metaphors for the unknown, and the inner recesses of the self. Includes sculptures, designs and photographs from the artist’s archive. Opening March 20, 2024 and remaining on view through July 28, 2024 is a major retrospective on the work of Toshiko Takaezu coming on the centennial anniversary of the artist’s birth. This exhibition will tour and there will be a major monograph on her work published by Yale University Press. The show will go to Cranbrook Art Museum during 2024-25, the MFA Houston in 2025 and the Honolulu Museum of Art in 2026. There will also be a complementary large-scale installation of her work at MFA, Boston in 2026. “The 2023 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize” is an exhibition of works by the Award’s thirty finalists chosen from over 2, 700 international submissions. On view May 17 – June 18, 2023 in the Isamu Noguchi Studio right across from the Noguchi Museum. ”Akari Shape of Light”, “Infinite Geometries” and “Aura of Light: Spirit of the Artisan” are all pop-up exhibitions created by Pratt students on view virtually now through August 2, 2022 For details, go to pratt.edu. 9-01 33rd Road. Long Island City, New York. 718-204-7088 or [email protected].
New York City-based Ippodo Gallery has the following – “Magic of the Tea Bowl (Vol. 3)” through July 31,2023. Hours are M-F from 11am – 6pm. 32 E. 67th St., 3rd floor in New York City.212-799-4021 or [email protected].
The Dai ichi Arts Ltd. presents the following – “Clay in Motion – Women Artists of Japanese Ceramics” July 24 –August 18, 2023. “Oribe & Shino: Contemporary Expressions” on view October 9 – November 9 2023. 18 E. 64th St. – Ste. 1F in New York City. +212-230-1680. Go to daichiarts.com for details.
The ceramic work of Fujikasa Satoko will be shown September 12 – October 20, 2023. On view November 7 –December 22, 2022 is the ceramic work of Maeda Masahiro. Joan B. Mirviss LTD is at 39 E. 78th St. Suite 401. New York, New York. 212-299-4021 or try [email protected].
The work of ceramic artist Jane Yang D’haene is included in a group show of contemporary ceramicists doing work that unearths ceramics inspired by natural and spiritual environments. On view now through July 30,2023 at Onna House at 123 Georgia Rd. in East Hampton,New York. Open by appointment. Try [email protected] for details.
Artists Hung Liu, Roger Shimomura and Patrick Nagatani all have work in “Who Claims the West”, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum that challenges the old mythology of the American frontier both in popular culture and in commonly accepted historical narratives. This exhibition examines the perspectives of 48 modern and contemporary artists who offer a broader and more inclusive view of the region which too often has been dominated by romanticized myths and Eurocentric American historical accounts. On view July 28, 20923 – January 14, 2024. 8th and G Streets,NW in Washington D.C. Go to americanart.si.edu.
“A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China” is the title of a group show now on view through January 7, 2024. Conceptual photographers in China in the 90s use the human body to document their lives. Also on view is “One With Eternity: Yayoi Kusama” in the Hirshhorn Collection on view through July 16, 2023. At Independence Avenue and 7th St. Washington, D.C. Free and open everyday. Try hirshhorn.si.edu.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art has the following –Ongoing exhibitions include “Prehistoric Spirals: Earthenware from Thailand” and “Engaging the Senses: Arts of the Islamic World”. 1050 Independence Ave. S.W in Washington D.C. 202-633-1000.
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. Currently on view is “Taoism: Pursuing Harmony Between Human and Nature” which opened November 3, 2022. The museum had an exhibit tour of their exhibition “Golden Threads – Chinese Opera in America” which is now available on you tube for viewing. The Chinese American Museum DC hosts a free online webinar event entitled “Chinese Exclusion In The U.S. And Canada” set for Tuesday, July 18,2023 at 6pm (ET) and 3pm (PT). Panel speakers include Ted Gong, Mae Ngai and Linda Yip.Go to www.chineseamericanmuseum.org for details. 1218 – 16th St. NW. 202-838-3180.
An art installation by Yayoi Kusama entitled “YAYOI KUSAMA: LOVE IS CALLING” is now on view through February 24, 2024 at Perez Art Museum Miami. 1103 Biscayne Blvd.+1 305-375-3000 or go to pamm.org.
The Montgomery Collection is considered one of the most valuable private compilations of traditional Japanese works outside of Japan with an emphasis on “Mingei” or Japanese folk art. The Crow Museum of Asian Art highlights this collection in an exhibit entitled “Japan, Forms & Function: The Montgomery Collection”. It is on view through April 14, 2024. 2010 Flora St. in Dallas, Texas. 214-979-6430 or try crowmuseum.org.
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston presents the following – Opening June 10 and on view through September 4, 2023 is “Woven Wonders: Indian Textiles from the Parpia Collection.” This collection showcases the extraordinary aesthetic and technical diversity of textile arts and regional traditions produced in India throughout history. 1001 Bissonnet St. in Houston, Texas. 713-639-7300 or try mfah.org.
“Stealing Oranges to Take Home for his Mother” is a large-scale photographic work by Fion Hung Ching-Yan, originally from Hong Kong. The artist’s series of photos entitled “The Skeletons in the Closet” uses visual stimuli to subvert “The 24 Paragons of Filial Piety”, a collection of Yuan Dynasty traditional folk tales that illustrate acts of extreme loyalty performed by children for their parents. In this tale, a child visits a family friend in a distant province and is given a mandarin orange. The friend observes the child stealing two extra oranges. The host’s anger at this discovery turns to praise when he realizes the child has taken the fruit, not for himself but for his mother. The artist turns this parable on its head presenting us with a photograph of the kitchen overflowing with oranges on the counter and covering the floor. Most noticeable is a child’s hand grabbing the oranges one by one, twisting the story’s moral to tell us there would never be enough oranges to satisfy the greed of his parents and hence, the child needs one or two just for himself. Also showing is another parody of a folktale entitled “Tears that Brought Bamboo Shoots from the Frozen Earth”. Exhibited in a temporary gallery that shows contemporary photography in the Fabrica window in between their main exhibition progamme. In Between Gallery. On view through August, 2023. 40 Duke St. in Brighton, UK. +44(0)1273-778-646 or try [email protected].
“Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, Design Museum” is the title of the artist’s new series of Lego works. In one larger piece, he re-creates Monet’s water lilies but with a twist. In the right-hand side, there is a dark spot symbolizing the dark cave he and his father were forced to live in exile in China. Through July 30, 2023. Lisson Gallery. 27 Bell St. London, England. +44 20 7724 2739 or try lissongallery.com.
“China’s Hidden Century” reveals the resiliency and innovation of 19th century China. On view at the British Museum through October 8, 2023. Great Russell St. London, England. +44 (0) 207323 8000 or britishmuseum.org.
Tokyo Photographic Museum presents the following – “Motohashi Seiichi & Robert Doisneau – ‘chemins croises’ (Narrative Passages) June 16 – September 24, 2023. At Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita Meguro-ku, Tokyo. Go to topmuseum.jp/contents/exhibition/index-4270.html.
On view is “World Classroom: Contemporary Art Through School Subjects” through September 24, 2023. Opening October 18, 2023 and remaining on view through March 31, 2024 is a show entitled “Our Ecology”. At the Mori Arts Center -In Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome-10-1, Roppongi Hills, Japan. +8150-5541-8600 or www.mori.art.museum/jp/.
Tokyo National Museum presents the following – “Ancient Mexico: Maya, Aztec and Teotihuacan” on view June 16 – September 3, 2023. “Early Imari Porcelain: From Blue-And-White to Multi-Color Decoration” on view now through August 20, 2023. 13-9 Ueno Park,Taito – Ku, Tokyo.110-8712 or www.tnm.jp.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo – shows include “How I feel is not your problem, period” is a group show that casts an eye on the difficulties of life that teenagers may feel. Shigeo Arikawa, Makiko Yamamoto, Atsushi Watanabe, Riki Takeda and Kayako Nakashima have work in this group show. “Membrane of Time” features selections from the MOT Collection of artists from the 1980s onward. “Yokoo Tadanori – Even Changing Like Water” shows work of this unique graphic artist from the collection. A series of large paintings by Sam Francis. All of the above on view July 15 – November 12, 2023. MOT is located in Kiba Park at 4 Chome -1-1, Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo. +81-50-5541-8600 (Hello Dial) or try mot-art-museum.jp.
The Yamatane Museum presents the following – “Kobayashi Kokei and Hayami Gyoshu – Two Influential Masters on the Japanese Modern Art World” is on view through July 17, 2023.The artists, one older and one younger, were friendly rivals and considered giants of the “Nihonga” style of Japanese painting. KS Bldg. 1 F, 2 Sambancho, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo. 102-0075. 81+3-5777-8600 or try www.yamatane-museum.jp/english.
A special exhibition that covers the work of Yoshiyuki Tomino, who created the “Mobile Suit Gundam” TV series entitled “The World of Tomino Yoshiyuki: A Retrospective of Legendary Anime Director-Gundam, Ideon, and Now” is on view through January 24, 2024. At Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art & Design. Go to https://tad-toyama.jp/en/ for details.
Kyoto National Museum presents the following – “Tofukuji: Monumental Zen Temple of Kyoto” on view October 7 – December 3, 2023. “Tea Bowls for Chanoyu runs from June 20 – September 10, 2023. “New Acquisitions” is on view from June 13 – July 17 2023. “China & Japan – Masterworks of Calligraphy” on view from August 8 – September 18, 2023. 527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. 075-525-2473 or kyohaku.go.jp.
Museum Magan has the following – On view is “Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan: Somewhere, Elsewhere, Nowhere” up until October 8, 2023. This is a major survey exhibition by these Philippines-born, Brisbane-based artists. Features large scale installations, highlighting themes like urban development, human movement and journeys, exploring what it means to belong, and how identities are formed through the movement of people. Their work often revolves around the home and family, incorporating found materials such as cardboard boxes, paper and plastic bags. Museum Magan is at AKR Tower Level M, Jalan Panjang No. 5 Kebon Jeruk,Jakarta Barat 11530 Indonesia.Try [email protected] or whatsApp +62 877 1222 8881.
“Vapourizing Into Mist: Innovation in Craft Through Art & Design Exhibition. Curated by Peter Nagy. This group enhibition includes work by Bioni, Saurabh Dakshini, DeMuro Das, Bhuvanesh Gowda, Vineet Kacker, Kardo, Sushanta Kumar Maharana, Karim Noureldin, Swapnaa Noureldin and Swapnaa Tamhane. On view through August, 2023. Nature Morte Gallery, The Dhan Mill, 287288, 100 Foot Road, Chhatarpur Hlls, New Delhi, India. Go to www.naturemorte.com for details.
The National Gallery of Australia based in Canberra is a new museum that houses the most important collection of Australian Aboriginal art as well as islander art from the Torres Strait Region. Parkes Pl. E., Parkes ACT 2600, Canberra, Australia. +61262406411 or try [email protected].
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. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Center For Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado presents “Revisiting the Family Album: Stories That Bind Us” an online group show of photography juried by Aline Smithson on view through December 31, 2023. Of the many selected artists, Richard Chen, Jerry Takigawa, Dean Terasaki and Jonas Yip are included. Try https://c4fap.org/revisiting-the-family-album-stories-that-bind-us.
Asia Society of New York is a museum showcasing Asian art, artifacts and culture. Yasufumi Nakamori, presently a senior curator of international art at the Tate Modern in London has been selected as its new director. Nakamori will start in August,2023. Nakamori stated that he wants to bring power and dynamism to the museum. “It is important that we fill the gaps in the history of Asian Art. I want Asia Society to be an interlocutor and instigator.”
From an article entitled “Wealth – The Treasure of Today’s Fiber Artists” come an essay feature entitled “Ties That Bind” by Sarah Sekula that profiles Marques Hanalei Marzan who carries on the Polynesian and Japanese traditions of his ancestors by creating functional art out of fiber that connects contemporary style with ancient traditions. Marzan is one of the few artists who has perfected multiple fiber-weaving techniques such as plaiting, twining, netting and cord-making. The article appears in the July/August 2023 issue of Smithsonian magazine.
A portfolio of images from Jerry Takigawa’s “Balancing Cultures” is included in the 25th issue of Dodho Magazine (online and print), an independent international magazine that promotes the work of professional and emerging photographers from around the world. Try https://www.dodho.com.
“From Hiroshima to Hope” is Seattle’s annual lantern-floating peace ceremony set for Sunday evening, August 6, 2023 at Green Lake. The event starting at 6pm with lantern preparation includes music, poetry, dance, speakers and candle-lit lanterns. It honors the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing’s victims and all victims of war and violence. On the northwest shore at West Green Lake Drive N. and Stone Ave. N. To volunteer or for more information, go to fromhiroshimatohope.org or call 206-928-2590. Free but donations are welcome.
Pratidhwani’s latest Hindi comedy “Ballabhpur Ki Roopkatha” by Badal Sircor and directed by Agastya Kohli is on stage at the Ethnic Cultural Center August 4 – 13, 2023. Friday & Sat. at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm. 3940 Brooklyn Ave. N.E. Try www.pratidhwani.org for details.
“14/48: The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival” is on stage in early August. Each weekend, artists across disciplines are brought together to write, cast, direct, rehearse, score, design and premiere 14 plays in 48 hours. August 4 at 8 & 10:30pm and August 5 at 8 & 10:30pm. At Raisbeck Performance Hall at 2015 Boren Ave. in Seattle. For details, go to
The Martini Night Project headed by sax player Jeff Chin plays a mixture of soul-jazz, R&B and funk on Saturday, August 12, 2023. Time TBD. A retro Disco evening entitled “Studio 54 in da 425” takes place on Saturday, August 26, 2023 with DJs Craig lee and Keven “Spindoctor” Jones. Time TBD. All events at Terry’s Kitchen at 5625 – 119th Ave. S.E. in Bellevue. 425-590-9545 or go to facebook, instragram or the web at terryskitchenbellevue for more details.
Yun Theatre is an experimental Theatre Company with a bicultural perspective. Their upcoming production “In Between: A Collection of Short Plays” looks at the “in-betweeness” that comes with shifting between spaces, cultures and identities. Stories facing Chinese, Cambodian and Mexican immigrant experiences are explored. August 17 – 27, 2023 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. For details, go to yuntheatre.com.
Tacoma Arts Live presents Director Deanna Martinez’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” as a celebration of Boricua-Hawaiiana culture. Get to the islands as magic, potions, and mystery are met with hula, ipu heke and true aloha spirit. August 17 – September 3, 2023. Times vary. At Tacoma Armory. 253-346-1721 or try [email protected].
