“Happy Room – Mosaic Collage” is an exhibition by local artist Naoko Morisawa. It includes a collection of over 50 pieces divided into four rooms. Each room transforms everyday objects into ornate, dynamic mosaics that invite viewers to find beauty in the details. The artist specializes in intricate natural and oil-dyed wooden and paper mosaics. Also on view is a group show entitled “digital indigiqueer: a showcase of trans transmedia” by Hexe Fey, a group of transgender and sacred gender indigenous artists working in digital media transmedia, film, 360 video, glitch art, contemporary interpretations of traditional forms, and future mediums. Both shows are on view through April 6, 2023.ARTS at King Street Station Gallery on the top floor. 303 South Jackson in Seattle. Gallery hours are Wed. – Sat. from 11am – 5pm. On First Thursdays, the gallery remains open until 8pm. Admission is free. Try https://www.seattle.gov/arts/experience/galleries/arts-at-king-street-station-gallery.
“Thick As Mud” is a group show that explores how mud animates relationships between people and place through the work of eight contemporary artists. Across multiple geographies and a range of aesthetic approaches, these artists engage mud as a material or subject that shapes personal and collective histories, memory, and imagination. Includes work by Candace Lin, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Diedrick Brackens, Ali Cherri, Christian Howard Sandoval, Rose B. Simpson, Eve Tagny and Sasha Wortzel. Curator Nina Bozicnik leads a tour of this show on March 25, 2023 at 2pm. Free with suggested donation admission. To register, go to bit.ly/3Fr8QBB. The exhibit is on view through May 7, 2023. “this was a densely wooded hill” by Yehaw Indigenous Creatives Collective is a lobby installation on view through April 16, 2023. Concept & design by Satpreet Kahlon in collaboration with Asia Tail and Kimberly Deriana. This installation is an attempt to make material our immense and accumulatory grief by gathering and weaving together disparate and precious materials. Museum hours are Thursdays from 10am – 7pm & Fridays – Sundays from 10am – 5pm. Mask wearing is suggested while indoors. Admission is by suggested donation. Free on First Thursdays. 15th Ave. NE & NE 41st Streets on the UW campus. 206-543-2280 or try [email protected].
Artma Pop-Up presents an art collective show with 22 artists entitled “Plantasia – Forming, Growing, Expanding”. This show is in “in a space that creates feelings of sentimental indulgence, exposure of inspiration and longing for nature”. Includes various media such as installations, photography, painting and sculpture. Sumi paintings by Eun Young Park and an installation by Gail Grinnell are part of this eclectic show at Slip Gallery. On view through March 26,2023. 2301 – 1st Ave. in Seattle’s Belltown. For details, go to [email protected].
“Resilience – A Sansei Sense of Legacy” is a group show of third generation Japanese American artists whose work reflects on the effects of Executive Order 9066 (the U.S. government decree that imprisoned the Japanese of American descent on the West Coast and put them into internment camps). Includes work by Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Na Omi Judy Shintani, Reiko Fujii, Wendy Maruyama, Kristine Aono, Tom Nakashima, Roger Shimomura and Jerry Takigawa. Curated by Jerry Takigawa and Gail Enns. On view until July 7, 2023. Purchase tickets online or at the museum. Third Thursdays of each month are free from 3pm – 8pm. Regular hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. Museum members are always free. Washington State Historical Society is at 1911 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, WA. 1-888-238-4373 or try washingtonhistory.org.
“Meet Me At Higo” tells the story of a Japanese American family and a treasured store in the Japantown neighborhood of Seattle’s Chinatown/International District. The store served as a social hub while at the same time selling basic goods and items from Japan. Through letters, photos, journals and artifacts, it reveals the life of Japanese Americans from early settlement, life in Seattle’s ethnic neighborhoods and the impact of Executive Order 9066 which removed an entire community during WWII. The store, now called KOBO at Higo still exists at the same location. This is a traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum now on view in the Level 8 Gallery of the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. Librarians have also created a resource list that includes websites that give extensive background information. On view through March26,2023. 1000 Fourth Ave. 206-386-4636 or try www.spl.org/Higo.
Public Display.ART is a free arts newspaper that highlights the work of Northwest artists published quarterly by One Reel. In recent months, they have branched out to have a gallery in Pioneer Square to exhibit some of the Northwest artists they have featured in their publication. Their second group show of Northwest artists (full disclosure – my art is in this exhibition) entitled “ICOSAHEDRON” is on view through APRIL 22, 2023 with a First Thursday reception on Thursday, April 6, 2023 beginning at 5pm. Regular gallery hours are Wed. & Thursdays from 3 – 6pm, Friday from 4 – 7pm and Saturday from 1 – 4pm. 805 – 1st Avenue (between Marion & Columbia). 206-717-4773 or go to onereel.org/public-display-gallery.
ArtXchange Gallery presents “Elemental Gestures”, a show featuring Caryn Friedlander and Alan Lau (full disclosure – yes, that’s me). They are two Northwest artists who create dynamic abstractions through experimentation with brush and line. Both artists lived in Japan and studied calligraphy and brush painting. The exhibition is on view until March 25, 2023. “Living Lineage” is a group show featuring artists whose creative practice centers a connection to heritage, legacy and historical research. Featured are the works of Jiyoung Chung, Hai & Thanh Le, Gustavo Matinez, Trento Quiocho, Hoang Thanh Vinh Phong, Tiao Somsanith and Fox Spears. These artists both preserve ancestral histories and transform them through their own distinct, contemporary lens. On view through April and May, 2023. Open for First Thursday Art Walk on April 6 from 5 – 8pm and May 4 from 5 – 8pm.Gustavo Martinez will do an Artist Talk off-site at Pottery Northwest on April 7 at 7pm. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 5:30pm. 512 1st Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org.
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. Opening March 25, 2023 ad remains on view through August 20, 2023. 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].
“Katazome Today – Migrations of a Japanese Art” is a group show that includes seven national and international artists who share fresh perspectives on this traditional Japanese art form with current interpretations. On now through June 11, 2023. Includes work by Akemi Cohn, Melinda Heal, Fumiyo Imafuku, Cheryle Lawrence, John Marshall, Yuken Teruya and Mika Toba. The show was co-curated by Seiko A. Perdue and Amy Chaloupka. Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building at 250 Flora St. in Bellingham, WA. Hours are Wed. – Sundays from 12 – 5pm. 360-778-8930 or go to www.whatcommuseum.org.
Al Young was a Seattle drag racing icon and is the first Asian American driver to have ever won a World Championship in auto racing. His world championship winning 1970 Dodge Challenger was donated by Young to MOHAI in 2007. It was raced for over 20 years throughout the Northwest, U.S. and Canada – winning every major northwest national event race in its category at least twice. The car is now on display in the museum through April 30, 2023. Opening June 4, 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.
The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central College presents “Give & Take: A show of works from SPA Annual Print Exchange” is on view now through May 10, 2023. This exhibit presents 2022 SPA Annual Print Exchange entries and a selection pulled from a collection of more than twenty years of similar exchanges. It’s a chronicle of the creative achievements and techniques practiced by SPA members over the last couple of decades, creating a snapshot of the ongoing fellowship, traditions, and explorations of the region’s print artists. Located at the North end of SCCC’s Atrium Cafeteria, in the main building on the corner of Broadway & Pine. 1701 Broadway, 2BE2116. Hours are Mon. – Thursdays from 10 am – 3pm. Closed March 23 –April 2nd, 2023 during the break. 206-934-4379 or email [email protected].
In “Patti Warashina: World Upside Down”, this Seattle master ceramic artist uses the figure as a “visual diary” to comment on the absurdity and foibles of human behavior. It’s a good chance that she will never run out of material. Opens March 3, 2023 along with shows by Geoffrey Pagen and George Rodriguez. Hours are Thursday – Monday from 11am – 5pm. At the San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Friday Harbor, WA. 540 Spring St. 360-370-5050 or try sjma.org.
Traver Gallery’s future exhibitions later in the year include the following – New work by ceramic sculptor Jun Kaneko from May 4 – June 24, 2023. New work by ceramic artist Patti Warashina from August 3 – 26,2023. 110 Union St. #200 in downtown Seattle. 206-587-6501 or try travergallery.com.