Fune Tautala and Keola Kapulani Holt are in the cast in a regional premiere of “The Hello Girls”, a musical about America’s first female soldiers now on stage and extended through August 19, 2023.Taproot Theatre at 204 North 85th St. in Seattle. For details, try taproottheatre.org or 206-781-9708.
The Seattle Japanese Garden has the following activities. On August 3, 2023 Kogut Butoh will present “Wandering & Wondering Butoh Dance” in the garden. On September 2, 2023 there will be the annual MOON Viewing event (Otsukimi). October 5 – 15, 2023 brings the annual “Maple Festival” (Momijigari) event, a chance to view autumn’s fall colors in the garden. Go to www.seattlejapanesegarden.org for full details.
Humanities Washington Series of in-person speaker events presents the following. Julie Pham talks about “Hidden Histories: The South Vietnamese Side of the Vietnam War” on August 8, 29023 at 6:30pm. Hosted by Asotin County Library at Basalt Cellars at 906 Port Drive in Clarkson, Washington. Michelle Liu addresses the topic of “What Laughter Tells Us: Asian Americans, Comedy and Belonging” on August 24, 2023 at 6pm. Moses Lake Museum & Art Center at 401 South Balsam St. in Moses Lake,WA. For details try [email protected] or try humanities.org.
As If Theater is presenting their annual “Kenmore Quickies” program from August 11 – 13, 2023 at the Kenmore Community Club. Eight playwrights and eight directors and a host of actors are challenged to create a new work inspired by a piece of local art. One of the playwrights this year is Michael Yichao. Kenmore Community Club at 7304 NE 175th St. in Kenmore, WA.
The Jackson Street Jazz Walk honors the Central District’s rich jazz history and celebrates its 10th anniversary from September 8 – 10, 2023 with new voices, an expanded three day program on ten stages. Admission by donation. Most of the action is on five stages near South Jackson St. and 18th Ave. S. plus four other venues several blocks away. One of the participating groups will be the Joe Brazil Legacy Band in honor of the Seattle jazz saxophonist/educator who performed with John Coltrane and taught jazz in the area. Michael Yasutake plays saxophone in this group. For complete details on this festival, go to jacksonstreetjazz.org.
People in Seattle have the rare opportunity to catch legendary Indian percussionist and tabla master Zakir Hussain in not one but two live performances not to be missed. The legendary pioneer “world music” ensemble Shakti featured British guitarist John McLaughlin, tabla player Zakir Hussain, violinist L. Shankar and ghatam player T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram and shocked the music world with their unique global fusion of Eastern/Western traditions. Now they return with a new group for “Shakti: 50th Anniversary Tour” featuring McLaughlin ad Hussain with special guest Bela Fleck on banjo. The new core group includes percussionist V. Selvagaesh (T. H. Vinayakram’s son),vocalist Shankar Mahadevan and violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan. September 6, 2023 at the Paramount Theatre at 911 Pine St. downtown. In 2024, Zakir Hussain returns to Seattle with a concert of more traditional Indian classical music with Sabir Khan on sarangi and vocals and Debopriya Chatterjee on flute. She is one of the few women flautists in the Hindustani classical tradition performing today. On Friday, April 26, 2024 at 8pm at the Moore Theatre at 1932- 2nd Ave. in downtown Seattle. Tickets for both shows at stgpresents.org.
Playwright Lauren Yee’s musical entitled “Cambodian Rock Band” is a co-production with the 5th Avenue Theatre and A Contemporary Theatre (ACT). It will feature music by Dengue Fever. The play tells the story of a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia for the first time as his daughter prepares to prosecute one of Cambodia’s most infamous war criminals. Set for September 29 – November 5, 2023.At ACT located at 700 Union St. in downtown Seattle.206-202-7676 or acttheatre.org.
Friends of Waterfront Park present a series of free events at Pier 62. On Saturday, August 5 from 11am – 6pm, catch the Waba Korea Festival. For details, go to waterfrontparkseattle.org.
STG Presents has the following at the Neptune Theatre in the University District. Stand-up comic Rahul Subramanian on Sunday, August 6, 2023 at 5pm.“Love in Exile” (Verve) is the title of a collaborative album by vocalist Arooj Aftab, pianist Vjay Iyer and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismally. They’ll premiere the recording locally at the Neptune on September 24, 2023 at 8pm. Legendary German electronic music band Tangerine Dream (with Hoshiko Yamane on violin) on September 25, 2023 at 8pm. Swedish pop band Little Dragon (with Yukimi Nagano on vocals) on October 4, 2023 at 8pm. Stand-up comic Atsuko Okatsuka on October 6, 2023 with two sets at 7pm and 9:45pm. Alternative rock band Blonde Redhead (with Kazu Makino on vocals) on October 18, 2023 at 8pm. The Neptune is in Seattle’s University District at 1303 N. 45th. 206-682-1414 or try stgpresents.org.
Sound Theatre has announced their Sweet 16 Anniversary Season which includes two world premieres, the Seattle premiere of a Pulitzer-winning Broadway play and a playwright-in-residence’s latest work in development. One of their many highlights is the World Premiere of Aimee Chou’s “Autocorrect Thinks I’m Dead” set for September 2023 at 12th Ave. Arts in bilingual ASL-English with captions. The plot revolves around three deaf friends who move into an old house during the centennial anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s 1922 death. For details on their upcoming season, go to [email protected].
Earshot Jazz Festival brings established and emerging jazz artists to the area from Seattle and around the world October 6 -20, 2023. Among the groups scheduled are the Japanese jazz piano prodigy Hiromi with her group Hiromi’s Sonicwonder. Local jazz trumpeter Jun Iida plays with his sextet. The in-demand jazz bassist of today, Linda May Han Ong plays with her composer pianist Fabian Almazan in a duo setting. Seattle trumpeter/educator Cuong Vu plays with his longstanding musical partner, drummer Ted Poor. Go to earshot.org for complete details.
Countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim has won the 2023 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award” by the Dallas Opera for his role of Hansel in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel”. His performance can be viewed on thedallasopera.tv for free until July 31, 2023.
The Chan Centre For The Performing Arts in their Chanbsghun Concert Hall is on the UBC campus in Vancouver, BC. They will present the following fall concerts. Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi presents her latest musical project Sonic Wonder” with Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Hadrian Feraud (bass) and Gene Coye (drums) live in concert on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 8pm. Coming on Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 7pm at the same venue is nine-time Grammy nominee Anoushka Shankar on sitar with Clarinetist Arun Ghosh, drummer/composer Sarathuy Korwar Carnatic percussionist Pirashanna Thevarajah and bassist Tom Farmer. For details, try chancentre.com.
Congratulations to Porkfilled Players, Densho, Filipino American National Historical Society, Friends of Little Saigon, Khambatta Dance Company, Leela Kathak, ReAct Theatre and Tasveer. They are just some of the 241 local arts and cultural organizations that were selected for the 2023-2025 Centering Art & Racial Equity (C.A.R.E) Grants by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.
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.
“The Far Country”, a play by Lloyd Suh as directed by Eric Ting made its critically acclaimed debut in New York City. Now, plans are being made to bring it to the Berkeley Rep. It will make its West Coast premiere at Peet’s Theatre March 8 – April 14, 2024. The play revolves around the story of Moon Gyet who arrives at the San Francisco Bay’s Angel Island Immigration Station with an invented biography and a new name, both given to him by a man who made the same arduous crossing several years earlier. Suh’s play spans two continents and three generations, invoking tales of immigration, identity and memory. Go to berkeleyrep.org for future details.
“Kagami” is a Tin Drum presentation of a mixed-reality presentation of the late composer/musician Ryuichi Sakamoto featuring a virtual likeness of him performing in concert at the Shed’s Griffin Theater. 545 West 30th St. in New York City. 646-455-3494 or go to theshed.org.
Canadian violinist Ji Soo Choi has died of lymphoma at the age of 28 recently. She was named by the CBC among the 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30. Choi won numerous competitions from an early age and was a member of the National Academy Orchestra.
Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun has been appointed the principal conductor of the Halle, a 165-year-old symphony orchestra based in Manchester, UK. Chun won the first prize at the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2016. He was also appointed Chief Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in May of 2022.
Coco Lee was a Chinese American singer and songwriter who gained international fame as one of Asia’s first divas. She opened up a whole new world for Chinese singers in the international music scene. She died by suicide at the age of 48 in July 2023 after a long bout of depression. While attending middle and high school in the US, she won a Miss Teenage Chinatown crown. After schooling in the States, she returned to Hong Kong to start a singing career. She was known for performing a song in the award-winning film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. She was the first Chinese American to perform at the Oscars. Her initial success in a TVB contest in Hong Kong led to a debut album issued by a Taiwanese record label in 1994. Her first full English-language album was released in 1999. She also voiced the lead in the 1988 Mandarin version of the animated Disney film, “Mulan” and sang its theme song. Unlike some Chinese pop singers, Lee was regarded as the “Mariah Carey” of Asia and it was noted that her voice was ideally suited for rhythm n’ blues and soul music.
Noted Japanese conductor/composer Yuzo Toyama died in July 2023 at the age of 92. He was known for his popular “Rhapsody for Orchestra” based on Japanese folk songs. He also served for many years as a conductor of various Japanese orchestras including a regular stint as Chief of the NHK Symphony.
The 14th Annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement in musical theatre known as the Jimmy Awards. Actor Langston Lee won a 2023 Jimmy Award for his solo performance of “Wondering” from the Broadway musical, “The Bridges of Madison County”. He hails from Austin,Texas and is of Korean, Filipino and Pacific Islander descent.
Hawai’I based journalist Heidi Chang did a story for NPR on Edith Kan aka’ole the first Hawaiian woman to grace a U.S. quarter. Kanaka’ole was a Hawaiian cultural icon teacher and composer. The quarter is the seventh coin in the American Women Quarters Program. It honors female pioneers who have shaped the country’s history and paved the way for others. To access the story, try https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1178874246.
Film & Media
It’s been 38 years since the student film “Beacon Hill Boys” hit the movie screen. On Saturday, August 5, 2023 at 8pm, the public will get a chance to view it again, Please make your dinner reservations prior to the show. The film’s script was written by noted Northwest young adult author Ken Mochizuki. It looks at four college-age Japanese American men from Beacon Hill as they navigate the early 70’s eneration gap amidst negative stereotypes, drugs and violence. King Street Media produced this film with then Evergreen State College students Dean Hayasaka and William Satake Blauvelt. The film’s writer and 3 cast members will do a Q&A after the screening. At Terry’s Kitchen at 5625 – 119th Ave. S.E. in Bellevue,WA. 425-590-9545 or try facebook, instagram or on the web at terryskitchenbellevue.
Grand Illusion Cinema’s “Kung Fu Clubhouse Series” rolls on with Bruce lee’s second film entitled “Fists of Fury” screening August 11 & 12, 2023. 1403 NE 50th St. in Seattle’s University District. [email protected].
The South Asian film and arts non-profit group, Tasveer, will move its administrative staff into the Seattle Opera Center where they’ll share facilities with the Opera. In addition, Tasveer will now host their annual film festival in Tagney Jones Hall, Seattle Opera’s 700-seat theatre.
Studio Ghibli Fest returns ten of their classic animated features to theatres from March to November, 2023. An added bonus is a filmed version of the live on stage Japanese production of Spirited Away.” Movies screen locally at Northwest theatres The Varsity, Regal Thornton Place, AMC Pacific Place, Regal Meridian, Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas and Regal Bella Bottega. Both the English-dubbed and the Japanese with subtitles versions will be shown. Go to ghiblifest.com for full details.
Northwest Film Forum has the following films on tap. Li Ruijun’s “Return To Dust” centers on two lonely, middle-aged people in a rural village pushed into an arranged marriage by their respective families. Tepid at first, the couple’s relationship warms up as they fix up an abandoned house even as local farmers are incentivized by the local government to leave for the city. Wu Remin and Hai Qing star as the couple. Initially a popular film in China until the government pulled its distribution. Courtesy of Film Movement. Screens in the theatre on August 2,3,4,5,6 & 9, 2023. “Spacked Out” by Lawrence Lau looks at a group of young teenage girls in rural Hong Kong. This 2000 film centers around 13 year-old Cookie who suspects she’s pregnant. Flanked by girl friends, she journeys into town to find an abortionist. Produced by Johnnie To and written by Lo Chu-Leung. Screens August 9,10,12,13,16,17 & 18,2023. Northwest Film Forum is located at 1515 12th Ave. on upper Capitol Hill. 206-329-2629.
Shinobu Yaguchi’s “Swing Girls” tells the tale of delinquent and lazy schoolgirls, who, in an effort to cut remedial summer math class end up inadvertently poisoning and then replacing the school’s brass band. Though it sounds grim, it’s billed as a story of innocence, zaniness and joy with a toe-tapping sound track in the spirit of another Japanese schoolgirl film, “Linda, Linda, Linda”. Screens August 6, 2023 at The Beacon. 4405 Rainier Ave. S. Go to thebeacon.film for details.
SIFF Cinema has the following films on their program. Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 film “Funeral Parade of Roses” is a loose adaptation of Oedipus Rex and follows the life of a young transgender woman in the 1960s in Tokyo. Screens Wed., August 2, 2023 at SIFF Uptown. SIFF Uptown is at 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. The 20th Anniversary re-release of Park Chan-Wook’s 2003 classic film “Old Boy” has been restored and re-mastered in 4K and screens August 16 – 24, 2023 at the CIFF Cinema Egyptian. SIFF Film Center is at 305 Harrison St. in Seattle Center. 206-464-5830. SIFF Cinema Egyptian is at 805 E. Pine St. 206-464-5830.Go to siff.net for details.
Mukai Farm & Garden presents “Mukai Ghibli Fest” showcasing some classic films by Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli Studio. “My Neighbor Totoro” on August 15, 2023 at 8pm. “Ponyo” on September 9 at 8pm. All screenings at Vashon Theatre on Vashon Island. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5. 17723 SW Vashon Highway. 206-463-3232 or try [email protected].
Trafalbar Releasing present a documentary film on a new female K-pop group Mamamoo entitled “Mamamoo:My Con The Movie” coming to movie theatres worldwide on August 9 & 12, 2023 only. Tickets now on sale with information at mamamoomovie.com.
“World’s Best” by Roshan Sethi tells the tale of a New Jersey tween who is a math whiz like his mom until he finds out his late father was a hip hop legend. Suddenly a dramedy becomes a hip hop musical as the boy tries free-style rapping in order to emulate his late father. Now streaming on Disney Plus.
“Warrior” returns for its third season on MAX. Directed by Justin Lin and Jonathan Tropper, the story focuses on the ongoing conflict between San Francisco’s tongs, some being involved in organized crime. The initial concept for the series came from the mind of martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Though the series depicts challenges the Chinese faced in the mid-1800s, it also mirrors the current climate of anti-Asian hate. Diane Doan and Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon produced the series. Lee says “This series really shines a light on something which has always been there, and it is also the foresight of my father who faced a lot of racism throughout his career to remind us that anti-Chinese/Asian hate is always there looming.” Excerpted from an article by Erin Chew in June 28,2023 AsAm News.
Filmmaker James Sereno was inspired by a short story “Way Back to Paiolo” by Stuart Ching that appeared in a special issue of literary magazine Bamboo Ridge entitled “Growing Up Local”. The two men collaborated on a proposed film adaptation for over fifteen years. This year the completed project made its debut as a film August 4 – 6, 2023. Look for it as it makes the rounds of year festivals.
Sanjay Sami is from Mumbai. He got his start in Bollywood and since 2006 has been the dolly grip person for director Wes Anderson. Touted as the director’s secret weapon, he moves the camera on a dolly in all directions necessary, facilitating and making the director’s vision of each scene possible. Sami has turned the capability of moving the camera for each scene into an art form. A June 21, 2023 profile of him by Melena Ryzik appears in the New York Times.
Gene Luen Yang’s popular graphic novel “American Born Chinese”, with its focus on everyday Asian American characters has now been made into an eight episode Disney series and is now airing. It stars Ben Wang as the lead character with an all-star supporting cast of Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanice Hsu, Yeo Yann Yann, Christian Kim Liu, Ronny Chieng, James Hong and Jimmy O. Yang.
“Joy Ride” is the directing debut of Malaysian American Adele Lim who shared screenwriting duties of “Crazy Rich Asians”. The film finds two childhood friends with two buddies taking a trip to China in search of an adoptive mother. It earned raves at its South by Southwest Film Festival screening back in March. Stars Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu and Sabrina Wu. The screenplay is by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao. Opens July 7, 2023 in theatres.
Karen Cho’s documentary film “Big Fight in Chinatown” can be viewed by going to https://www.tvo.org/video/documentaries/big-fight-in-chinatown.
Film Movement Plus (www.filmmovementplus.com) offers consumers immediate access to over 400 festival favorites feature films and shorts as well This is a subscription service available on various formats. New films premiering on this channel include the following –“Diamond Island” by Davey Chou is a Film Movement Plus Exclusive Premiere. The film centers on a sprawling, ultra-modern paradise for the rich on the river in Phnom Penh. Like other country boys, Bora is lured there to work on its construction. Once there, he forges new friendships and is even re-united with his older brother. He is introduced to a new world of Cambodia’s privileged urban youth and its illusions. “Cracked”, a Thai horror film directed by Surapong Ploensang and starring Chayanit Chansangavej and Nichkhun Horvejkul. A family discovers a bone-chilling secret behind the veneer of two inherited portraits when they take it to an art restorer. On VOD & DVD starting May 26, 2023. Hideo Gosha is considered one of the masters of the chambara (samurai) films from the 60s and 70s. He also brought his skill to this form in the more modern for m of the yakuza (Japanese gangster) film. Now Film Movement Classics issues some of these classics. “Samurai Wolf 1” and “Samurai Wolf 2: Hell Cut” will come out in Blu-Ray/Digital on May 16, 2023 followed by the yakuza film, “Violent Streets” on May 23, 2023. “Radiance”, a film by Naomi Kawase that was made in 2017 and was nominated for a Palme d’Or now premieres via VOD & Digital on April 28, 2023 by Film Movement. The story centers on a blossoming romance between an older photographer losing his sight and a translator of films for the visually impaired. Stars Ayame Misaki and Masatoshi Nagase. For details, email [email protected].
MUBI presents the following – Akio Jissoji’s 1972 film “POEM” completes his spiritual trilogy and is a scathing critique of social power structures. Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 cyberpunk classic animated feature “Ghost in the Shell” presents a dystopian vision that asks the fundamental question of what it means to be human. Hugely influential and a pioneering classic. In 2008’s “Ghost in the Shell 20” Oshii updates his classic original with new technologies such as 3D CGI. These new animation styles parallel the evolution of anime. Akio Jissoji’s 1971 “Mandala” is another part of that director’s “Buddhist Trilogy” and further explores the power of religious fanaticism and man’s primal capacity for good and evil. Akio Jissoji’s 1970 film, “This Transient Life” is considered a New Wave classic that explores spirituality and desire.
“Before, Now & Then” by Kamila Andini tells the story of a woman who forges a connection with her dead husband’s mistress in an era of extreme brutality in 1960s Indonesia. Hits theatres on August 25, 2023.
Actor Randall Park whose career took off for his starring role in “Fresh Off the Boat” has directed his first film entitled “Shortcomings” based on the graphic novel by Adrian Tomine. The film screened at Sundance and will soon be screened at the 2023 Tribeca Festival set for June,2023 in New York.
The first film by Hayao Miyazaki since 2013 entitled “Kimitachi Wa Dou Ikiruka” (“How Do You Live?”) hit movie screens in Japan on July 14, 2023 with no advance publicity. Nonetheless, theatres sold out. It is said the film contains autobiographical details related to the director’s own upbringing during WWII. The film is an adventure/fantasy about a young boy who enters a mysterious tower on the grounds of his family home where he now lives after his mother is killed in a bombing raid.
“Bawaal” by Nitesh Tiwari is a Bollywood production about a narcissistic teacher who reconnects with his wife while on a /European trip. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“Streetwise” is the directorial debut of Na Jiazuo and tells the bleak story of a young man in Sichuan engaged in illegal debt collection to pay off his ailing father’s medical bills. When he falls for a tattoo shop manager who’s his bosses’ ex, things get complicated. This is a coming-of-age crime film that rises above the genre due to innovative cinematography and a well-written script. In theatres now.
“While We Watched” is a documentary film by Vinay Shukla on veteran Indian news anchor Ravish Kumar who dares to speak truth to power in an age when the government becomes increasingly hostile to a free press. In English and Hindi with subtitles. Screening in theatres now.
The Written & Spoken Arts
Hugo House, a Seattle-based literary center that offers readings and writing classes offers a full slate of
summer writing classes for all levels. Some classes are in person or on a learning platform or via ZOOM. 1634 – 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill. 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. Seattle poet Priscilla Long, judge of this year’s Jack Straw Writers brings the group to Elliott Bay on Wed., August 9, 2023 at 7pm (PT). Benjamin Fong discusses his book, “Quick Fixes: Drugs in America from Prohibition to the 21st Century Binge” with Dr. Darron Smith. On Wed, August 16, 2023 at 7pm (PT) in the store. Seattle poet/author Jen Soriano discusses her debut book “Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing” with local author Kristen Millares Young on Wed., August 23, at 7pm (PT). Best-selling nonfiction author Amy Chua makes her fictional debut with “The Golden Gate”, a sweeping, evocative and compelling historical thriller that paints a vibrant portrait of a California buffeted by the turbulent crosswinds of a world at war and a society about to undergo massive change. She reads on Friday, September 22, 2023 at 7pm. C. Pam Zhang (“How Much of These Hills Is Gold”) returns with her second novel entitled “Land of Milk and Honey”. It’s a rapturous and revelatory story about a young chef whose discovery of pleasure alters her life and indirectly, the world. She talks about the book with fellow author and literary agent, Danya Kukafka on Tuesday,September 26, 2023 at 7pm. For making reservations to the virtual events, go to elliottbaybook.com and click on the “Events Page” or call toll-free at 1-800-962-5311. Some events may be virtual and accessed through eventbrite.com. 1521 – 10th Ave. Local # is 206-624-6600.
Third Place Books serves the Puget Sound with three different locations in Lake Forest Park, WA., Ravenna and Seward Park in Seattle. They have the following literary events. All events are free but registration required. King County Library System has a livestream in their Author Voices series which is co-sponsored by Third Place. Author Suzanne Park will discuss her new novel “The Do Over” in a virtual event set for Thursday, July 27, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT). Seattle children’s author Tae Keller talks to Jake Maia Arlow about hert new middle-grade book “The Year My Life Went Down the Toilet” which is about surviving middle school while navigating a chronic illness. Set for Wed., August 2, 2023 at 7pm in-person at the Lake Forest Park location. Piper J. Drake talks to Lish McBride about her new romance novel “Rough Around the Edges: An Uncanny Romance Novel” set for Thursday,August 17, 2023 at 7pm in-person at the Lake Forest Park location. Jenn Shapland discusses her new essay collection entitled “ThinSkin” with Seattle writer Kim Fu on Thursday, August 24, 2023 at 7pm at the Seward Park store. Noted writer Alexander Chee has called the book “a wrenching, loving and trenchant examination of feminism, nuclear weapons production, healthcare, queerness and American life”. King County Library System’s “Author Voices” series has a live stream virtual event with R. F. Kuang and her novel “Yellow Face” set for Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT). This event co-sponsored by Third Place. When an Asian American woman writer accidentally dies, her fellow white writer friend steals the mss. and calls it her own and it is published to critical acclaim. Seattle author & poet Jen Soriano talks about her debut book entitled “Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing” on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 in-person at 7pm (PT) in the Third Place Seward Park location. Loval Young Adult fantasy author Kendare Blake discusses her new novel “Champion of Fate” in which a girl is taken in by female warriors who train her to sheherd a hero to victory. Set for Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 7pm in-person at third Place’s Lake Forest Park location. Minh Le’s new graphic novel “Enlighten Me” illustrated by Chan Chau is about a Vietnamese American youth who defeats a bully only to besent to a silent meditation retreat as punishment. Hearingtales of Buddha’s past lives, the boy sees himself in the stories. Set for Tuesday, September 19, 2023 live in-person at 7pm in the Seward Park location. Nicole Chung talks about her memoir “A Living Remedy” with Third place Bookstore manager Kalani Kapahua on Wed., September 20, 2023 at 7pm live and in-person.At the Lake Forest store. Here are the locations and contacts of the Third Place Books bookstores.Lake Forest Park at 17171 Bothell Way NE #A101 in Lake Forest, WA 206-366-3333. Ravenna location in Seattle is at 6504 – 20th Ave. NE. 206-525-2347. Seward Park location in Seattle is at 5041 Wilson Ave. S. 206-474-2200. For details and information, go to thirdplacebooks.com.
“Ten Thousand Things” is a new podcast produced by KUOW Seattle NPR station as hosted and created by poet/museologist and current Seattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai. It covers modern-day artifacts of Asian American life and how they tell the complex story of Asians in America. Featured guests include the following. Disability Visibility Project Podcast host Alice Wong, transgender and non-binary poet and educator Ebo Barton and NED founder Eason Yang. The series made its debut May 1, 2023 and will air a new episode weekly on Mondays on Apple Podcasts, NPR ONE or wherever you get your podcasts. In a related event, Seattle Civic Poet, Shin Yu Pai and graphic novelist David Lasky will conduct free workshops for teens, ages 8 – 12. They will help kids make small books filled with their poems an illustration. Workshops held on two Saturdays, July 22 and 29, 2023 from 10am – noon. Held at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas located on 8414 Greenwood Ave. N. Apply at wwwfearlessideasorg/summer-2023. For more information call Irene Gomez at 206-684-7310 or try [email protected].
Teen author Taanvi Arekapudi, author of “Uplift Teens Today – Coping Strategies for Mental Health” talks about her personal journey writing and the importance of mental health among teens. Registration required. On Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 1pm. Redmond King County Public Library at 15990 NE 8th in Redmond, WA. 425-885-1861 or try [email protected].
Seattle Arts & Lectures has announced their new 2023/2024 slate of readings and activities. Some highlights include the following. Noted Vietnamese American author Viet Thanh Nguyen reads from his searingly honest, new memoir entitled “A Man of Two Faces” on November 8, 2023 at Town Hall Seattle’s Great Hall. Noted food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt now living in Seattle will host a new series on food entitled “J. Kenji Lopez-Alt Presents” for SAL. Coming up on Thursday, March 14, 2024, he will talk with Korean food author Eric Kim in-person ad online. On May 9, 2024, he will do a in-person and online interview with food personality Pailin Chongchitnant on May 9, 2024. She is host of “Pailin’s Kitchen” on youtube and author of two definitve Thai cookbooks. Both events at Town Hall Seattle’s Great Hall at 1119-8th Ave. For poetry lovers, noted poet Victoria Chang, author of a new book on artist Agnes Martin entitled “With My Back to the World” and a memoir entitled “Dear Memory” will give a talk on April 2, 2024 at 7:30pm (PT) at Rainer Arts Center located at 3515 South Alaska. For details on these and other events, try [email protected].
“We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime In carceration” by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura and illustrated by Ross Ishikawa and Matt Sasaki has been selected to represent Washington State at the 2023 National Book Festival in the “adult” category by the Washington Center for the Book at The Library of Congress Center For The Book in Washington, DC. It will be part of the National Center for the Book’s “Great Reads from Great Places” program. Set for August 12, 2023 in Washington DC. Abe, Nimura and Ishikawa will take part in an online panel discussion with other chosen authors. It will be posted August 12, 2023 on the National Book Festival Website and the Library of Congress YouTube. Jessica Bagley’s “Maurice” was also selected as the “youth” book choice from Washington State.
Hawai’i-based literary magazine Bamboo Ridge was one of several magazines to receive a 2023 Amazon Literary Partnership in 2023.
It’s with sadness we note the passing of Japanese American poet Amy Uyematsu who succumbed to breast cancer. She was the author of six collections of poetry, her latest being “That Blue Trickster Time” (What Books Press) in 2022. Her first book, “30 Miles from J-
Town” received the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize and in 2012 she was recognized by the Friends of Little Tokyo Branch Library for her writing contributions to the Japanese American community. Her poems often dealt with issues of racism and political justice. While majoring in math at UCLA she was on the ground floor of an Asian American student movement and a demand for Asian American Studies at the University level. At the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, as Publications Director she helped co-edit the seminal and pioneering anthology “Roots: An Asian American Reader” along with Franklin Odo, Eddie Wong and Buck Wong that served as a rallying cry for the Asian American student movement. She was one of the selected American poets to be honored at a ceremony at the White House when Barack Obama was president.