Seattle artist Junko Yamamoto has a display of her unique hanging fabric sculptures in a public display case now at the 505 Union Station Building. It’s located just past the former CID Starbucks just before one crosses the street over to the Pioneer Square side. The installation can be viewed 24/7. The artist is represented by J. Rinehart Gallery where she will have a solo show in 2023 as well as Gallery 4 Culture.
The Northwest Watercolor Society’s annual membership exhibition is online from April 28 – June 30, 2023. Visit www.nwws.org/ for details.
On view for an extended time is “Painting Deconstructed: Selections from the Northwest Collection” which includes the work of a number of Northwest Asian American artists. Tacoma Art Museum. 1701 Pacific Avenue. 253-272-4358 or [email protected].
The work by Tacoma ceramic artist Reid Ozaki is on view at The Art Stop & Leroy Jewelers at 940 Broadway in Tacoma. 253-272-3377. For details, go to www.ArtStopTacoma.com.
Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds presents “George Tsutakawa: Works on Paper- The Early Years” which is on view now through March 26, 2023. Includes watercolors, block prints and sketchbooks displayed alongside the work of his contemporaries.190 Sunset Ave. #E in Edmonds. 425-336-4809 or try CascadiaArtMuseum.org.
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 – “IKAT: A World of Compelling Cloth” is on view March 9 – May 29, 2023. This is an immersive exploration of the complex textile with samples from around the world spanning Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. 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. “Beyond The Mountain: Contemporary Chinese Artists on the Classical Forms” is an ongoing exhibit that opens on July 22, 2022. It includes video, photography, painting and kinetic installation exploring classical cultural legacies through the lens of urgent issues of modern life. ”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. Just opened is “We Are Changing the Tide: Community Power for Environmental Justice”. This exhibit looks at BIPOC communities from the Quinault Nation fighting climate change to Duwamish River stewardship to the threat of rising seas on Pacific Island communities to Native Hawaiians opposing military installations and Beacon Hill neighbors fighting airplane noise and pollution. On view through April 23, 2023. “Reorient: Journeys Through Art and Healing” is on view now through May 14, 2023. Opening July 8, 2022 is “Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee”. “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. 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. Live virtual tours of the Freeman Hotel on Thursdays at 5pm PDT. Check out what’s in the gift shop with the Museum’s online marketplace. The monthly storytime programs can be watched at www.digitalwingluke.org/programs.
KOBO, a unique shop of arts and crafts from Japan and items made by Northwest artists has two shops in Seattle on Capitol Hill and in the Chinatown/ID/Japantown community downtown. The 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 Pacific Bonsai Museum has the following – “A Gallery of Trees: Living Art of Pacific Bonsai Museum through November 5, 2023. 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.
Washin Kai presents “Visions of the Katsura Imperial Villa”, a talk by Professor Ken Tadashi Oshima in conversation with Professor Paul Atkins on Wed., April 19, 2023 at 7pm. Gowen Hall 301 on the UW Seattle campus. Free but registration required. Go to https://tinyurl.com/katsura23. For more information, call 206-543-4918.
“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.
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 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. 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.
In Coquitlam, B.C. Canada, the Art Gallery at Evergreen presents now through April 30, 2023, “Long Time So Long” by Jin-Me Yoon. This is a new body of work by this acclaimed Korea-born, Vancouver BC-based artist that combines photography, video and a soundscape of collective humming that features the voices of local youth of Korean ancestry. Her art explores our collective grappling with the pandemic from a diasporic persceptive. Hours are Wed., Sat. & Sun. from 12 – 5pm and Thurs. & Fri. from noon – 6pm.Free admission.1205 Pinetree Way in Coquitlam.604-927-6557 or try evergreenculturalcentre.ca/exhibit.
Art Beatus Consultancy Ltd. In Vancouver B.C. is a gallery that showcases international art with a special focus on contemporary Asian art. Hours are Mon. – Fri. from 10:30am – 6pm. On view through March 24, 2023 is “Shinsuke Minegishi – A Retrospective of Collaboration: poet + artist/ books + prints/ mother + son”. This is an online exhibition of illustrated books by a local artist and his mother who is a writer. 604-688-2633 or go to artbeatus.com.
The Eutectic Gallery presents by appointment only, “Jun Ho Yun: New Works” from March 10 – April 15, 2023. This Korean ceramicist is slowly mastering the six techniques of buncheong, which uses dark, iron-bearing clay, white slip for decoration and a clear glaze. 1930 N. Oregon St. in Portland, Oregon.Go to eutecticgallery.com
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”. “Devout Prayers: Korean Paintings of the Joson Dynasty and Beyond” on view through April 30, 2023. “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 – “Subtle Intimacy: Here And There” showcases the work of Japan Institute’s inaugural Artist-In-Residence, Rui Sasaki. Sasaki works primarily in glass and she will exhibit her site-specific works that are inspired by the natural beauty of the garden. Her work is known for the artist’s meticulous studies of the environment around her.On view March 18 – June 12,2023. 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 –Permanent exhibit is “Oregon’s Nikkei”. On view now through May 7, 2023 is “A Long Road To Travel: The Service of Japanese American Soldiers During World War II”. A special program entitled “Moving forward From Community Secrets” with Linda Tamura, Carl Casey and Dennis Leonard on Sat., March 4 at 2pm. 411 NW Flanders. 503-224-1458 or email [email protected].
Portland Chinatown Museum has the following – “Wing K. Leong 60 Years: Painting & Calligraphy” on view now through May, 2023. 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 email [email protected].
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following currently on view. 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. On view through May 1, 2023 is “Color Trip: Yoshida Hodaka’s Modern Prints”. Though the artist came from a long lineage of Japanese printmakers, he pushed woodblock print boundaries with surreal, abstract themes and the use of poetry, photography, photo etching and collage. And this is indeed a family affair with works by his father, mother, brother, wife and daughter shown along his own. “Delightful Luxury: The Art of Chinese Lacquer” is on view through September 18, 2023. “Into View: Bernice Bing” is a long overdue retrospective of this important Bay Area Chinese American painter whose works straddles Abstract Expressionism, figuration and Zen calligraphy. As a queer Asian American woman artist, she was a catalyst in the Bay Area cultural scene. On view now through May 1, 2023. In collaboration with the Asian American Women Artists Association, Chinese Culture Center and Kearny Street Workshop, the museum is organizing an open call installation of media and literary work for early 2023. https://bernicebingoencallatasianartmuseum.artcall.org/ takes you to a tutorial video that walks you through the submission process for this competition. 200 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA. 415-581-3500.
“Invisible Blue” is the title of a presentation by Roland Ricketts who will discuss his work growing, processing and dyeing with indigo on his farm in Indiana. This talk takes place on March 18, 2023 at 10am (PT) in-person at de Young Museum’s Koret Auditorium in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Also can be streamed virtually via Zoom. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/annual-sinton-lecture-invisible-blue-tickets-518166970357?aff=WS.
Berkeley Art Museum/PFA has the following – “Endless Knot: Struggle And Healing in the Buddhist World” on view through June 11, 2023. Curator of the show, Yi Yi Mon Kyo talks about various aspects of the show on May 12, 2023. 155 Center St. Berkeley, CA 510-642-0808 or go to [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. On view through May 7, 2023 is “Morning Rituals” by A young Yu, a video done in collaboration with Nicholas Oh that reinterprets and regenerates Korean folklore, ritual and dance. 328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way on the Stanford University Campus, Stanford, CA. 650-723-4177 or go to https://museum.stanford.edu/eop.
The San Jose Museum of Art has the following – “Formations” by Kelly Akashi is up until May 21, 2023. Akashi is known for her materially hybrid works that are compelling both formally and in concept. This show encompasses art works made over the past decade and a newly commissioned series in which the artist explores the inherited impact of her family’s imprisonment in a Japanese American incarceration camp during WWII. 110 South Market St. in San Jose, CA. 408-271-6840. Please take note -this traveling exhibit will open locally at the Frye Art Museum June 17 – September 10, 2023.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has the following – “The Five Directions: Lacquer Through East Asia” is on view through April 16, 2023. Ongoing is “Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads”. “Sam Francis and Japan: Emptiness Overflowing” has been delayed until the spring of 2023 and will be on view April 9 – July 16, 2023 at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum. 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 – “Visualizing Devotion: Jain Embroidered Shrine Hangings” now through March 26, 2023. Ongoing is “Intersections: World Arts Local Lives”. Upcoming exhibitions include the following – “Amir H. Fallah: The Fallacy of Borders” now through May 14, 2023. “Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance” on view March 26 – 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 – Through April 2, 2023, an exhibit entitled “Designing with Disaster – Stories from Seven Regenerative Cities – Inspired by the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami”. 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 March 4 – October 2,2023. A companion book and four public programs will accompany this exhibit. The book is available at janmstore.com. 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. Opening on February 26, 2022 is “Sutra And Bible-Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration”. The exhibit examines the role that religion played in saving the exiled Japanese American community from despair during the war years. This show has been extended to February 19, 2023, the anniversary of the Day of Remembrance. 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.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA has the following – “Crossroads – Exploring the Silk Road” opens October 22, 2021. This new permanent exhibit tells the story of centuries of cultural exchange stimulated by the movement of travelers and goods along the ancient trade route. “Global Asia’s: Contemporary Asian And Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer & the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation” comes to the museum from March – June, 2023. 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.
The San Diego Museum of Art has the following – Ongoing is a show of Arts of South and Southeast Asia from the first to the 19th century AD. 1460 El Prado, Balboa Park in San Diego.
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 “Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnson Collection” which includes more than 100 works of painting, calligraphy and ceramics from the 1600s to 1900s Japan, many on view for the first time. The exhibition chronicles the struggles women in Japan had to undergo in order to express themselves in art and the results they achieved despite restrictions. On view through May 13, 2023. On view through May 28, 2023 is “Rugged Beauty: Antique Carpets from Western Asia” which explores the craftsmanship of carpet weaving from that region for over six centuries. In additional news, the Denver Art Museum recently announced their 2022 New Acquisitions list for their permanent collection with an emphasis on collecting works by women and artists of color. In their new acquisitions are seven watercolor and ink on paper works by Chiura Obata, one of the most significant artists working on the West Cost during the last century. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. 720-865-5000 or www.deverartmuseum.org.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the following – “Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Art Rocks” through May 3, 2023. And coming up is “Hokusai: Inspiration & Influence” March 26 – 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”, “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. “Power and Perspective: Early Photography in China” remains on view through April 2, 2023. Coming up are “Spirits: Tsherin Sherpa with Robert Beer” on view from February 4 – May 29, 2023 and “Gu Wenda:United Nations” from April 11 – 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 Prints of Maki Haku: Prints from the Kimm-Grofferman Collection” on view through April 9, 2023. “20 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy Then And Now” is on view through April 9, 2023. 2400 Third Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 888-642-2787.
The Walker Art Center has the following – “Paul Chan: Breathers” on view now through April 22, 2023. And a Pacita Abid retrospective planned for sometime in 2023. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN. 612-375-7600 or try [email protected].
“Clay As Soft Power – Shigaraki Ware in Postwar America and Japan” is on view through May 7, 2023. University of Michigan Museum of Art. 525 South State St. Ann Arbor, MI. Go to umma.umich.edu for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago has the following – “Kingfisher Headdresses from China” is on view through May 21, 2023. “Recollections of Tokyo 1923-1945” is on view through September 25, 2023. Includes modern Japanese printmakers memories of Tokyo before and after WWII. 111 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.” The exhibit “Modern Japan” is on view through June 18, 2023.”Old and New In Korean Art” is on view through April 23, 2023. “Imagining Rama’s Journey” is on view March 10 – September 17, 2023. “Raja Deen Dayal: The King of India’s Photographers” is on view April 23 – 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.
“Ink & Brush: The Beauty & Spirit of Japanese Calligraphy” is on view through April 2023. Also ongoing is “Collection Highlight: Ceremonial Teahouse.” Philadelphia Museum of Art.2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215-763-8100 or try www.philamuseum.org.
Temple University’s Tyler Art & Architecture presents Visiting Artist & photographer/pop-up book artist Colette Fu who will lecture about her work and process on March 23, 2023 at Tyler 260L (Printmaking). 201 N. 13th St. in Philadelphia, PA. For details, go to tyler.temple.edu.
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.
“Ghost Bites” is the title of photography exhibit by Tommy Kha. The artist depicts friends, family & home and the landscape and architecture of the South where he grew up. On view through March 22,2023. Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York. 126 Baxter St. 212-260-9927 or go to baxterst.org.
“Si On: I Am An Outcast From The World” is on view now through March 19, 2023. The artist got her training in South Korea. Her paintings convey images of faces where layers of paint are scrapped away. The artist says, “Assuming that the primal power of Shamanism corresponds to the hidden power of art, I work with the hope that art also has this kind of strength.” Si On now lives in Krakow, Poland. At the James Fuentes Gallery. 55 Delancey St. New York, New York. Contact [email protected].
The James Cohan Gallery presents a show by ceramic sculptor Shinichi Sawada on view through April 1, 2023. This Japanese artist was selected to be in group show of “outsider art” by noted Japanese pop artist Murakami and has also shown at the Venice Biennale. He is autistic and doesn’t speak and works at a bakery. His shamanistic, detailed figures burn with a fiery intensity. 52 Walker St. (2nd Floor) in New York City, NY. 212-714-9500 or try [email protected].
“The Pleasure of Growth” is the title of a solo show by Janny Baek. It includes hand-formed ceramic sculpture melding white and colored clay hand stained by the artist. March 22 – May 20, 2023. At Culture Object at 344 West 38th St. Hours are M – F, 10am – 6pm and Sat. from 12 – 6pm. 212-380-6987 or try [email protected].
Hunter College Galleries presents “C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction”, the first retrospective to focus on his own art. Best known as a preeminent twentieth-century connoisseur and collector of pre-modern Chinese art. This reputation often overshadows his own artistic practice. In his won work, he set out on a visual quest to combine tradition and innovation with a unique synthesis of Chinese ink painting and American post-war abstraction. Curated by Wen-shing Chou and Daniel M. Greenberg with Han Hofmann Graduate Curatorial Fellow Margaret Liu Clinton. On view now through April 29, 2023. At Hunter College’s Bertha & Karl Leubsdorf Gallery at 132 East 68th St.,New York, NY. Gallery hours are Tues. – Sat. from noon – 5pm. Go to www.leubsdorfgallery.org for details.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has the following – “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 Museum has the following – “Comparative Hell: Arts of Asian Underworlds” on view now through May 7, 2023.725 Park Ave. in New York City.212-327-9721 or try www.asiasociety.org.
Ippodo Gallery has the following – “Terumasa Ikeda: Iridescent Lacquer” is on view March 16 – April 16, 2023. 32 E. 67th St., 3rd Floor. New York City. +1-(212)967-4899 or [email protected].
The Rubin Museum of Art announces the following – “Death Is Not The End” opens on March 17. 2023 and 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.
The Brooklyn Museum presents artist Oscar yi Hou’s ”East of sun, west of moon”. It features work by this UOVO Prize-winner. The exhibit highlights queer Asian American subjects and illuminates the intersectional identities of the artist and his friends. On view through June 1, 2023. 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York.718-638-5000 or try https://www.brooklynmuseum.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 “Noguchi Subscapes” on view through May 7, 2023. These installations reveal his interest in the unseen and hidden. Also on view is a group show entitled “In Praise of Caves: Organic Architecture Projects from Mexico” by Lazo, Goeritz, O’Gorman and Senosiain on view October 19, 2022 – February 26, 2023. 9-01 33rd Road. Long Island City, New York. 718-204-7088 or [email protected].
New York City-based Joan B. Mirviss LTD has the following – “Painted Clay – Wada Morihiro & Modern Ceramics of Japan” will be exhibited as part of “Asia Week New York” set from March 16 – 24. 2023. Hours are M-F from 11am – 6pm/39 E. 78th St. #401 in New York City. 212-799-4021 or [email protected].