Aperture Magazine has released the Summer 2023 issue of their photographic magazine with the theme of “Being & Becoming: Asian in America”. It considers how artists use the medium of photography to grapple with questions of visibility, belonging and what it means to be Asian American. Guest edited by Stephanie Hueon Tung, curator of photography at the Peabody Essex Museum. For details, try aperture.org/events.
Scott Kikkawa, Hawai’i-based mystery writer (“Char Siu”) will be a panelist at the Bouchercon Mystery Convention entitled “Murder At The Marina” held August 30 – September 3, 2023 in San Diego.
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].
News & Information
Two Seattle-area labor leaders are receiving awards at APALA’s upcoming convention. Tracy Lai will receive the Philip Vera Cruz Lifetime Achievement Award which is given to an outstanding AA & Pacific Islander union organizer whose career honors the memory of that historic labor and community leader. Jason Chan will receive the Art Takei Leadership Award given to an outstanding APALA member who has exemplified strong leadership. The award was inspired by Art Takei, founder of APALA and its Los Angeles chapter.
BOOKS FOR REVIEW
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 –
“When My Ghost Sings – A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery & Transformation” (Arsenal Pulp) by Tara Sidhoo Fraser. Fraser is thirty-two years old when a rare mutation in her brain causes a stroke. Awakening after surgery with no memory of her previous life, she attempts to piece it all back together through a haze of amnesia. Yet, as memories do begin to surface, they are seen through someone else’s eyes—the person whose body she stole, whom she calls Ghost.
“The Sunset Crowd” (St. Martin’s) by Karin Tanabe is a historical novel that follows an enigmatic young woman who ingratiates herself with a tight-knit group of glamorous, global friends in 1977 Los Angeles, and upends their lives as she chases the blinding lights of fame—at any cost.
“Rana Joon and the One & Only Now” (Antheneum) is a young adult novel by Shideh Etaat. Perfect Iranian girls are straight A students and always polite and respectable. But Rana Joon is different – she smokes weed and love Tupac and has a secret –she loves girls. When her best friend Louie who encouraged her to live in the moment, dies – she decides to enter a rap battle he dreamed of competing in even though the thought of public speaking terrifies her.
“Offshore Lightning” (Drawn & Quarterly) by Saito Nazuna. Translated by Alexa Frank with an introduction by Mitsuhiro Asakawa. The author became an illustrator almost by chance when a co-worker left and Saito replaced her. Originally an editorial illustrator for a Japanese newspaper, she came to comics first at the age of forty. To some, the lives of ordinary people appear static and unremarkable but not to Saito. Aging, death, and dying meet nostalgia, regret, and acceptance in this collection of shorts that balance humor with empathy.
“The Strange Beautiful” (Chin Music) by Carla Crujido. “These stories deliver lasting magic. Through the lives lived in Spokane’s Mt. Vernon apartments, through generations of unforgettable residents, Crujido weaves a spell of an injured soldier turned hotel worker, a mannequin given a chance at life, songbirds and bakers, lovers and oppressors. The ways the stories are interconnected is masterful. It’s difficult to believe this is a debut, and it’s one to be celebrated.” – Toni Jensen
“Chili Crisp”(Chronicle) by James Park with photography by Heami Lee. Chili crisp is a magical sauce that tingles with heat, crunches with fried garlic and onions, and slicks any food with oily goodness. James Park, food writer and chili crisp devotee, has created over 50 approachable and adaptable recipes to fill your whole day with chili crisp.
“The Peeling Of A Name (ELJ Eitions, LTD) – poems by Anhvu Buchanan.” Anhvu Buchanan brings his whole being into these poems. They are full of anger abd yearning, pain and hope, rage and love. The rawness and the tenderness will stay with you. So will the poet’s name, as completely and utterly his own.” – Viet Thanh Nguyen
“ENLIGHTENED” (Antheneum Books for Young Readers) by Sachi Ediriweera. A spirited young prince desperate to learn more about the world grows into a man on a quest to find the cause of human suffering in this first-of-its-kind graphic novel biography about the life of Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism. This is the first young adult biography about the life of the Buddha, and it follows him from his time as a young prince in the palace to his middle age, when he becomes the sage who is the founder of Buddhism.
“The Last Election” (Akashic) – by Andrew Yang and Stephen Marche. A gripping, intricately plotted political thriller set on the campaign trail of the USA’s next—and because of crucial flaws in the electoral system—its last election; from former presidential candidate Yang and author Marche. Set for September 13, 2023 publication.
“Ganesha’s Great Race” (Chronicle) by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes with illustrations by Patel. This picture book chronicles a race between Ganesha and his brother, Kartikeya. It’s a celebration of the bond between siblings and a loving tribute to family. Though Ganesha cannot compete in speed with his brother, he knows every problem has more than one solution.
“Leis And The Fire Goddess” (Penguin Workshop) by Malia Maunakea. This middle-grade novel tells the story of a part-Hawaiian girl from Colorado who goes back to Hawai’i to visit her Grandma and accidentally insults Pele the fire goddess. And when Pele kidnaps her best friend, she must undo the curse and learn her Hawaiian roots to save her friend and at the same time learn all of who she truly is.
“Earthly Order – How Natural Laws Define Human Life” (Oxford University Press) by Saleem H. Ali. “School’s all about teaching students about the basic order of life. But the education of order is not exactly an orderly education. Saleem Ali’s new book builds a bridge across the sciences using the scaffolding of natural laws, delivering the reader a unique and unifying perspective of life on earth.” – Lucas Joppa.
“Others Were Emeralds” (Harper Perennial) by Lang Leav. Due out in September, 2023 is this novel by this Cambodian Australian writer. The story centers around the daughter of Cambodian refugees who grows up in a small Australian town populated by immigrants. Despite their parents harrowing past, the children here grow up leading ordinary lives until cruel acts of intimidation by racist men spiral into senseless violence. The daughter leaves town for college before her trauma can be resolved. But a mental breakdown forces her to return home and face down her demons.
“Everyone Loves Lunchtime but Zia” (Knopf) by Jenny Liao and illustrated by Dream Chen. At home, Zia loves the Cantonese dishes her parents cook. But at school, she’s shy about eating her favorite foods since they smell different from her classmate’s lunches. This kids picture book is a mouthwatering celebration of Cantonese food and a heartwarming story a bout being your own authentic self.
“English As a Second Language And Other Poems” (Copper Canyon Press) by Jaswinder Bolina. Coated in an armor of wit and humor and steeped in the idiosyncrasies of language, this book pits sentimentality against cynicism and the personal against the national. What remains is the kaleidoscopic image of the modern American condition. Bolina skewers, laments, and celebrates America with intelligence and humility.
“Food For The Future – Sustainable Farms Around The World” (Barefoot Books) by Mia Wenjen as illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng. This picture book for children was born out of the author’s concern about climate change and what some farmers around the world are doing to combat that. In this book, young readers discover 12 amazing ways people around the globe grow food while caring for our planet.
“When Women Ruled the Pacific – Power and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Tahiti and Hawai’i” (Nebraska) by Joy Schultz. The author highlights four Polynesian women rulers who held enormous domestic and foreign power and expertly governed their people amid shifting loyalties, outright betrayals, and the ascendancy of imperial racism. In this first book to consider queenship and women’s political sovereignty in the pacific, Schultz re-centers the lives of women rulers in the history of nineteenth-century international relations.
“Cold Enough For Snow” (New Directions) by Jessica Au. Winner of the inaugural Novel Prize, this book is an elegant exploration of the mysteries of our relationships to others. A mother and daughter travel from abroad to Tokyo: they walk along the canals through the autumn evenings, escape the typhoon rains share meals in small cafes and restaurants, and visit galleries to see some of the city’s contemporary art. At once a careful reckoning and an elegy, this novel questions whether any of us speak a common language, which dimensions can contain love, and what claim we have to truly know another’s inner world.
“Your One And Only Heart” (Dial) is a picture book by Rajani LaRocca, MD as illustrated by Lauren Paige Conrad. This unusual book explains in clear terms to children why your one and only heart is special and unique just like you.
“Lady Tan’s Circle of Women” (Scribner) by Lisa See. The latest historical novel by this author inspired by the true story of a woman physician from 15th century China. A captivating story of women helping other women who were remarkable in the Ming dynasty and would be considered remarkable even today.
“Real to Me” (Knopf) by Minh Le and illustrated by Raissa Figueroa. This picture book depicts a child’s world and their imaginary friends. Others tried to tell me that my friend wasn’t real. But what did they know? She was real to me. When you have a great friend, the rest of the world can seem to disappear. Lavishly illustrated in bright colors.
“Beijing Sprawl” (Two Lines Press) by Xu Zechen as translated by Jeremy Tiang & Eric Abrahamsen. “Bored country kids, hutong hucksters, and gig economy slackers mingle with forgers, thugs, and former jailbirds populate Xu Zechen’s lyrical writing. Realism and Surrealism, tragedy and farce play out in the anonymous backstreets of Beijing’s seemingly endless urban sprawl. This is some of the most exciting and energized writing coming out of China now.” – Paul French
“Two New Years” (Chronicle) by Richard Ho and illustrated by Lynn Scurfield. For this multicultural family, inspired by the author’s own, two New Years mean twice as much to celebrate. In the fall, there’s Rosh Hashanah and in spring, comes the Lunar New Year. With joyful prose and luminous illustrations, readers are invited to experience the beauty of two New Year traditions.
“MUSHROOM HUNTING – Forage For Fungi And Connect With The Earth” (Chronicle), part of the “Pocket Nature” series. By Emily & Gregory Han. For the mycologically curious, here is a guide to finding fungi, whether in your backyard, a local park, or the woods. This book is a doorway to the mysterious and magical world of these earthy life-forms.
“The Diaspora Sonnets” (Liveright) by Oliver De la Paz. In 1972, after Marcos declared martial law, Oliver de la Paz’s father, in a last fit of desperation to leave the Philippines, threw his papers at an immigration clerk, hoping to get them stamped. He was prepared to leave, having already quit his job and exchanged pesos for dollars; but he couldn’t anticipate the migratory lifestyle he and his family would soon adopt in America. De la Paz evocatively explores his search for a sense of “home” in these formally inventive collection of sonnets. Due out July 18, 2023.
“OF WHITE ASHES” (Apprentice House Press), a novel by Constance Hays Matsumoto and Kent Matsumoto. The bombing of Pearl Harbor propels America into WWII and two Japanese Americans into chaos. A woman loses her liberty and is uprooted from her Hawaii home to a Japanese American incarceration camp on the mainland. A man strains under the menacing clouds of the Japanese war machine and Hiroshima bombing while concealing a dangerous secret. When these two meet in California and fall in love, the wounds of trauma threaten their relationship as another casualty of war.
“Night Market Rescue” (Rocky Road) by Charlotte Cheng and illustrated by Amber Ren. A stray dog wanders into the magical world of Taipei’s night market only to discover a lost little girl. This evocative picture book invites readers into a exciting Asian night market.
“The Second Wave – Reflections On The Pandemic Through Photography, Performance And Public Culture” (Seagull Books) by Rustom Bharucha. Focusing on the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India in 2021, the author’s timely essay reflects on four interconnected realities that haunted this crisis – death, grief, mourning and extinction. Against the destruction of nature and the disrespect for the nonhuman, this book offers lessons in resilience through its reflections on the ethos of writing and the need to re-envision breath as a vital resource of self-renewal and resistance.
“Dawn Raid” (Lantern) by Pauline Vaeluaga Smith and illustrated by Mat Hunkin. An ordinary Maori girl in New Zealand grows politically aware when she realizes her people are treated unfairly. She becomes a stirring public speaker with a voice that rings true.
“Purring, Rolling, Stretching” (Chronicle) by Chihiro Ishizu and illustrated by Nanako Matsuda. This board book for toddlers is a celebration of all things cat and perfect for young readers learning about a favorite family feline pet.
“C.C. Wang – Lines of Abstraction” (Hirmer). Edited by Wen-shing Chou and Daniel M. Greenberg, this is the catalog for a recent exhibition held at Hunter College Art Galleries. Born to a family of scholar officials at the end of Qing dynasty, Wang mastered traditional ink and brush techniques in Shanghai before he immigrated to New York in 1949. There, he sought to preserve the tradition of classical Chinese painting as filtered through his engagement with contemporary ideas, materials and forms.
“A Plucked Zither”(Red Hen Press) by Poems by Phuong T. Vuong.Winner of the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saitman Award. This collection explores what happens to language and thus emotions and relationships under conditions of migration, specifically refugee migration from Vietnam and its aftermath. Vuong leans on the anti-war Vietnamese singer and songwriter, Trinh Cong Son for a poetic lineage on grief, longing, and justice.
“No One Prayed Over Their Graves” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Khaled Khalifa as translated by Leri Price. From this National Book Award finalist comes the story of two friends whose lives are altered by a flood that devastates their Syrian village. The poetic and horrific lie side by side in a world where Muslims, Christians, Jews, Greeks, Turks and Arabs overlook differences to forge friendships and family ties.
“Gas Mask Nation – Visualzing Civil Air Defense in Wartime Japan” (University of Chicago Press) by Gennifer Weisenfeld. This book explores the multilayered construction of an anxious yet perversely pleasurable visual culture of Japanese civil air defense—or boku—through a host of artworks, photographs, films and newsreels, magazine illustrations, postcards, cartoons, advertising, fashion, everyday goods, government posters and state propaganda. The author reveals the immersive aspects of this culture, in which Japan’s imperial subjects were mobilized to perform highly orchestrated civil air defense drills throughout the country.
“Nayra and the Djinn” (Viking) written and illustrated by Jasmin Omar Ata. In this stirring graphic novel, a young Muslim girl must contend with parental pressure from a strict family and exhausting friendship demands from the only other Muslim girl in class. Transferring schools seems to be the only viable alternative.
But then a djinn, a mythical being in Islamic folklore, appears and uses her powers and wisdom to guide the girl through her overwhelming life.
“The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars – Cheating And Deception In The Living World” (Princeton) by Lixing Sun. This book is a natural history of cheating from selfish genes to lying politicians. Human beings are not the only ones who deceive. In this book, Sun explores the evolution of cheating in the natural world, revealing how dishonesty has given rise to wondrous diversity.