The Dai ichi Arts Ltd. presents the following “Intangible Heritage: The Art of Japan’s Living National Treasures” is a group show on view March 1 – 31, 2023. “The Heart’s Eye – In Search of Murata Gen” is the first solo show for this Mingei potter of vessels. On view April 10 – May 19,2023. 18 E. 64th St. – Ste. 1F in New York City. +212-230-1680. Go to daichiarts.com for details.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art has the following – “Ancient Yemen: Incense, Art & Tradition”has just opened. “A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur” remains on view through May 14, 2023. 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. Go to www.chineseamericanmuseum.org for details. 1218 – 16th St. NW. 202-838-3180.
The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery presents the first biographical exhibition dedicated to the career of Maya Lin – architect, sculptor, environmentalist and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “One Life- Maya Lin” remains on view through April 16, 2023. 8th & G streets NW in Washington D.C. Open daily from 11:30am – 7pm. Go to npg.si.edu for details.
The New Orleans Museum of Art has the following – “Katherine Choy: Radical Potter in 1950s New Orleans” is on view through April 23, 2023. This is the first monographic review of this artist whose work was celebrated by the 1950s craft world before her sudden death. Her early pots show inspiration from Asian clay traditions but expanded to include aggressively large asymmetrical forms with glazes that had intentionally left parts of the raw clay exposed. One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. 504-658-4100.
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston presents “None Whatsover: Zen paintings from the Gitter-Yellen Collection” now on view through May 14, 2023. The exhibition explores the origins of Zen Buddhism in Japanese painting through ink paintings and calligraphy by painter monks such as Hakuin Ekaku who expressed Zen Buddhist teachings through their art. A related selection of modern and contemporary art influenced by Zen Buddhism includes work by Franz Kline, Takahiro Kondo, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt, Hiroshi Sugimoto and others. 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.
Artist Kenneth Tam came to Texas to research the history of Chinese railroad workers and the results are displayed in an intriguing installation of sculptural objects with historical artifacts and a two-channel video installation in an exhibition entitled “Tender Is The Hand Which Holds The Stone of Memory” on view through May 7, 2023 at Ballroom Marfa. 108 E. San Antonio St. in Marfa, Texas. For details, go to ballroommarfa.org or call +1(432) 729-3600.
Galerie Catherine & Andre Hug present for the first time in France, an exhibit of California-based photographer Jerry Takigawa’s series entitled “Balancing Cultures” in which the artist engages with personal family narrative by building and photographing temporary collages assembled from his family’s collection of images saved from their forced imprisonment in a WWII American internment camp. On view through March 25, 2023 with a closing reception & book signing on March 23 from 6 – 9pm. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 1pm & 2:30pm – 7pm. 40, rue de Seine/2 rue de l’Echaude/75006/ Paris, France.
October Gallery presents “Liberated”, a solo exhibition of works by Korean artist Jukhee Kwon now based in Italy. Her work uses the material of paper sourced mainly from unused or discarded books to create sculptural pieces. Now on view March 16 – April 22, 2023. The artist gives a gallery talk on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 3pm. Free but reservations required. 24 Old Gloucester St.,Bloomsbury, London, England.+44 (0) 20-7242-7367 or try octobergallery.co.uk.
Tokyo Photographic Museum presents the following – “Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023” through March 26, 2023. At Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita Meguro-ku, Tokyo. Go to topmuseum.jp/contents/exhibition/index-4270.html.
At the Mori Arts Center – On view is “Circus Final End” by Yuko Higuchi now through April 10, 2023. Famous for featuring cats in her works, this Tokyo-based artist & illustrator creates a whimsical world featuring anthropomorphized characters and surreal elements. Also on view is “Roppongi Crossing”, a triennial art fair co-curated and hosted by Mori Art. It was created to reflect Japan’s changing contemporary art scene. This seventh edition has over 20 Japanese artists and art groups. On view through March 26, 2023. In Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome-10-1, Roppongi Hills, Japan. +8150-5541-8600 or www.mori.art.museum/jp/.
“How Is Life? – Designing For Our Earth” is a group show designed by architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Manabu Chiba, Tsuyoshi Tane and architectural historian Seng Kuan. In a series of installations, the exhibit asks us to take a minute and ponder, to go beyond designs society tells us it wants and consider design ideas that we truly need to survive and thrive. On view through March 19,2023. At Toto Gallery MA. At Toto Nogizaka Bldg. 3F, 1-24-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo,Japan. +81-3-3402-1010.
Tokyo National Museum presents “The Saint Kuya and Rokuharamitsuji Temple”, an exhibit that brings together masterpieces of Buddhist sculpture from the Heian and Kamakura periods. Set for March 1 – May 8, 2023. 13-9 Ueno Park,Taito – Ku, Tokyo. 110-8712 or www.tnm.jp.
Waseda University’s Haruki Murakami Library invites bibliophiles to look at books by Murakami Haruki and other Japanese authors that have been adapted for readers overseas and perceive how the process of translation has opened up literature to the world. On view through March 26,2023. 1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku in Tokyo. Wwwwasedajp/culture/wihl/other-en/3110.
The Yamatane Museum presents the following – “Commemorating A Decade Since Mt. Fuji’s Registration as a World Cultural Heritage Site” plus “Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossoms: From Hokusai’s Fuji to Togyu’s Cherry Blossoms” – both shows from March 11, 2023 – May 14, 2023. KS Bldg. 1 F,2 Sambancho, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo. 102-0075. 81+3-5777-8600 or try www.yamatane-museum.jp/english.
Kyoto National Museum presents the following – “850th Anniversary Special Exhibition – Shinran: The Life & Legacy of the Founder of Shin Buddhism” is on view March 25 – May 21, 2023. “Tofukuji: Monumental Zen Temple of Kyoto” on view October 7 – December 3, 2023. 527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. 075-525-2473 or kyohaku.go.jp.
“Yayoi Kusama: The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended Into the Heavens” is an installation on view through April 2023. On going is an installation by Chihara Shiota entitled “Absence Embodied.” Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. North Terrace, Adelaine SA 5000, Australia. +61 8 8207 7000 or try https://www.agsa.sa.gov.au.
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].
Nancy Yao has been appointed the first director of the proposed Smirthsonian American Women’s History Museum. Yao currently leads the Museum of Chinese in America based in New York. Yao will start at her new position in June.
Congratulations to local ceramic artist Hanako O’Leary who won a 2023 Artist Trust Fellowship of $10,000 in the Visual Arts category.
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.
STG presents “More [email protected] Moore” which highlights exceptional Northwest young musicians in collaboration with a nationally known music director (this year, it is Mike Elizondo) in a concert. Appearing are Alex Vile, Anu Batbaatar, Cherry Ferrari, Keira Hamalian, Maya Michelle, MIDPAK, Ollie DeShae Gaines, Tazz Enrico and Zahara Elan. March 24, 2023 at 7:30pm. 1932 Second Ave. For details, try stgpresents.org.
Holi Festival of Color is a traditional Indian festival that celebrates spring, connection and the triumph of good over evil. It takes place at Phinney Center Parking Lot on Saturday, March 25 from 1 – 3pm (PZT). Tickets are $7 – $12 with 3 color packets. Wear casual clothing as there will be a lot of tossing of colors. 6522 Phinney Ave N. on Phinney Ridge. 206-783-2244 or try [email protected].
Abbey Arts presents the following musicians at various Seattle venues. L.A.-based singer/songwriter Susie Suh presents “The Invisible Love Experience” with songs from her latest album entitled “Invisible Love” on Sat., March 25, 2023 at 7pm (PT). At the Ballard Homestead at 6541 Jones Ave. On April 13, 2023 at 8pm catch local singer/songwriter Jed Crisologo as he joins The Hipocrats and Jarett Samples live at Fremont Abbey located at 4272 Fremont Ave. N. “The Epic Return of Choir!Choir!Choir” brings the dynamic duo of Toronto-based creative directors Nobu Adilman (He conducts) and Daveed Goldmances (He plays the guitar) They lead the audience as a choir and teach you original arrangements of songs that you love. Set for April 28, 2023 at 8pm (PT) at Washington Hall at 153 – 14th Ave. On April 30, 2023. Yaima comes to Seattle on their Moongate Tour on April 30, 2023. This duo of Masaru Higasa and Pepper Proud will first conduct a Breathwork Ceremony at 5:40pm, a concert/dance event at 7:30pm and an official concert at 8pm (PT) at Washington Hall at 153 – 14th Ave. Local singer/songwriter (indie folk/synth pop) Tomo Nakayama appears with Bryan John Appleby and Shelby Earl at Fremont Abbey on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 8pm (PT). 4272 Fremont Ave. N. George Ko plays piano “Live at Zipper Hall” on Friday, May 19, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT). His music has been described as “classical improvisations that blend Chopin-like virtuosity with vast sounds of cinema.” 7400 Woodlawn Hall/7400 Woodlawn Ave. NE. On Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT), catch the supergroup known as U3:Cynthia Lin, Abe Lagrimas Jr. & Ukulenny live in concert at Ballard Homestead located at 6541 Jones Ave. U3 brings together a ukulele supergroup with tight harmonies, bass, beatbox, drums, vibraphone and percussion that will evoke the sweet memories of the Islands. For tickets to all these events, try [email protected] and for more information, try fremontabbey.org.