“choosing to be simple – Collected Poems of Tao Yuanming” (Copper Canyon Press) as translated by Red Pine. This is a definitive portrait of this early Chinese poet and politician. It chronicles his path from civil servant to reclusive poet during the formative Six Dynasties period (220-589). As Red Pine illuminates the poet’s sensitive voice, we find his solace and sorrow in a China transformed by modernity.
“The Care and Keeping of Grandmas” (Tundra) by Jennifer Mook-Sang and illustrated by Yong Ling Kang. In this picture book story filled with humor, confusion and moments of sweetness, readers are introduced to a delightful family whose well-meaning daughter makes the transition for a grandmother to the family’s house as smooth as possible.
“Tauhou” (Anansi) by Kotuku Titihuia Nuttall. An inventive exploration of Indigenous families, womanhood, and alternate post-colonial realities by a writer of Maori and Coast Salish descent. “Tauhou” envisions a shared past between two Indigenous cultures, set on reimagined versions of Vancouver Island and Aotearoa that sit side by side in the ocean. It is a longing for home to return to the land and sea.
“Phantom Pain Wings” (New Directions) by Kim Hyesoon as translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi. In these poems, the memory of war trauma and the collective grief of parting are depicted through what the poet calls an “I-do—bird sequence,” where “Bird-human is the ‘I.’” A simultaneity of voices and identities rise and fall, circling and exiting by their delayed wings of pain.
“Full Exposure” (Avon) by Thien-Kim Lam. A rom-com set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras as a Black American woman photographer from D.C. stumbles into a Vietnamese American man bent on making a documentary about his family’s involvement with this Southern tradition. When he offers to show her the real New Orleans, if she’ll help him with the camerawork – things get complicated.
“My Paati’s Saris” (Kokila) by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and illustrated by Art Twink. Every day a young Tamil boy spends with his grandmother is filled with tenderness and a host of fun activities. But what he finds comfort in most is his Paati’s saris – whether he’s wrapped in their colors or clutching their folds. Each sari has a story that speak to him. Illustrated in sumptuous, brilliant colors.
“Ha Noi at Midnight” (Texas Tech University Press) by Bao Ninh and translated and edited by Quan Manh Ha and Cab Tran. Deeply felt stories the illuminate the interior landscape of a postwar country and the emotionally damaged lives of its soldiers and civilians. Considered one of Vietnam’s most important writers.
“Nimrods – a fake-punk self-hurt anti-memoir (Duke University Press) by Kawika Guillermo. A chronicle of the agonizing absurdities of being a newly-minted professor (and overtired father) hired to teach in a Social Justice Institute while haunted by the inner ghosts of patriarchy, racial pessimism and imperial arrogance. Through an often crass, cringey, and raw hybrid prose-poetic style, Guillermmo reflects on anger, alcoholism, and suicidal ideation—traits that do not simply vanish after being cast into the treacherous role of fatherhood or the dreaded role of professor. Scheduled for September 2023 release.
“The Forest Brims Over” (Counterpoint) is a novel by Maru Ayase as translated by Haydn Trowell set for July 2023 publication. A woman turns herself into a forest after long being co-opted to serve as the subject of her husband’s novels—this surrealistic fable challenges traditional gender attitudes and exploitation of women in the literary world.
Against a backdrop of iconic, ancient Hindu texts, “Burning Like Her Own Planet” (Alice James), the poet Vandana Khanna reimages the lives of Hindu goddesses through a contemporary, feminist lens. Told in a series of persona poems and dramatic monologues, the book re-invents these myths into essential stories of love, betrayal, and faith.
“The Little Green Envelope” (Groundwood) by Gillian Sze and illustrated by Claudine Crangle. A green envelope sits neglected in a drawer, dreaming of traveling to foreign lands across water and through the air but just gets overlooked. Until one day, the little girl Olive picks the little green envelope out of the drawer and the journey begins. An imaginative picture book for children about the joy of mailing and receiving a letter.
“Nothing Follows” (Texas Tech University Press)- Poems by Lan P. Duong. These poems mines memories from the trials of adolescence in a refugee household darkened by the shadows of war, displacement and unspoken grief.
From the winner of the National Book Award in Translated Literature for “Tokyo Ueno Station” comes Yu Miri’s most ambitious, most personal work in “The End of August” (Riverhead). This multigenerational saga based on the author’s own family history. Miri tells the story of Korean comfort women among Japanese forces during WWII, and about the oppression that Koreans living under Japanese occupation endured.
Keiko Hara – Four Decades Of Paintings & Prints” (WSU Press) by Linda Tesner and Ryan Hardesty. The exhibition catalogue to a recently concluded retrospective at WASU for this Walla Walla-based artist and printmaker that reveals the diversity of interests and discovery this respected Washington artist has pursued in a career that spans decades. A sometimes overlooked artist who deserves greater recognition in this state.
“Horse Barbie” (The Dial Press) – A memoir by Geena Rocero. The story of a trans pageant queen from the Philippines who goes back in the closet to achieve success as a female model in New York only to lose sight of herself.
“Seeing: A Memoir of Truth and Courage from China’s Most Influential Television Journalist” (Astra House) by Chai Jing as translated by Yan Yan. This candid memoir from one of China’s best-known journalists provides a rare window into the issues which concern us most, and which face contemporary China and the whole world. In these essays, Chai recounts her investigations into SARS quarantine wards, a childhood suicide epidemic, the human cost of industrial pollution, and organized crime, while looking back at her growth as a journalist.
“Our Man In Tokyo-An American Ambassador And The Countdown To Pearl Harbor” (Mariner) by Steve Kemper. A gripping behind-the-scenes account of the personalities and contending forces in Tokyo during the volatile decade that led to World War II, as seen through the eyes of the American ambassador who attempted to stop the slide to war.
“The Many Masks Of Andy Zhou” (Dial) by Jack Cheng, author of “See You In The Cosmos”. No matter how much Andy cares about his friends and family, it’s hard not to feel pulled between all the ways he’s meant to be, all the different faces he wears, and harder still to figure out if any of these masks is the real him. A sublime and often funny story of family and friendship, identity and creativity, and both the love and culture gap between immigrant grandparents, parents, and their American-raised kids. Coming September 2023.
“Survivor Injustice – State-Sanctioned Abuse, Domestic Violence, And The Fight For Bodily Autonomy? (North Atlantic) by Kylie Cheung. Scheduled for Summer 2023 release. Explicitly abolitionist, Cheung explains not just how abusers get away with abuse, but how our laws, our politicians, our policies, and our law enforcement officials operate as the primary perpetrators.
“Excavations” (One World) by Hannah Michell. Sae is is housewife with two toddlers, waiting for her husband to come home from work. But terror and confusion reign when she hears of the collapse of a massive skyscraper where her husband is engineer. When she seeks to uncover the truth of what happened to her husband, this thriller throws her into a pit of confusion begging for answers.
“Sejal Sinha Battles Superstorms” (Aladdin) by Maya Prasad and illustrated by Abira Das. Sejal Sinha is serious about science so when a big strom threatens to ruin her family’s Diwali celebration, Sejal knows it’s her chance to go on an adventure—and prove to everyone how magical science really can be.
“Ghee Happy Gods _ A Little Board Book of Hindu Deities” (Chronicle) written and illustrated by Sanjay Patel. Meet the many faces (and arms) of the mighty Hindu gods! A charming and colorfully illustrated guide to the Hindu gods for the little ones.
“Ghee Happy Goddesses – A Little Board Book of Hindu Dieties” (Chronicle) written and illustrated by Sanjay Patel. Meet the many faces (and arms) 0f the mighty Hindue goddesses. A charming and colorfully illustrated guide to the Hindu goddesses for the little ones.
“Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat” (Berkley) by Sonua Lalli. When two childhood enemies get stuck together on a seniors’ cruise with their Indian family & friends through the scenic Alaskan gulf, the friction is palpable. A story of family pressures, cultural traditions and self-discovery as opposites begin to attract in this teenage rom-com novel.
“Extreme Beauty – 12 Korean Artists Today” (artasiapacific). From this respected magazine on contemporary Asian art comes this book that looks at a group of independent Korean artists active on the global art scene. The artists introduced represent a variety of age groups, genres, and artistic styles and reflect the diversity that defines Korean art today.
“Ways Of Being” (MoonPath Press) by Sati Mookherjee. This Bellingham poet explores the outer island of the San Juan archipelago and writes evocatively of the drama of the sea and the tides that cover our Northwest coastline.
“Togani” (University of Hawai’i Press) by Gong Ji-Young as translated by Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton.A powerful novel about abuse at a school for deaf children and the struggle for justice.
“Owlish” (Graywolf Press) by Dorothy Tse is a novel that spins a fable about the current political situation in Hong Kong translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce. “Beguilingly eerie, richly textured, the pages of “Owlish” are drenched in strange beauty and menace. Like all the best fairy tales,it reveals the dark truths that we would rather not look at directly, and does so with a surreal and singular clarity.” – Sophie Macintosh, author of “Cursed Bread”.
“Imposter Syndrome And Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim” (Crown) by Patricia Park. This young adult novel revolves around the lead character in the title who doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere. At her wealthy Manhattan high school, her super-Spanish name and super-Korean face do not compute to her mostly white “woke” classmates and teachers. In her Queens neighborhood, she’s not Latinx enough. When a microaggresion at school thrusts her into the spotlight—and into a discussion she didn’t ask for—Alejandra must discover what it means to carve out a space for yourself to belong.
“Fractured Soul” (Harpervia) by Akira Mizubayashi as translated by Alison Anderson.A universal story about music and restoring one’s faith in others amid the aftermath of tremendous loss. Awarded the Prix des Libraries by France’s booksellers. It’s 1938 in Tokyo and a rehearsal by an amateur quartet is brutally interrupted. A young boy sees his father’s violin destroyed as he is arrested and taken away never to be seen again. Flash forward to a future where the boy becomes a luthier and struggles to reconcile his past with the present.
“A Quitter’s Paradise” (Zando) by Elysha Chang.The story of a young woman who finds herself hopelessly adrift after the death of her mother. As she tries to avoid her feelings, she makes outrageous choices. A study of beauty and the contradictions of grief, family bonds and self knowledge and how we unwittingly guard the secrets of our loved ones, even from ourselves.
“Once Upon a Book” (Little Brown) is a delightful picture book written by Grace Lin and Kate Messner and illustrated by Grace Lin. When a little girl tires of winter clouds and cold, she finds books are the perfect escape.
“The All-American” (Norton), a novel by Joe Milan Jr. Seventeen-year-old Bucky Yi knows nothing about his birth country of South Korea or his bio-dad’s disappearance; he can’t even pronounce his Korean name correctly. His sights are set on one all-American goal: to become a college football player. So when a misadventure with his adoptive family leads the U.S. government to deport him to South Korea, he’s forced to navigate an entirely foreign version of his life.
“From From” (Graywolf) by Monica Youn. “Where are you . . .? No—-where are you from from?” It’s a question every Asian American gets asked as part of an incessant chorus saying you’ll never belong here, you’re a perpetual foreigner, you’ll always be seen as an alien, an object or a threat. Youn brilliantly evokes the conflicted consciousness of deracination in this striking book of poetry.
From the “Hawai’i Studies On Korea” Series comes a graphic novel entitled “100 Degrees Centigrade – South Korea’s 1987 Democracy Movement” (University of Hawai’i Press) by Choi Kyu-sok. Translated by Madeline D. Collins, Gia Kim, Nguyen Thi Huong Ly, Jusun Pakr, Brooke Shelton, Anna Toombs, and Theodore Jun Yoo. Originally published in 2009, during a bleak era in Korean democracy, it gave hope to readers across the country. A book that tells the story of both the past and future of Korean democracy.
“The House of Doors” (Bloomsbury) is prize-winning author Tan Twan Eng’s first novel in eleven years. This work of historical fiction based on true events recounts author Somerset Maugham’s trip to Malaysia in the aftermath of WWI and the secretive couple with whom he becomes entangled.
“Central Places” (Ballantine Books) by Delia Cai. A young woman’s stifling past and uncertain future collide when she brings her white fiancé home to meet her Chinese immigrant parents, toppling her carefully constructed life, in this vibrant, insightful debut from this new voice in contemporary fiction.
“The Pearl Hunter” (Balzer + Bray) by Miya T. Beck. The story revolves around identical twins who both have the same talent for pearl diving. But one is the obedient daughter and the other tries to push boundaries. Still, when one sister is stolen by the legendary ghost whale, nothing will stop the other from searching deep into the ocean to bring her home. Woven through with traditional Japanese stories, legends and strategy games.
“Love Makes a Garden Grow” (Simon & Schuster) written and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. This poignant story revolves around a little girl and her grandfather who bond over a beautiful garden. But one day, the grandfather must move to an apartment and the girl moves far away. Despite these changes, it is still this love of flowers that connects them.
“Natural Beauty” (Dutton), a novel by Ling Ling Huang. This book follows a young classical musician who must abandon her musical ambitions to help her parents about a debilitating accident. To earn money to support them, she gets a job at a high-end beauty shop in New York where she soon learns that the obsession for beauty comes at a staggering cost.
“A Spoonful of Time” (Quirk) by Flora Ahn is a young adult novel about a little girl and her Korean grandmother who loves to cook but is losing her memory. But magically, by eating together, they travel through time and the little girl sees her grandmother as a young girl again.
“Chlorine” (Morrow) by Jade Song. “Ren Yu is a fierce young woman who’s dreamed of mermaids ever since she can remember—dreams so vivid that the first touch of water in a swimming pool alters her life forever, sending her down a path that’s both beautiful and frightening. “Chlorine” isn’t just a coming of age story. It’s the tale of transformation from human to something wilder and more transcendent. It’s a about love and longing and the willingness to do anything to become who you truly are.” – Richard Kadrey, author of the “Sandman Slim” series.
“Danbi’s Favorite Day (Viking) written and illustrated by Anna Kim. This children’s picture book tells the story of Danbi who is thrilled to invite her friends to celebrate Children’s Day as she did in Korea. But when the reality of a picnic behind her parent’s deli falls short of her grand plans, she must get creative to save the day.
“Late Violent Call” (McElderry Books) is the title of two novellas by bestselling author Chloe Gong based on the events of “Foul Lady Fortune” and following a familiar cast of characters from “These Violent Delights”. In “A Foul Thing”, Roma and Juliette run an underground weapons ring in Zhouzhuang but when they hear about several Russian girls turning up dead in nearby towns, they decide to investigate. In “This Foul Murder” Benedikt and Marshall are summoned by Roma to find the elusive scientist Lourens and bring him to Zhouzhuang. But when someone is murdered on the Trans-Siberian Express they are riding on, they decide to investigate and find the murder may be related to their own mission as well.