STG presents “Starbucks 26th Annual Hot Java Cool Jazz” on March 31, 2023 at 7:30pm. Five of the top high school jazz bands in the state perform. Includes Bellevue High School, Bothell High School, Roosevelt High School, Garfield High School and Mt. Si High School. All profits go back to these high school jazz programs. At the Paramount Theatre on 911 Pine St. in downtown Seattle. Go to stgpresents.org for details.
Jack Straw Spring Artist Showcase takes place on Sat., April 12, 2023 from 1 – 5pm/ Performers include So’le Celestil, Kaley Lane Eaton, Lavon Hardison, Vibhuti Kavishwar and Paul Kikuchi with Stan Shikuma and Mako. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE 206-634-0919.
Congratulations to performing artist William Satake Blauvelt who nabbed a 2023 Artist Trust Fellowship of $10,000. Blauvelt is creative director of Aono Jikken, a Seattle ensemble who perform live soundtracks to Asian silent movies.
New York-based actress Alegra Batara has one of the leads as the character Marianne Dashwood in Kate Hamill’s adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, “Sense and Sensibility” as directed by Jes Spencer for Village Theatre. The large cast also includes Sunam Ellis, Josh Kenji, Richard Nguyen Sloniker, Michael Wu, Annie Yim and many others. March 17 – April 9, 2023 in Everett at the Everett Performing Arts Center at 2710 Wetmore Ave. For tickets, try [email protected] or call 425-392-2202.
“Michi Hirata North – Michi’s Piano Journey: From Age 9 to 91, Japan to the Pacific NW” is the title of a piano recital set for Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 3pm (PT). This Seattle pianist made her debut at age 9, performing in Japan for General McArthur after WWII. As a teenager she traveled to the US with a free scholarship to Juilliard and lived in the Midwest, Alaska and finally Washington State. He career included decades of touring, performing and teaching. In-between she raised a family with her husband. Now at 91, she will share her final piano concert with the NW Sinfonietta conducted by Christopher Chagnard. This is an in-person only event. Town Hall Seattle. The Great Hall. 1119 Eighth Ave. (Enter on Eighth Ave.).
Seattle Historical Theatre has a theatre piece dealing with the Japanese American incarceration during WWII from the perspective of young people in Seattle at two different venues. On Saturday, April 1, 2023 they present an abbreviated version of “Friends Across the Wires: An Original Play of Japanese American Incarceration”. Renton Branch of the King County Library System. Registration is required. 100 Mill Ave. S. in Renton. Call or email Vicki Heck to register at 425-255-0111 or try [email protected]. On Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 6:30pm they perform “Friends Across the Wires” again. For this event, registration is NOT required. At the Third Place Commons Space. 17171 Bothell Way NE in Lake Forest Park, WA.
On The Boards has announced their 2022-2023 season of performing arts on the cutting edge. On April 13-16, 2023, catch Christopher Morgan’s “Native Intelligence/Innate Intelligence’ which incorporates dance, Hawaiian chant & percussion, original compositions for cello and multimedia scenic design coverage in this examination of ancestry, home and belonging. On April 27 – May 7, 2023, choreographer/dancer Ayako Nakame presents “Freeway Dance”. In a garden installation, the dancer asks people to describe their first moment of dancing and reconstructs these movements with her own body. On May 18 – 21, 2023, Takahiro Yamamoto presents “NOTHINGBEING”, an investigation of ways to embody the presence of nothingness and being, holding spaces we could easily dismiss and considering possibilities for the unfiltered self. 100 W. Roy St. 206-217-9886 or go to ontheboards.org.
Seattle Opera has announced the line-up for their upcoming season. Some highlights include the following – Rame Lahaj and Duke Kim share the role of Alfredo in “La Traviata” set for May 6,7,10,13,14 & 19, 2023. Seattle Opera perfoms out of McCaw Hall at 321 Mercer St. 206-389-7676 or try [email protected].
The Seattle Symphony has released details of their 2022/2023 season. Some highlights include the following – This year’s guest conductor Sunny Xia will also be conducting a number of free “Community Concerts” with Seattle Symphony in 2023 – April 21 at 7pm – “Dear Humanity” at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, May 18, “The Merriman-Ross Family Young Composers Workshop” at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall and June 7 – “Side-by-Side Concert with Yakima Music en Accion at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall. February 16 and 18, virtuoso violinist Arabella Steinbacher performs Mendelssohn with Tianyi Lu conducting. March 23 and 25 brings conductor Yue Bao with Jan Vogler on cello in a concert entitled “Three Continents Cello Concert. March 30, April 1 and April 2, guest conductor Xian Zhang does “Carmina Burana”. Sunny Xia conducts “The Peasant Prince” as part of the April 1, 2023 “Family Concerts Series”. Based on the true story of Li Cunxin as recounted in the memoir, “Mao’s Last Dancer.” World-renowned violinist Midori does a recital on April 12. Sunny Xia conducts “Dances Around The World” as part of the “Family Concert Series” on June 10. Celebrate summer in a concert featuring a slack key guitarist from Hawai’i entitled “Hawaiian Summer Holiday with Makana” set for July 12, 2023. Visit seattlesymphony.org for complete information. Or call 206-215-4747.
The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Educational Touring Company’s Northwest Bookshelf will be touring the Pacific Northwest in the Spring of 2023. It will feature musical theater adaptations of “Alaska’s Three Pigs’, “A Normal Turtle”, “Sonya’s Chickens”, “Narwhal:Unicorn of the Sea” and “Super Narwhal & Jelly Jot”. It will tour schools and community centers across Washington State from February to May 2023. This season’s touring company has an ensemble cast featuring Keoni Dilay, Ays Garcia, Keola Kapulani Holt, Kawika Huston and swing Madison Willis. Directed by Jimmy Shields with music direction by Claire Marx. Recommended fro kindergarten to 5th grade. Visit https://www.5thavenue.org/education/schools/educational:touring-company/ to book a show. For more information on 5th Avenue Theatre, try www.5thavenue.org.
Tacoma Opera has on tap for their new season, “Tacoma Method”, the world premier opera on the 1885 expulsion of the Chinese in Tacoma with music by Gregory Youtz and a libretto by noted local poet Zhang Er. March 31 at 7pm, April 1 at 7pm and April 2 at 2pm, 2023 at the Rialto Theatre. 310 South 9th St. in Tacoma. 253-627-7789 or email [email protected].
“Bound” is a contemporary opera on the life of a Vietnamese refugee living in America. The story centers on the eleventh grade daughter of two Vietnamese immigrants who are divorced and how she must provide financially for the family while at the same time being sister and parents to her siblings and maintaining her studies. The libretto is by Bao-long Chu and the music is by Huang Rao. Desdemona Chiang directs with Ruo, in his Seattle debut, serving as conductor as well. The cast includes Karen Vuong, Nina Yoshida Nelsen and Daniel Klein. A Seattle Opera production set for June 9 – 18, 2023 at Tagney Jones Hall at the Opera Center. A special “teens only” performance is set for Friday, June 16, 2023 at 7:30PM. (PT). If you are interested in bringing a group to this event, email [email protected]. For regular tickets, call 206-389-7676 or email [email protected].
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].
A Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre and Zee Zee Theatre co-production in association with rice & beans theatre present the play “My Little Tomato” written by Rick Tae and co-directed by Derek Chan and Cameron Mackenzie. Dramaturgy by Joanna Garfinkel. In this surreal rom-com, a Chinese Canadian kindergarten teacher inherits his family’s farm and vows to continue it to honor his family name. Unlucky in personal relationships, he transfers his love to his tomatoes. On stage from March 9 – 19,2023. At The Cultch located at 1895 Venables St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-251-1361 or go to thecultch.com.
A new opera performed on Toronto’s waterfront entitled “Dragon’s Tale” gets its world premier June 15 – 18, 2023. Past and present converge as the story travels from the exile of a Chinese poet and politician in the Chu Kingdom to a Chinese Canadian daughter and her father in present-day Toronto who struggle to maintain their relationship. Composed by Chan Ka Nin and playwright and librettist Mark Brownell and directed by Tapestry Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Hidetoshi Mori. For details try, https:/tapestryopera.com/performances/dragons-tale/. Tickets go on sale soon. Harbourfront Centre Theatre at 231 Queens Quay W. in Toronto Ontario, Canada.
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.
Berkeley, California-based West Edge Opera has become an incubator of new contemporary opera. They will premiere “L’autre moi” by librettist Stephanie Fleischmann and composer Matthew Recio. The company also has a regular snapshot program set for March 18 & 19, 2023 at the Hillside Club in Berkeley. They will perform scenes from several new operas including “Port City” by composer Byron Au Yong and playwright Christopher Chen, an opera set in a post-pandemic, post-tech San Francisco, where neurological systems turn into memory maps. Conducted by Mary Chun. Another piece they’ll dip into is “When Purple Mountains Burn” by composer Shuying Li and librettist Julian Crouch which explores the terror of the Nanjing Massacre and how that horror damaged the lives of participant Shiro Azuma and in a later generation, the reporter Iris Chang. Go to https://www.westedgeopera.org.
Vietnamese American playwright Qui Nguyen’s play “Vietgone” was a rousing success a few years back about a Vietnamese family who left war-torn Saigon only to land in poverty in rural 1970’s Arkansas. At the time, the playwright said it was part of a trilogy. Now Nguyen is back with the second part entitled “Poor Yella Rednecks – Vietgone 2” with the same director who did the first play, Jaime Castaneda. In this story, the young couple are married and trying to survive in the impoverished South. March 30 – May 7, 2023. At the San Francisco ACT’s Strand Theater located at 1127 Market St. 415-749-2228 or email [email protected].
Los Angeles Opera has revealed their 2023-24 season. Composer Huang Rao and puppeteer Basil Twist reinterpret Chinese creation myths for the 21st century in “The Book of Mountains & Seas” set for April 10 – 14, 2024.
The New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus will present “A Concert for Sugihara” in commemoration of Japanese Vice-Consul to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, who saved thousands of Jewish refugees during WWII. This performance will mark the American premiere of Lera Auerbach’s “Symphony No. 6, Vessels of Light” which is dedicated to Sugihara as well as others who have risked their lives for others. Also on the program is “Guardian Angel” by Karen Tanaka. The New York City Opera Orchestra and Chorus and cello soloist Kristina Reiko Cooper will be led under the baton of Constantine Orbelian. Reiko Cooper has personal connections to Sugihara as her father-in-law was a recipient of a life-saving visa that was distributed by Sugihara. The concert is set for April 19, 2023 at 7pm at Carniege Hall. 57th St. & Seventh Ave. in New York City. For more information, call 646-981-1888 or email [email protected].
New Orleans Opera presents Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” March 24 at 7:30pm and March 26, 2023 at 2:30pm. The Opera stars Hiromi Omura and Bryan Hymel in the leads. Nina Yoshida Nelson, Weston Hart, Julius Ahn, Andre Chiagn and Hidenori Inoue round out the cast. Directed by Aria Umezawa with Judith Yan conducting the Louisiana Phiharmonic. The company stresses that their version will be a fresh interpretation of the story rejecting racial stereotypes inherent in the work. The ending will show how Butterfly determines her own destiny rather than being manipulated by others. There will be a number of programs and workshops in the community educating the public about the context in which the opera is based. At the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Arts at 1419 Basin St. For tickets, try [email protected].
Film & Media
The 18th Annual DisOrient Asian Film Festival based in Eugene, Oregon is now streaming through March 19, 2023. For details, go to https://disoreientfilm.org/2023-featival/.
At the closing program of the City of Seattle’s Race & Social Justice, a filmed presentation of “Reflections Dance Festival – Healing, Belonging and Unity” on Friday, March 24 at 6pm will be screened. This event is free and tickets are at an EventBrite link. Moonyeka, a transbinary Iloxano Filipinx “shapeshifter, witch, teaching artist, curator, scholar and interdisciplinary artist with a speciality in dance and harnessing their erotic power for communal enchantment, transformation and liberation for their community” will perform. Other festival artists include Akoiya Harris, Elise Beers and Naomi Bragin & Milvia Pacheco. “Reflections 2023” is the culminating program for the City of Seattle’s Race & Social Justice Initiative (RSJI). The Summit is free. Open to both in-person and virtual attendees. City of Seattle employees can attend on Thursday, March 23 at 4pm and community members can join a live stream on Friday, March 24 at 7:30pm. For more details, call 206-334-9833 or email [email protected].
“Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam” by Lijo Jose Pellissery tells the Kafka-like tale of a man (Mammootty) who wakes up from his slumber to find he’s turned into another man with a different family and different memories. Streaming on Netflix.
Bloom Li plays a short teen who challenges his rival to a dunking contest in the film, “Chang Can Dunk” by Jingyi Shao. Also stars Ben Wang, Zoe Renee, Mardy Ma and Dexter Darden. Streaming on the Disney Channel.
“Stonewalling” by the husband and wife team of Ryuji Otsuka and Ji Huang follows the day-to-day life struggles of a 20-year-old Chinese woman who tries to find her place in the world and how to survive. Yao Honggui stars as the woman. Now in theatres.
Jackson Yee and Shen Teng star in Director Yimou Zhang’s latest film “Full River Red” which has become one of the highest grossing films in China. It’s a film about war and intrigue derived from a 12th century general’s poem but kept light on its feet with a slapstick comedy flavor and a whodunit plot. Opens March 17, 2023 in North America. Distributed by Nu Vision Media and pr partner Beyond Events.
The last film by Japanese director Shohei Imamura entitled “Warm Water Under A Red Bridge” appears in a new digital restoration and screens at The Beacon on April 7, 2023. An unemployed salaryman comes to a remote fishing village following rumors of a hidden treasure but finds instead a charming and unusual woman with a unique problem. 4405 Rainier Ave. S. 206-420-SEAT or go to https://thebeconfilm or email [email protected].
Grand Illusion Cinema presents Ethan Eng’s “Therapy Dogs.” This is a 2022 feature film about two teenagers willing to push boundaries to leave their childhood behind. Filmed as the ultimate senior video in their search for answers. Director Eng was the youngest person to ever present work at the Slamdance Showcase and won the Russo Brothers AGBO Fellowship Award at the Festival. Screens March 11–16, 2023. Grand Illusion Cinema at 1403 NE 50th in Seattle’s University District. 206-523-3935 or try grandillusioncinema.org.
Northwest Film Forum has the following films on tap. The Northwest premiere of “A Letter to A’ma” screens one night only (in-person) on Wed., March 29 at 7pm. This film by Taiwanese art teacher/filmmaker Hui-Ling has her returning to her childhood home to mourn the passing of her grandmother. As she pieces together the fragmented memories of her youth, she finds herself coming face-to-face with the problematic issue of her country’s fractured history. The Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle & the Taiwan Studies Arts & Culture Program at UW co-sponsor a post-screening Q&A with the director in attendance. Hong Sangsoo is one of South Korea’s most respected film directors. His ninth film “Walk Up” screens (in-person only) April 5 – 9, 2023. The film tells the story of a film director who goes with his daughter who is an aspiring interior designer to visit a building owned by an old friend. They get a tour of the building and along the way, the film director gets to know the residents of every floor. Northwest Film Forum is located at 1515 12th Ave. on upper Capitol Hill. 206-329-2629.