“Human Time” (Black Ocean) by Kim Haengsook is the latest volume in the Moon Country Korean Poetry Series. It is imaginatively translated by a group who tackled it together as a project. The poet John Yau says, “Chosen by the poet from books she has published during the past two decades “Human Time” spans the voices the poet has engaged with. Whether in the sky or underground vanishing staircase or field trip…the urgency of what is being said is the music we have been longing to hear.”
“The Man in the McIntosh Suit” (Drawn & Quarterly) by Rina Ayuyang. This classic noir graphic novel has as its protagonist a Filipino migrant worker in rural California and the year is 1929. When a cousin claims that he has spotted his estranged wife in San Francisco, he takes off for the city in pursuit of her.
“Oh My Mother! – A Memoir in Nine Adventres” (Viking) by Connie Wang. A road trip through a complex relationship between mother and daughter in nine essays as they travel around the world.
“Teeter” (Nightboat Books) by Kimberly Alido (set for July 2023 release) is an autohistory of felt time that arises from subversive hearing practices and the emotional prosody of a mother tongue one does not understand but activates in another poetic language.
“Pleasure of Thinking” (Astra House) – Essays by Wang Xiaobo as translated by Yan Yan. A newly translated English collection of his most influential nonfiction pieces, as well as rare diary entries offering insight into the author’s time studying in the United States. From his personal take on the intellectual failures of China’s Cultural Revolution era to musings about the future of the internet and science fiction cinema, Wang Xiaobo prods his readers, in a gentle, humorous way, to think about what it means to think.
“Hijab Butch Blues – A Memoir” (Dial) by Lamya H. tells the coming-of-age story of a queer, devout Muslim immigrant in pursuit of a life that can hold together her seemingly contradicting identities.
“Camp Zero” (Atria) – A novel by Michelle Min Sterling. In a near-future northern outpost, the fates of a young woman, a professor and a mysterious collective of climate researchers collide in this mesmerizing and transportive story of our future.
“Tenderheart – a cookbook about vegetables and unbreakable family bonds” (Knopf) by Hetty Lui McKinnon, author of “To Asia, With Love”. The author grew up as part of a Chinese family in Australia In this tender tribute to her immigrant father and his experiences, she explores how food connects us to loved ones and gives us the tools to make recipes that are healthful, economical and bursting with flavor.
“Wandering Souls” (Henry Holt),a novel by Cecile Pin. After the last American troops leave Vietnam, three siblings journey to Hong Kong with the promise that their parents and younger siblings, will soon follow. But when tragedy strikes, the three children are left orphaned, and the sixteen-year old must become the caretaker for her two younger brothers overnight.
“Search for a Giant Squid” (Chronicle) by Amy Seto Forrester & Andy Chou Musser. This innovative picture book in concept and design takes young readers on an expedition to the ocean’s twilight zone in search of a giant squid. But readers are given choices in taking this expedition such as a choice of submersible, a choice of pilot and a choice of dive site. A fun way for kids to learn about the ocean below us and the creatures that inhabit that underwater kingdom.
“Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant” (Little Brown) – A Memoir by Curtis Chin. Nineteen eighties Detroit was a volatile place to live, but above the fray stood a safe haven: Chung’s Cantonese Cuisine, where anyone—from the city’s first Black mayor to the local drag queens, from a big-time Hollywood star to elderly Jewish couples—could sit down for a warm, home-cooked meal. It was in this environment where the author came of age and where he learned to embrace his identity as a gay American-born Chinese.
“Legends Of Lotus Island – The Guardian Test” (Scholastic) and “Legends of Lotus Island – Into The Shadow Mist” Scholastic) form the first two volumes of a continuing series by Christina Soontornvat as illustrated by Kevin Hong. The first volume has our character Young Plum accepted into an elite school on an island where she’ll be trained with other kids how to transform into Guardians, magical creatures who are sworn to protest the natural world. Trouble is, Plum has trouble embracing her inner animal and if she can’t succeed, she will have to leave the school and lose the first group of real friends she’s ever known. In the second volume, Plum and her friends travel to misty Bokati Island to study with a mysterious Guardian Master. When an unseen force begins to destroy the trees, putting an entire ecosystem at risk, Plum and her classmates must respond. But how?
“O” (Ugly Duckling Presse) by Tammy Nguyen. From a dentist’s chair in San Francisco to the caves of the Phong Nha Karst, Tammy Nguyen sounds the depths of a personal, mineral, and geopolitical histories of Vietnam. What emerges is a story without a center: an anti-allegory that finds its meaning in echoes and refracted light, a book stitched together by the O woven through the work as its visual spine and sonic refrain. Tammy Nguyen is a multimedia artist and writer whose work spans painting, drawing, printmaking, and publishing.
“I Can Open It For You” (Chronicle) written and illustrated by Shinsuke Yoshitake. Akira has a problem. He is too small to open packages by himself. He still needs grown-ups to help him. With humor and wit, Yoshitake explores a child’s feelings about growing up: the push and pull of relying on parents while striving to learn and do things by oneself.
“Tomb Sweeping”(Ecco) by Alexandra Chang. Compelling and perceptive, this book probes the loyalties we hold: to relatives, to strangers, and to ourselves. In stories set across the US and Asia, Chang immerses us in the lives of immigrant families, grocery store employees, expecting parents, and guileless lab assistants. These characters, adeptly attuned to the mystery of living invite us to consider whether it is possible for anyone to entirely do right by another.
“FEAST” (Alice James Books) by Ina Carino. This winner of a 2022 Whiting Award and a 2021 Alice James Award offers abundance and nourishment through language, and reaches toward a place an immigrant might call home. The poems here revolve around food and its cultural significance – examine the brown body’s relationship with nourishment. These poems delve into what it means to be brown in a white world, and how that encourages (or restricts) growth.
“One More Mountain” (Groundwood Books) is the fifth book in “The Breadwinner” series by Deborah Ellis. The series follows the story of young Afghan girls as they go through a series of life changes. In this volume, a young girl runs away to avoid being forced into a marriage by her family. A police officer takes her to a shelter and school for women and girls. All royalties from this book are donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.
“The Kingdom of Surfaces” (Graywolf) by Sally Wen Mao. In this book of poems, Wen Mao examines art and history and the provenance of objects such as porcelain, silk, and pearls —to frame an important conversation on beauty, empire, commodification, and violence.
“Zara’s Rules for Living Your Best Life” (Salaam Reads) by Hena Khan and illustrated by Wastana Haikal. This middle-grade novel is the third book in the series. Ever since her grandfather retired, it seems all he wants to do is eat and sleep and Zara wonders if he’s lost his mojo. Inspired by her friend Naomi’s summer day camp adventures, Zara comes up with a plan to create a camp of her own and somehow help her grandfather start living his best life.
“Tanya” (Knopf) – Poems by Brenda Shaughnessy. In this powerful gathering of poems about her personal “influencers,” as well as poems on a range of creators from the Dadaist Meret Oppenheim to the young choreographer Lauren Lovette, Shaughnessy dwells in the memories of the women who set her on her own artistic path.
“LOL 101 – A Kid’s Guide to Writing Jokes” (Chronicle Books) by David Roth and Rinee Shah and illustrated by Rinee Shah. This IS Not a book of jokes but it is a book that can help you write your OWN jokes. Perfect for kids who want to get serious about being funny.
“Decade Of The Brain” (Alice James) by Janine Joseph. In this deeply personal book, the poet writes of a newly naturalized American citizen who suffers from post-concussive memory loss after a major auto accident. This collection is an odyssey of what it means to recover—physically and mentally—in the aftermath of trauma and brain injury, charting when “before” crosses into “after”.
“EXILED – From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back” (Potomac Books) by Katya Cengel. This book follows the stories of four Cambodian families as they confront criminal deportation forty years after their resettlement in America. Weaving together these stories into a single narrative, the author finds that violence comes in many forms and that trauma is passed down through generations. With a new foreword by Cengel.
“You Are Here” (Counterpoint) by Karen Lin-Greenberg. This novel due out on May 2, 2023 tells the story of a once-bustling mall and its residents in upstate New York. As the institution breathes its last gasp, people inside it dream of something different,something more. This novel is a deeply humane portrait of a community in transition, ultimately illuminating the magical connections that can bloom from the ordinary wonder of our everyday lives.
“Wanna Peek Into My Notebook? – Notes on Pinay Liminality – Essays” (Paloma Press) by Barbara Jane Reyes. “Poet-teacher-kasama Barbara Jane Reyes defetishizes the creative politics of poetic life. Through a decade’s worth of intimate aurohistoria-teoria, Reyes documents the interiority of her previous books, chronicles the day of her father’s passing humbly mourns and uplifts mentors such as our beloved Al Robles, insistently questions who gets to tell the Pinay’s story, invites us into a deep genealogy of Pinay literature, and manifests a feminist poetics of dailiness, revision, re-thinking, and reckoning.” – Jason Magaboo Perez.
“Babajoon’s Treasure” (Simon & Schuster” by Farnaz Esnaashari and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali. A picture book story of a young Iranian American girl and the summers she spends with her grandparents. When a gold coin falls out of her grandfather’s pocket, the little girl wonders if he could actually be a pirate?
“Hard Is the Journey – Stories of Chinese Settlement in British Columbia’s Kootenay” (Caitlin Press) by Lily Chow. Award-winning historian and researcher Lily Chow shares the difficult history of Chinese Canadians in the Kootenay. She unearths the racism of early newspapers that portrayed Chinese immigrants as dirty, sinister, and lethargic and uncovers the history of Chinese laborers who completed the deadly work of blazing the Dewdney Trail only to be dismissed without compensation when the work was completed. This book is an intimate and inspiring look into the many ways Chinese immigrants survived, finding community, building resilience and preserving their culture.
“Bianca” (Four Way Books) by Eugenia Leigh confronts honestly personal trauma and mental illness, traversing childhood, young adulthood, marriage and new motherhood with poems that sear and heal.
“Malala Speaks Out” (Groundwood) is a book of talks by this teenage activist who came to prominence after speaking out about life under the Taliban and her family’s fight for girl’s education in Pakistan for which she was targeted and shot. She survived and continues her campaign for education. With commentary by Clara Fons Duocastella. Translated by Susaon Ouriou and illustrations by Yael Frankel.
Thanhha Lai is the author of “Inside Out and Back Again”, her debut novel in verse which won both a National Book Award and a Newberry Honor. Now she returns with a sequel to that book entitled “When Clouds Touch Us” (Harper). When Ha arrived in Alabama as a refugee from Vietnam, adjusting seemed impossible but in two years, she made friends and found a sense of belonging. Now her mother says they are moving to Texas and the young girl is devastated at the prospect of starting over.
“Poetry As Spellcasting – Poems, Essays, And Prompts For Manifesting Liberation And Reclaiming Power” (North Atlntic Books) by Tamiko Beyer, Destiny Hemphill & Lisbeth White.Both poetry and occult studies have been historically dominated by white writers: this book reclaims the centrality of queer and BIPOC voices in poetry, magic and liberatory spellwork. It reveals the ways poetry and ritual together can move us toward justice and transformation. Set for May 2023 publication.
“ALONE – The Journeys of Three Young Refugees” (Groundwood) by Paul Tom and Melanie Baillairge. Each year, more than 400 minors arrive alone in Canada requesting refugee status. They arrive without their parents, accompanied by no adult at all. This book relates the journey of three of them. “ALONE” is a fully illustrated adaptation of the critically acclaimed documentary film, “Seul” which has screened at film festivals around the world.
“Free Kid to Good Home” (Gecko Press) written and illustrated by Hiroshi Ito is an enduring Japanese bestseller now in its 31st edition which finally gets an American edition as translated by Cathy Hirano. When the only daughter of a Japanese family finds attention shifting away from her with the arrival of a baby brother, she revolts and runs away from home. She plants herself in a box on the sidewalk with a sign, “Free Kid to a Good Home”.
“Dancing With The Dead – The Essential Red Pine Translations” (Copper Canyon) by Red Pine. Considered one of the finest translators of Chinese poetic and religious texts, this new collection gathers over thirty voices from the ancient Chinese past such as Hanshan, Stonehouse, Wei Yingwu, Liu Zongyuan and Tao Tuanming as deftly translated by this Port Townsend resident, Bill Porter known by his pen name of Red Pine.
“Say Hello?” (Berbay Publishing) as written and illustrated by Sung Mi Kim and translated by Clare Richards. In cartoonish line drawings accented in blue and red, the author tells a light-hearted, comedic tale of two strangers and their increasingly awkward encounters and how saying hello right from the beginning could have made all the difference.
“one long listening – a memoir of grief, friendship, and spiritual care” (North Atlantic Books) by Chenxing Han, author of “Be the Refuge”. Immigrant daughter, novice chaplain, bereaved friend: Han takes us on a pilgrimage through the wilds of grief and laughter, pain and impermanence, reconnecting us to both the heartache and inexplicable brightness of being human.
“Happy Birthday To Me” (Groundwood) written and illustrated by Thao Lam. A child runs through a spectrum of emotions on the best day of the year —their birthday! Early-morning excitement gives way to shyness at the arrival of guests, hunger for cake, a craze for arts and crafts, and some real piñata problems. What can she say when she’s asked how it feels to be a year older?
“The Symmetry of Fish” (Penguin Books) by Su Cho is a National Poetry Series winner as selected by Paige Lewis. This debut poetry collection about immigration, memory and a family’s lexicon shines light on the Korean and Korean American imagination.
Kane Miller Publishing releases the first three books of a continuing series entitled “Tiger Warrior” by M. Chan. In “Attack Of The Dragon King”, “War Of The Fox of an ordinary schoolboy who is given a magical coin by his Chinese grandpa and thus learns that he is the new Tiger Warrior and it’s up to him to save the Jade Kingdom…and the world. Illustrations by Alan Brown. For ages 7 and up.March 2023 publication date.
“The Love Match” (Simon & Schuster) by Priyanka Taslim is a heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teenage girl whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.
“Once And Forever – The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa” (New York Review of Books) translated from the Japanese by John Bester. Miyazawa was a poet, farmer and beloved spinner of tales whose sly, humorous, enchanting, and enigmatic stories bear a certain resemblance to those of his contemporary Robert Walser. Miyazawa had a deep connection to Japanese folklore and an intense love of the natural world with all its beauty, cruelty and contradictions.
“Looking Up: The Skyviewing Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi”(Giles) just concluded its run at Western Art Gallery in Bellingham. This exhibition catalog is the first major publication to take an in-depth look at the artist’s interest in outer space and charting our place in the universe. This book explores the artist’s long career as a sculptor who works with environments, from his early days in the studio of Constantin Brancusi into a context of younger generation of artists like Richard Serra and Nancy Holt. By Hafthor Yngvason, Matthew Kirsch and Kate Wiener.
“Night Lunch” (Tundra) by Eric Fan and illustrated by Dena Seiferling. When night descends, furry noses sniff the air as mouthwatering smells from a lavish lunch cart lure growling bellies toward a tasty bite. This magical ode to Victorian lunch carts is a nocturnal tale suitable for adults and the child in us. With compelling,mood-evoking artwork.
“Seeing Ghosts” (Grand Central Publishing) by Kat Chow. With a voice that is both wry and heartfelt, the author weaves together what is part ghost story and part excavation of her family’s history of loss, spanning three generations as they emigrate from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America.
“Zen for Kids” (Bala Kids) by Laura Burges and illustrated by Melissa Iwai.This is a book of zen-inspired activities and stories to help kids learn about patience, kindness, honesty, sharing and forgiveness. Each chapter has a new story to explore, with themed discussion questions, meditations, journal prompts, and hands-on projects.
”Feast” (Alice James Books) by Ina Carino explores the intricacies of intergenerational nourishment beyond trauma, as well as the bonds and community formed when those in diaspora feed each other, both literally and metaphorically. At times located in the Philippines, at others in the US, the speaker of these poems is curious about how home can be an alchemy from one to the other. Carina is a winner of the 2022 Whiting Award in Poetry and the 2021 Alice James Award. Set for publication on March 7, 2023.
“Out of the Blue” (Dial Books for Young Readers)) written & illustrated by Nic Yulo. A colorful picture book that is a touching story on the universal emotion of feeling small in a big world and a unique friendship.
“Foul Heart Huntsman”(Margaret K. McElderry Books) is a new teen fiction title by Chloe Gong. It is the second book in a series following an immortal assassin in 1930s Shanghai as she races to save her country and her love amidst civil war and foreign expansion.
“A Life Of Service – The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth” (Candlewick Press) by Christina Soontornvat and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk. In a tribute to an extraordinary woman, this picture book tells the inspirational and barrier-breaking life of Senator Tammy Duckworth. A good example of the story of female role model that young Asian American girls can look up to.
“All in a Day” (Berbay Publishing) written and illustrated by Chihiro Takeuchi. A fun book that teaches toddlers how to read time. Follow the comings and goings of everyone who lives and works in the same building and enjoy the interactive search-and-find as we see what happens throughout the day.
“Daodejing” (Liveright) by Laozi as translated by Brook Ziporyn. This is transformative new edition of Taoism’s central text that overturns its reputation for calming, gnomic wisdom, revealing instead in this new translation, a work of “philosophical dynamite”.
“The Shape of You” (Kids Can Press) by Muon Thi Van and illustrated by Miki Sato is an enchanting picture book that’s a meditation on the shapes that make up our lives and will change the way children see the world around them.
“Lady Joker – Volume One” (Soho Crime) by Kaoru Takamura. Translated from the Japanese by Marie Iida and Allison Markin Powell. In 1995, five men meet at the racetrack every Sunday. They have little in common except a deep disaffection with their lives, but together they represent the social struggles and dissapointments of postwar Japan. Intent on revenge against a society that values corporate behemoths more than human life, the five conspirators decide to kidnap a CEO of one of Japan’s biggest companies and extract blood money from the company’s financiers.
“this is not a Personal Statement” (Quill Tree) by Tracy Badua. Perla is graduating from a hypercompetitive high school but her dream is to enter a prestigious college that she and her parents have set their sights on. But when she is rejected and forges an acceptance letter in a panic, what will the future look like? A poignant, propulsive tale of acceptance, self-discovery, and the infinite possibilities that are possible when we embrace our imperfections.
“New Women of Empire – Gendered Politics and Racial Uplift in Interwar Japanese America” (UW Press) by Chrissy Yee Lau. A rare reveal of Japanese American young women of the Roaring Twenties who made indelible changes in public and private circles including expanding sexual freedoms, redefining women’s roles in society and furthering racial justice work.
“Until Nirvana’s Time-Buddhist Songs from Cambodia” (Shambhala) is the first collection of traditional Cambodian Buddhist literature available in English, presenting original translations of forty-five poems.
“Unsettled” (Harper) by Reem Faruqi is a middle grade novel in verse about a young Pakistani Muslim girl whose family moves to Georgia. Wanting acceptance, she tries to blend in yet stands out for all the wrong reasons – her accent, the color of her skin and her clothing. But when she joins the swim team, she finds the courage to stand up to bullies, fight for what she believes in and eventually find her place.
“Kanishka Raja- I And I”(Hirmer/the Davis) by Lisa Fischer. A book that formed the basis for an exhibition catalog. A look at the ravishing work of this experimental painter that in his own words, “explores the intersection of representation, craft, technology and the gaps that occur in the transmission of information.”
“If You Could See The Sun” (Inkyard Press) by Ann Liang. Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student in a sea of wealthy classmates. Her plan is to get into a prestigious university, graduate with honors, secure a killer job and lift her family out of poverty. But plans turn to dust when her parents tell her they can no longer afford her tuition. Then she starts turning uncontrollably invisible.
“Daughters Of The New Year” (Hanover Square) by E. M. Tran. This novel is a spellbinding tale about the extraordinary women within a Vietnamese immigrant family and the ancient zodiac legend that binds them together.
“The Picture Bride” (Forge), a novel by Lee Geum-yi as translated by An Seonjae. It is 1918 and the matchmaker tells Willow her future husband is a landowner, food and clothing is plentiful and you will be able to go to school. But life in Hawai’i is hard and the future uncertain. Still she works tirelessly toward a better life for her family.
“The Porcelain Moon” (William Morrow) by Janie Chang. From the author of “The Library of Legends” comes a vividly rendered novel set in WWI France about two young women – one Chinese and one French –whose lives intersect with unexpected, potentially dangerous consequences. A tale of forbidden love, identity and belonging and what people are willing to risk for freedom.
“koho mori-newton/no intention” (Hirmer) by Herausgegeben Von Karl Borromaus Murr. Since the 1980s, this artist has forged his own unique path, along which he has questioned the very foundation of art itself. With a skeptical view of the construct of content, the artist uses various elements of paper, silk, frame or india ink as his materials to forge a new center for his artistic search.
“The Takeout” (Clarion) by Tracy Badua. This middle grade novel tells the story of a Filipino American family trying to make ends meet with their food truck in Hawai’i. But when two shady brothers steal their recipes, threatening their livelihood, the family’s twelve year old daughter must conjure up some folk magic to take the brother’s down and save the business.
Keigo Higashino is one of Japan’s most popular fiction writers as well known in that country as Stephen King of James Patterson is here in the U.S. His “The Devotion of Suspect X” was shortlisted for an Edgar Award for Best Novel. His latest offering “A Death in Tokyo” (Minotaur) as translated by Giles Murray has Tokyo Police detective Kaga trying to make sense of a most unusual murder.
“The Many Hats of Louie The Rat” (Owl Kids) written and illustrated by Sakshi Mangal. Louie the rat makes useful things out of recycled materials but no one pays any notice to his ingenuity until a flood comes.Lessons on practicality for kids.
“The Genesis of Misery” (Tor) by Neon Yang. An immersive, electrifying space fantasy, Neon Yang’s debut novel is full of high-tech space battles and political machinations, starring a queer and diverse array of pilots, princesses, and prophetic heirs.
“Where The Lost Ones Go” (FSG) by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Eliot Katayama is grieving for her paternal grandmother who just passed away. She desperately searches for any sign that ghosts are real and in that way, perhaps can hold on to her grandmother’s memory. When she discovers ghosts in Honeyfield Hall, she wants to help them remember their pasts and unlock the memory of her own grandmother.
“Fight Back” (Tu Books) by A.M. Dassu. A terrorist attack at a concert changes everything for Aaliyah, a Muslim teenager. Local racists are emboldened and anti-Muslim rhetoric starts cropping up in school and on the street. When her school bans the hijab she is wearing and she is attacked and intimated, she must fight back. But can she fight back and can she find allies?
“We Uyghurs Have No Say – An Imprisoned Writer Speaks” (Verso) by Ilham Tohti. This is a first collection of writings and interviews by one of the world’s foremost experts on Uyghurs and Chinese policy in Xinjiang. Now in prison, Tohti calls upon all people of conscience to stand in opposition to Islamophobia and the repressive policies enforced by current Chinese government authorities.
“Surface Relations – Queer Forms Of Asian American Inscrutability” (Duke) by Vivian L. Huang. In this book, the author trace how Asian and Asian American artists have strategically reworked the pernicious stereotype of inscrutability as a dynamic antiracist, feminist, and queer form of resistance. Following inscrutability in literature, visual culture, and performance art since 1965, Huang articulates how Asian American artists take up the aesthetics of Asian inscrutability —such as invisibility, silence, unreliability, flatness and withholding—to express Asian American life.
“Everyone Wants To Know” (Simon & Schuster) by Kelly Loy Gilbert. The Lo family sticks together, at least that’s what the young daughter has been told since they’ve been in the glare of the public eye as “reality show” personalities. So when the father announces he’s moving out of their California house to an apartment in Brooklyn, the daughter feels betrayed. And the betrayals continue as her best friend leaks a private conversation to a gossip site and tragedy strikes an older sister, this teenage girl finds herself in a dilemma. Should she still be the one to keep the family together or truly open her heart to a new friend who truly sees the real her?
“Weasels In The Attic” (New Directions) by Hiroko Oyamada as translated by David Boyd. Due out October 2022. From the acclaimed author of “The Hole” and “The Factory” comes a thrilling and mysterious novel that explores fertility, masculinity, and marriage in contemporary Japan In three interconnected scenes, the writer revisits the same set of characters at different junctures in their lives.
“Complicit” (Emily Bestler Books/Atria) by Winnie M. Li. A Hollywood has-been, Sarah Lai has left her dreams of filmmaking success by the wayside. But when a journalist reaches out to her to discuss her experience working with a celebrated film producer, Sarah can no longer keep silent As she recounts the industry’s dark and sordid secrets, however, she begins to realize she has a few sins of her own to confess.
Marya Khan And The Incredible Henna Party (Amulet) by Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Ani Bushry. With Marya’s eighth birthday coming up, all she wants is a party as awesome as her rich neighbor. But how can she make it happen? Everything she does seems to end in disaster. Will she find a way to throw the best party ever?
“Almanac Of Useless Talents” (Clash) is a new book of poetry by Michael Chang. “Michael Chang’s poetry collections are praised for their biting wit and humor, for their critique of injustice, for their juxtaposition of highbrow and low, for their velocity, their leaps, their sense of scale, for their sweeping range of style and subject and tone. The praise is well-earned and accurately describes Chang’s newest book. Chang reminds us that the bawdy, the blunt, the quip are as much a part of poetry as the romantic, the eloquent, the aphoristic. His poems inspire us to critique what we love, not in spite of that love, but because of it.” – Blas Falconer
“The Blue Scarf” (RPKids) by Mohamed Danawi and illustrated by Ruaida Mannaa. Layla is gifted a blue scarf by her mother that she lovingly wears around her neck. But when the wind carries it away, Layla sails the seas to various world of different colors in an effort to find it. But no one has seen her scarf – where can it be?
“Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Social Media’s Influence on Fashion, Ethics, and Property” (Duke) by Minh-Ha T. Pham. In this book, Pham examines the way social media users monitor the fashion market for the appearance of knockoff fashion, design theft, and plagiarism.
“A Bilingual Treasury of Chinese Folktales-Ten Traditional Stories in Chinese and English” (Tuttle) by Vivian Lin and Wang Peng and illustrated by Yang Xi. All cultures have stories telling you what life is all about. This collection tells you how to be a good person and have a good life. The lessons in this book are presented in a charming way, so children can discover them for themselves.
From the award-winning author of “Amina’s Voice” comes “Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure” (Salaam Reads) by Hena Khan and illustrated by Wastana Haikal. When a new family moves in across the street, suddenly Zara who is queen of her neighborhood finds her reign threatened. To get everyone’s attention again, Zara decides she’s going to break a Guinness World Record. But when no one notices, Zara learns a lesson.
“1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows – A Memoir” (Crown) by Ai Weiwei. This dissident Chinese artist tells the remarkable history of China while also illuminating his artistic process and divulging the tragic story of his celebrated poet father and how the family suffered during the Cultural Revolution.
“I Am Minor” (Nomadic Press) by Ryan Nakano. “I Am Minor” is a simulacrum’s simulacra, a reflection on how one reflects and is reflected through the screen, community, and the state. This collection is the result of studying the moving image (film); the shadow against the wall of a cave where a guard determines how much light to let in, and how much to block out with the body. Let these poems be for all those who keep searching for themselves by staring up at the sun.
“Buddha And The Rose” (RP KIDS) by Mallika Chopra and illustrated by Neha Rawat. Buddha sat with a rose in his hand, still. Sujata the milkmaid beings him pudding to break his fast, she too gazes at the rose. What she saw and felt changes her life forever.
“In The Beautiful Country” (Quill Tree) by Jane Kuo. A young adult novel in verse about a Taiwanese family who move to America with hopes and dreams. But reality dashes hopes and brings doubt the family will last even one year. A moving novel about finding your way in the world and what it truly means for a place to become home.
“Holding On” (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) by Sophia N. Lee and illustrated by Isabel Roxas. There is always singing in Lola’s house. Her granddaughter tucks these sounds and Lola’s wisdom deep within her heart. And when Lola starts slipping into silence, she helps Lola hold on, piece by piece, with the joy and music that Lola taught her. The artwork is vibrant and colorful and moves the story along.
“Sunrise – Radiant Stories” (Astra House) by Erika Kobayashi as translated by Brian Bergstrom. A collection of interconnected stories in which the author examines the effects of nuclear power on generations of women
What’s The Rush? (Princeton Architectural Press) written and illustrated by Yiting Lee. In this reimagined picture book version of Aesop’s fable, children will learn the importance of friendship, tolerance and patience as they follow the adventures of Bunny and Turtle.
“The Love Match”(Salaam Reads) by Priyanka Taslim. This young adult novel is a rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teenager whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.