“Return To Seoul” is a Sony Pictures Classics release set to hit theatres on February 17, 2023. Cambodian-French director Davey Chou tells the story of a young French woman adoptee who finds herself while on vacation, spontaneously trying to track down her birth parents. This unpredictable narrative unspools over the course of several years as the film creates a probing psychological portrait of the lead character whose feelings of unbelonging have kept her at an emotional distance from nearly everyone in her life. Set to open at SIFF Uptown on March 17, 2023. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. Go to siff.net for details.
SIFF has the following events on their film program. Hanah Baek has curated a new series entitled “South Korean Cinema – An Unconventional Crash Course” which screens April 5 – May 3, 2023 at SIFF Film Center 7 – 9pm (PT) or via Zoom webinar. Films to be discussed and screened include “Parasite”, “”Take Care of My Cat”, “March of Fools”, “Habitual Sadness”, “Kim Ji-young, Born 1982”, Kaidu Club selected shorts, “Oldboy”, “Microhabitat”, “Lucky Chan-sil”,”Empty Dream”, “Declaration of Idiot”, & “The Good, The Bad and The Weird”. In conjunction with the series, SIFF Uptown will also present four Korean cinema classics. Screenings for these will be announced soon. A series pass for this series is available. Early warning – The 49th Seattle International Film Festival screens all over the Puget Sound from May 11 – 21. Passes and ticket packs are on sale now. In a sneak peek preview to the upcoming film festival, SIFF has announced that they will be screening one of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpieces on Sat., May 13. They will show “Seven Samurai”. This special screening is dedicated to the memory of long time SIFF film programmer Ruth Hayler. SIFF Uptown is at 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. SIFF Film Center is at 305 Harrison St. in Seattle Center. 206-464-5830. Go to siff.net for details.
Seattle-based NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) returns for its 16th edition with 25 screenings showcasing over 200 short films from the next generation of filmmakers. Screens in-person at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle April 27 – 30, 2023 and continues online through May 7 with a combination of recordings from live events and on-demand shorts packages. Passes are available for in-person as well as virtual. A number of Asian American filmmakers will be showing their films including works by Wendy Lu, Natalie Tran & Cindy Zhi, Joy Xing, Emily Kim, Josh Leong, Hrishi Bardhan, Christina Xing and Jamie Lam. For details, try nffty.org.
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 – Director Wen Shipei’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” is his feature film debut. A repairman in his van hits a pedestrian and flees in panic. Later to escape his feeling of guilt, he approaches the widow and strikes up a relationship. A detective and a shadowy killer zero in on the man and things get complicated as he falls into a tangled web of memories and lies. Naomi Kawase’s “Still The Water” is a lyrical coming-of-age film about teenage friends on a subtropical Japanese island who discover a dead body floating in the sea. Through this mysterious discovery, the teenagers will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death ad love. Nominated for a Cannes Palme D’or, this film gets its North American debut on VOD & Digital in March. The exclusive North American premiere of Zhang Lu’s “Yanagawa” opens during February, 2023. It’s the latest film from this celebrated Chinese-Korean director. It stars NiNi (“The War Flowers”) and Sosuke Ikematsu (“Shoplifters”). The story revolves around two estranged Beijing brothers who travel together to Japan to seek out the woman they both loved in their youth. In Chinese with English subtitles. For details, email [email protected].
MUBI presents the following – 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. Kin Yong-hoon’s 2020 film “Beasts Clawing At Straws” is a coming-of-age comedy/thriller starring Youn Yuh-jung in a dog-eat-dog tale that mixes social satire with devilish genre pleasures. Omar Mullick’s 2012 documentary film “These Birds Walk” is a compassionate portrait of childhood in Pakistan among its runaways and orphans. Makoto Nagahisa’s 2019 feature film “We Are Little Zombies” tells the story of four adolescent orphans who find a way through music to express their emotions and deal with societal pressures only to crash and burn as they are exploited. This dark comedy is full of an array of audiovisual techniques that enliven the mood. Kit Zauher’s 2021 debut film “Actual People” zeroes in on an Asian American student’s premature case of post graduate drift, as she brings a certain charm to the proceedings with her wry and perceptive first film.
Hawai’i-based filmmaker Robin Lung’s latest short film “Nancy Bannick: Saving Honolulu’s Chinatown” has been chosen for Hawaiian Airlines in-flight program. In addition, her earlier film “Finding KUKAN” is streaming on Kanopy and is available to rent on VIMEO.
The Written & Spoken Arts
“Seattle Reads”, the Seattle Public Library’s city-wide book group celebrates its 25th anniversary this year by choosing Julie Otsuka’s novel “The Swimmers” as the Seattle Reads selection for 2023. Otsuka visits Seattle to participate in “Seattle Reads” events around the city on May 19 & 20th.She is the only author to be picked twice as her debut “When the Emperor Was Divine” was selected back in 2005. The story in “The Swimmers” revolves around a woman who is slowly losing her memory, swept into recalling her childhood spent in a Japanese American incarceration camp. The woman’s estranged daughter re-enters the woman’s life too late, only to witness her devastating decline. Print, e-book and e-audio book copies of this book are available in the Library’s catalog. Starting March 24, 2023, you can find copies of this book at the Frye Art Museum and other community partner locations. As we get closer to the event, you will also find a discussion guide at www.spl.org/SeattleReads.
Town Hall Seattle has the following events. On Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 5pm (PT) in-person only is a “Gala: Pass the Mic Celebration of Town Hall” with a $25 ticket with all profits going to benefit Town Hall followed by an event entitled “You Will Find Your People” which brings comic Lane Moore and topical Seattle writers Angela Garbes and Lindy West to the stage at 8:30pm (PT). Lixing Sun is the author of “The Liars of Nature and The Nature of Liars: Cheating And Deception in the Living World”. For his talk, he will address the topic of “A Natural History of Cheating” in this in-person only event set for Wed., April 5, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT). This event set for the Wyncote NW Forun at 119-8th Ave. (off Seneca St.). Next up are a series of science talks presented by Town Hall Seattle and UW Engage Science. All take place at the Wyncote NW Forum at 119 – 8th Ave. (off Seneca) and in-person only. On Wed., May 3, 2023 at 5:30pm (PT), will be Risa Takenaka, Lucy Bowser and Elizabeth Bonner. Takenaka addresses “What fluorescent fruit flies can teach us about DNA packaging.” Bowser talks about “Using fisheries to improve global marine life protection.” Bonner addreses “Blood cancer – how good blood goes bad with age.” The science series continues on Wed., May 10, 2023 at 5:30pm (PT). Kaylin Elliott addresses “Understanding the make-up of marijuana to better treat chronic pain.” Samantha Borje talks about “Using designer DNA to detect illnesses.” Finally Sonya Jampel speaks on “Public Health prevention of air pollution exposure.” The science series concludes on Monday, May 15, 2023 at 5:30pm. Rory McGuire addresses “Automating science by putting the lab on a chip.” Keenan Ganz talks about “Predicting where the next wild fire will burn.” And finally Rasika Venkatarawan addresses “How understanding the environment of cancer can help us treat it.” Novelist R.F. Kuang talks about her new book “Yellowface” with Seattle writer Anne Liu Kellor on Sunday, May 21 at 7:30pm (PT) in this in-person only event. The book is about two Yale students who are about to make their literary debuts. One is white and one is Chinese American. When the Chinese American woman dies in a freak accident, the white woman makes the sudden decision to steal her manuscript and passes it off as her own and even takes an Asian name complete with an ethnic author photo. At the Wyncote NW Forum. 1119 – 8th Ave. (Entrance off Seneca). Masks are required. A $35 ticket includes a copy of the book.
Mukai Farm & Garden conducts their annual Haiku Festival. Prizes offered in the categories of “nature”, “social justice”, “heritage”,, “reflections and “young poets”. Submit through March 31, 2023 at mukaifarmandgarden.org. Winners will be announced in May of 2023.