“One Wish – Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University” (Harper) by M.O. Yuksel and illustrated by Miriam Quaraishi. This picture book tells the story of a woman, her dream and the importance of never giving up and how we all have the power to change the world for the better.
“Love From Mecca To Medina (Simon & Schuster) by S. K. Ali. The young couple Adam and Zayneb return in this romantic sequel to the young adult novel, “Love From A to Z”. Enduring a long-distance relationship, the couple is thrilled when fate brings them together on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. But the trip is nothing like what they expect as emotions and anxieties come to the surface.
“Buddhist Stories for Kids – Jataka Tales of Kindness, Friendship, and Forgiveness” (bala kids) by Laura Burges and illustrated by Sonali Zohra. Travel back in time to ancient India and hear these profound and playful tales, brought vividly to life ad reinterpreted for children today.
“Names and Rivers” (Copper Canyon) by Shuri Kido as translated by Tomoyuki Endo and Forrest Gander. Considered one of the most influential poets in Japan today, these poems draw influence from Japanese culture, geography, Buddhist teachings and modernist poets. This is a book made of crossings, questionings and mysteries as unanswered and open as the sky.
“Astrid & Apollo” is a new series of books about a Hmong American sister and brother as they engage in a variety of activities and along the way the stories educate readers about Hmong American culture. They are written by V.T. Bidania and illustrated by Evelt Yanait and published by Picture Window Books, a Capstone imprint. The titles published thus far inclue the following – “Astrid & Apollo And The Family Fun Fair Day”, ”Astrid & Apollo And The Awesome Dance Audition”, “Astrid & Apollo And The Super Staycation” and “Astrid & Apollo And The Ice Fishing Adventure.”
“Storybook ND” is a new series of slim hardcover fiction books from New Directions that aim to deliver the pleasure one felt as a child reading a marvelous book from cover to cover in just one afternoon. New in this series are a couple of stories by Japanese authors. “3 Streets” by Yoko Tawada as translated by Margaret Mitsutani introduces three ghost stories, each named after a street in Berlin. “Early Light” by Osamu Dazai offers three very different aspects of this fiction writer’s genius as translated by Donald Keene and Ralph McCarthy. The misadventures of a drinker and a family man in the terrible fire bombings of Tokyo at the end of WWII. Another tale looks at the symbol of Mt. Fuji as a cliché as the author finds it unable to escape its famous views and reputation. The final story follows the ascension of a drunkard’s wife as she transforms herself into a woman not to be defeated by anything life throws at her.
“It’s Diwali!” (Beach Lane) by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan. Kids can read along to the tune of the nursery rhyme “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” and discover what makes this Indian festival so special.
“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.
“Journey of the Midnight Sun” (Orca) by Shazia Afzal and illustrated by Aliya Ghare. Inuvik, a small but growing Muslim community in the Canadian arctic was in need of new mosque. Funds were raised to build and ship the mosque but the harrowing journey wasn’t easy. Along the way, so many people helped.
“Innocence” (Cleveland State University Poetry Center) by Korean American poet Michael Joseph Walsh. Winner of the 2021 Lighthouse Poetry Series Competition. The series judge Shane McCrae said this of the book – “Complete as first books of poetry rarely are, integral as first books of poetry rarely are, “Innocence” reads as if it exists only to be; it pursues no end other than its own being which is the end of all successful works of art, whatever a particular work’s subject. “Innocence” is “that spoken thing/Only now created/That opens out into every room” which is to say, alive from beginning to end, a life.
“Dad, don’t Miss It! (MinEditions-Astra Books for Young Readers) written and illustrated by Qiaoqiao Li. A child and his father are off for a day in the countryside—but dad is distracted by his computer. Why can’t dad see what the child sees? An enchanting story about the power of unplugging from our devices.
“Berani” (Pajama Press) by Michelle Kadarusman. Malia is determined to save the rainforests and endangered orangutans of her Indonesian homeland. Ari is grateful for the chance to live with his uncle and go to school but his uncle’s caged orangutan’s living condition is breaking his heart. When Malia and Ari cross paths, their futures— and the orangutan’s—will forever be changed in this middle grade novel.
My Grand Mom (Amazon Crossing Kids), written and illustrated by Gee-eum Lee and translated by Sophie Bowman. A little Korean girl whose parents work a lot spends her days with her grandmother. Based on the author’s own relationship with her grandma, this book is a celebration of a most unique and precious guardian. The illustrations are a whimsical delight.
“Brown Is Beautiful” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Supriya Kelkar and illustrated by Noor Sofi. On a day hike with her grandparents, a young Indian American girl takes pictures of things in nature that are brown like her. An uplifting story of self-love and new beginnings.
“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.
byYQ is a small press created by children’s author Yobe Qiu to publish her picture books for children. Here are three of their titles. “Our Moon Festival” illustrated by Christina Nel Lopez looks at the way this holiday is celebrated in China, Vietnam and Japan including the use of puppets, poetry, lion dances and lanterns. ”Asian Adventures A – Z” as illustrated by Jade Le journeys around Asia highlighting traditions and cultures of Asia’s countries while also teaching little ones, the alphabet. “I Am An Amazing Asian Girl – A Positive Affirmation Book For Asian Girls” as illustrated by Jade Le follows an assertive Asian girl on a journey of positive affirmations as she embraces her culture and identity.
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
“Happy Stories, Mostly” (Feminist Press) by Norman Erikson Pasaribu as translated by Tiffany Tsao. Queer Indonesian writer Norman Erikson Pasaribu blends together speculative fiction and dark absurdism, drawing from Batak and Christian cultural elements. Longlisted for the International Booker Prize, this volume presents short stories that ask what it means to be almost happy—nearly to find joy, to sort of be accepted, but to never fully grasp one’s desire. Joy shimmers on the horizon, just out of reach.
“Dragon Noodles Party – A Story of Chinese Zodiac Animals” (Holiday House) by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Paula Pang. This children’s picture book involves all the animals of the Chinese zodiac as they go on a journey one by one to prepare food for a party for one of their favorite friends.
“About Us – Young Photography in China” (Hirmer) by Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek and Petra Giloy-Hirtz. What does photography tell us about the life experience of an individual facing a rapidly changing society? What pictorial language is a younger generation of artists in China creating in its search for self-understanding? This book of over 200 photographs from the 1990s to the present by forty artists gives us an inside glimpse and shows how it is experienced and lived by its young people.
“Direwood” (Page Street) by Catherine Yu. When older sister Fiona goes missing, sixteen-year-old Aja discovers a vampire is responsible. But to find her sister, she must follow this vampire into the woods. Shocking body horror and dangerous romance with a vampire co-mingle in this debut novel. A gothic tangle of a tale.
“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 female 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.
“The Book of Goose” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) is a novel by Yiyun Li. As children in a war-ravaged, back water town, Fabienne and Agnes built a private world, invisible to everyone but themselves—–until Fabienne, the ruler of their little world, hatched a plan that would change everything, launching Agnes on an epic trajectory through fame, fortune, and terrible loss. When her sister dies, Fabienne embarks on an entirely different relationship with her life and fame.
“Unspoken” (Hirmer) by Miwa Ogasawara. The human between light and shade, closeness and distance. Ogasawara’s painting represents in all of their nuances. In her pictures she captures the brittle, shimmering present, the beauty and fragility of our existence.
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.
“When I Was The Wind” (June Road Press) by Port Townsend-based poet Hannah Lee Jones. In her debut poetry collection, Jones brings readers on a mythic journey across a vast physical and metaphysical landscape. What emerges is a richly textured map of love and loss, a tapestry of hard-won truths both personal and universal. At turns mysterious, dreamlike, intimate, and illuminating, these poems explore what is wild and timeless in the human soul.
“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.
“Ai Weiwei – In Search Of Humanity” (Hirmer) Edited by dieter Buchhart, Elsy Lahner and Klaus Albrecht Schroder. This book serves as the catalog for the most comprehensive retrospective for this Chinese artist to date by the Albetina Museum. The exhibition offers an impressive overview of the artist’s career spanning more than four decades and includes key works from all his creative phases. With short essays by various writers.
“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 where she feels lost until she discovers the garden, a place off limits yet where her self identity can bloom.
“Prescribee” (Nightboat) by Chia-Lun Chang. Reading this book is not dissimilar to the experience of coming across a recipe in a vintage American cookbook: it transforms the familiar ingredients of contemporary life into an uncanny, discomfiting concoction. Wielding English as a foreign language and medium, Chang redefines the history of Taiwan and captures the alienation of immigrant experience with a startlingly original voice. Flouting tired expectations of race, gender, nationality, and citizen status, “Prescribee” is as provocative as it is perceptive, as playful as it is sobering.
“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 family 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.
“My Magical Castle” (Abrams Appleseed) written and illustrated by Yujin Shin. This board book for toodlers flies kids off to a magical castle with a dragon and his friends. They can push, pull and slide the images inside to bring their adventures to life.
“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.
“Accomplice to Memory” (Kaya) by Q. M. Zhang. In this unusual book, the author tries to piece together the fractured mystery of her father’s exodus from China to the U.S. during the two decades of civil and world war leading up to the 1949 revolution. Part memoir, part novel, and part historical documentary, this hybrid text explores the silences and subterfuge of an immigrant parent, and the struggles of the second generation to understand the first. Zhang blurs the boundary between fiction and nonfiction, memory and imagination to tell the story of one woman working to understand and reimagine her family and her father.
“Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon” (Abrams) by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Joy Ang. The author re-invents the old folktale of a girl in a red cape gobbled up by a wolf and presumes to tell the “real” story. That of a little girl who lives with her mother near the Great Wall of China and practices kung fu. When she ventures into the woods to visit a sick grandmother she encouners a mighty dragon. With her wits and sword in hand, she defeats the monster. With action, humor and vibrant drawings, a classic fairy tale gets a new life.
“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.
“A Venom Dark And Sweet” (Feiwel & Friends) by Judy I. Lin. A great evil has come to the Kingdom of Daxi. The banished prince has returned. Mass poisonings have kept the people bound in fear and distrust. Ning, a young magician has escorted the princess into exile with her bodyguards. These four young women must go in search of allies to help oust the invaders and take back the throne. But an evil more ancient than the petty conflicts of men haunts. What can be done before it consumes the world?
“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.
“Sunday Pancakes” (Dial) written and illustrated by Maya Tatsukawa. Geisel Award honoree Tatsukawa has created a heartwarming and nourishing story that celebrates friendship and the ultimate comfort food. And aspiring young chefs can also test out the pancake recipe found in the story at the end.
“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.
“Theo Tan And The Fox Spirit” (Feiwel & Friends) by Jesse Q. Sutanto. From the author of the adult bestseller, “Dial A For Aunties” comes her first middle grade fantasy. Theo Tan doesn’t want a spirit companion – he just wants to be a normal American kid. But when his older brother dies, he ends up inheriting his fox spirit, Kai. Though both are not happy with this arrangement, they must set aside differences to honor the brother’s last wishes or the mystery he died for will remain unsolved forever.
“Saving Sorya-Chang And The Sun Bear” (Dial Graphic) by Trang Nguyen & Jeff Zdung. A poignant middle grade graphic novel adventure based on a true story, about a young conservationist who overcomes the odds to save a sun bear.
“Ramen For Everyone” (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) by Patricia Tanumihardja and illustrated by Shiho Pate. Hiro’s dream is to make the perfect ramen like his dad who he’s watched over the years. But when he gets started, things go awry. With his father’s advice, he’s able to find a way to make ramen in his own creative way. A picture book sure to make you hungry.
“Trinity Trinity Trinity” (Astra House) by Erika Kobayashi as translated by Brian Bergstrom. Nine years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, Japan is preparing for the 2020 Olympics. An unnamed narrator wakes up in a cold, sterile room, unable to recall her past.
“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 a 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.
“Yuna’s Cardboard Castles” (Beaming Books) by Marie Tang and illustrated by Jieting Chen. Yuna and her family have moved from Japan to the US and she doesn’t speak English yet. At first, her attempts to catch the attention of the neighborhood kids get lost in translation, but when she shows that she can do something very special with paper, a whole new world unfolds. In the back of the book, there is information about the origin of origami and how kids can fold their own paper boat.
“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.
“This Time it’s Real” (Scholastic) by Ann Liang. Teenage girl Eliza writes an essay about meeting the love of her life which makes her popular at the international school in Beijing which she’s attending. Trouble is, it’s all made up. Desperate to keep it a secret, she makes a deal with a fellow student to pose as her boyfriend. But what happens when this “fake” relationship starts feeling too real?
“Three Assassins” (Overlook) by Kotaro Isaka is the follow up to the international bestselling author of “Bullet Train” (now a Hollywood movie). Translated from the Japanese by Sam Malissa, the story pits an ordinary man against a network of quirky and effective assassins. To get justice for his wife’s murder, this man must take on each of the three assassins while struggling to maintain his moral center.
“Penguin and Penelope”(Bloomsbury) by Salina Yoon. This Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator reintroduces her beloved character Penguin who helps guide a lost baby elephant back to her herd. A lovely tale about the bonds of friendship that resonate long after separation with simple yet evocative illustrations in bright colors.
“Diwali in My New Home” (Beaming Books) by Shachi Kaushik and illustrated by Aishwarya Tandon. A poignant story about an Indian girl’s experience of celebrating Diwali for the first time since coming to the US. What will be the reception when she introduces this holiday to her neighbors in a new place with those unfamiliar with this traditional holiday?
“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.
“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.
“Never Show a T. Rex a Book” (Kane Miller) by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and illustrated by Diane Ewen. A laugh-out-loud story for kids that’s brimming with imagination, mayhem, and a celebration of the power of books.
“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.
“Boobies” (Groundwood) written and illustrated by Nancy Vo. This Canadian writer/artist approaches the theme of breasts in a refreshing humorous way taking us on a journey from mammals to humans to mountains and the differences and similarities that lie within.
“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?
“Lost in the Long March” (Overlook) by Michael X. Wang. This gripping debut novel is set against the backdrop of Mao’s Long March and its aftermath. It contrasts the intimate with the political, revealing how the history of a country is always the story of its people, even though their stories can be the first to be lost.
“Blanket” (Groundwood) by Ruth Ohi. This is the author’s first wordless picture book that tells the heartfelt, evocative story about those times when you want to hide away from the world — and how much it can mean to have a friend who will stay by your side and keep you company. She does all this with the characters of a sad cat and her friend, the dog.
“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.
“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?
“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, young adult, 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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.