Northwest authors Ching-In Chen and Sudeshna Sen are just two of the many writers who have short stories in the Seattle Public Library’s short story dispenser that prints free short stories on demand. Next time you’re at the Seattle Central Library downtown (1000 Fourth Ave.) or waiting in line at The Station coffee house near Seattle’s Beacon Hill Library branch, download a story to read. The short story dispensers are the only ones located in the state by Short Edition. The company has more than 300 dispensers installed around the world in unexpected places. Writers can submit stories for consideration at https:/short-edition.com/en. The library has plans to circulate its dispensers to other branches around town later this year.
Hugo House, a Seattle-based literary center that offers readings and writing classes offers a full slate of Fall & Winter writing classes for all levels. Some highlights –Hugo House writers-in-residence are available for appointments starting Sept. 19, 2022. This year’s writers are Ching-In Chen and Joyce Chen. 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.
Chicago poet Charif Shanahan reads from his new poetry book “Trace Evidence” on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 7pm at the bookstore with fellow local poets Luther Hughes and Jane Wong. Esther Yi’s debut novel “Y/N” tells the story of a Korean woman in Germany obsessed with a Korean pop singer, so much so that she travels to Korean to meet her idol. But fantasy and reality do not always converge. This reading at the bookstore takes place on Wed., March 29, 2023 at 7pm. Singapore fiction writer Rachel Heng returns to Seattle’s EBBC to read from her new novel entitled “The Great Reclamation” on March 31, 2023 at 7pm. This book is a love story and coming-of-age novel. It deals with British occupation, the WWII Japanese occupation of Malaysia and the pursuit of modernity that confronts the wounds of progress and the sacrifices of love. Portland-based choreographer/author Takahiro Yamamoto appears on behalf of his recently published book entitled “NOTHING Being” on April 3 at 7pm. He will appear in his performance piece also entitled “NOTHING Being” on May 18 – 21, 2023, at On The Boards (Go to ontheboards.org for details). On April 10, 2023 at 7pm, highly regarded local poet Quenton Baker celebrates with a reading from his new book entitled “ballast” about an 1841 slave revolt. He is joined by fellow poets Anastacia-Renee and Jane Wong. Angela Tucker talks about her new book entitled “You Should Be Grateful – Stories of Race, Identity, and Transracial Adoption” (Beacon) with journalist Marcus Harrison Green on April 20, 2023 at 7pm. Nicole Chung talks to Angela Garbes about her new memoir entitled “A Little Remedy” on April 19, 2023 at 7pm at Seattle Central Public Library’s Microsoft Auditorium downtown in a co-sponsored Elliott Bay event. In this book, she explores the enduring strength of family bonds in the face of hardship and tragedy by looking at the fading years of her adoptive parents and their hardscrabble lives locked under an unjust system. Registration required. 1000 Fourth Ave. in downtown Seattle. 206-386-4636 or try spl.org. On Thursday, April 20 at 7pm (PT). Seattle poet Koon Woon joins a whole host of local literary talent in a group reading to celebrate a new Raven Chronicles anthology entitled “This Light Called Darkness” set for Monday April 29, 2023 at 7pm. On Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at 7pm, Chenxing Han talks with Jane Wong about her memoir entitled “One Long Listening – A Memoir of Grief, Friendship, and Spiritual Care” (North Atlantic). 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. A book signing and Q&A follows each reading.
Romance author Suzanne Park reads from “The Do-Over”, a story of a best-selling author who must return to college being a few credits shy of completing a degree. Here she finds her old college boyfriend is her TA. On April 4, 2023 at 7pm at the Seward Park branch. Ocean Vuong, beloved MacArthur Fellow reads from his latest book of poetry mourning the loss of his mother entitled “Time Is A Mother”. Set for Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 7pm at the Lake Forest Park location. 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.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has unveiled their new fall season. Visionary novelist Ruth Ozeki returns to Seattle to speak in-person and online on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT) about her most recent novel “The Book of Form and Emptiness”. Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast pop group fame and author of the best-selling memoir “Crying in H Mart” engages in conversation on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 7:30pm (PT). Noted travel writer Pico Iyer appears in person and online on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 to talk about his latest book, “The Half Known Life” with Ruchika Tulshyan. All at Town Hall Seattle’s Great Hall at 1119 Eighth Ave. (Enter on Eighth Avenue). For details on these events, try sal.lectures.org or call 206-621-2230.
Congratulations to former Seattlite and former IE graphic art contributor Jesse Reyes for nabbing a Silver Book Design Award in the Adult Trade Book Category for his evocative cover art for Peter Bacho’s “Uncle Rico’s Encore: Mostly True Stories of Filipino Seattle” (UW Press).
Prominent Asian Americans featured in the Spring 2023 issue of University of Washington Magazine include Filipino American writer Peter Bacho, Japanese American young adult author Ken Mochizuki and Vietnamese American inventor (“Nut Pods” plant-based creamer)-CEO-Mompreneur Madeline Haydon. Congratulations to all for your achievements!
Congratulations to writers Jordan Alam and Jen Soriano who both received $10,000 each as part of an Artist Trust Fellowship in the Literary Arts category.
Eastwind Books in Berkeley has one of the extensive collections of books by Asian American authors and new books on Asia in the country. They also have a full calendar of readings and events. Nguyen Phan Que Mai talks about her new novel “Dust Child” with graphic novelist Thi Bui on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 6pm at OACC (Oakland Asian Cultural Center) at 388 9th St. #290. 310-637-0455. On Suday, April 2, 2023 at 2m (PT), Martin Yan hosts a conversation with Cheuk Kwan about his new book “Have You Eaten Yet? – Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World”. Includes a surprise cooking demonstration with Chef Martin Yan. This event also at OACC. The brick and mortar existence of East Wind Books at 2066 University Ave. in Berkeley,CA. will be no more come April 2023. All operations will go online after that. 510-548-2350 or try asiabookcenter.com or email [email protected].
Since 1996, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has recognized and celebrated the best fiction by women writers around the world. Novelist and playwright Kaate Mosse founded the UK-based award to champion women in the male-dominated award scene. The 2022 winner was Ruth Ozeki for her novel “The Book of Form and Emptiness.” Other Asian American and Asian authors who received nominations included Parini Shroff for “The Bandit Queens”, Cecile Pin for “Wandering Souls” and Sheena Patel for “I’m A Fan”.
The second season of digital comic “HOUSE OF SLAY” webcomic from EEP Universe is based on fashion designers Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung and friends. Catch it on Tapas and WEBTOON.
The Carol Shields Prize For Fiction is a major new literary prize for women and non-binary writers has announced their long list of 15 Canadian and US authors for consideration. Asian North American writers on the list include Fatimah Asghar, Lisa Hsiao Chen, Gish Jen, Talia Lakshmi Kolluri and Tsering Yangzom Lama. The winner and four finalists receive cash prizes. A shortlist of 5 finalists will be announced April 6 and the winner will be announced at a live-streamed event on May 4, 2023.
The University of Washington Press is seeking writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. UW Press editors are eager to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. Contact them via email of set up a meeting by phone or Zoom. Executive Editor is Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“Dear Chrysanthemums – A Novel In Stories” (Scribner) by Fiona Sze-Lorrain. Set for May 2023 release. Stories of deeply compelling Asian women who reckon with past violence and exile – set in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Paris and New York. All in all, the book paints a devastating portrait of diasporic life and inhumanity, as well as a tender web of shared memory, artistic experience and love.
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“The Sorrows of Others – Stories” (A Public Space Books) by Ada Zhang. This collection set for May 2023 release presents ten stories about lives, young and old, in China and America. The author explores interior landscapes of estrangement, loneliness, loss and the definition of home.
“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.
“Chlorine” (William Morrow) is a novel by Jade Song. This debut novel blues the line between a literary coming-of-age narrative and a dark unsettling horror tale, told from an adult perspective on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a society that puts pressure on young women and their bodies. A story of immigration, sapphic longing and fierce, defiant becoming.
“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.
“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.
“When You Wish Upon A Lantern” (Viking) by Gloria Chao. A luminous romance about two teens who are devoted to granting other people’s wishes but are too afraid to let themselves have their won hearts’ desires —each other.
“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?
“A Splendid Land – Paintings from Royal Udaipur” (Hirmer) by Debra Diamond and Dipti Khera is the exhibition catalog that accompanies a major exhibition presented at the National Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Around 1700, artists in the Northern area of India known as Udaipur began creating large, immersive paintings to convey the mood of the city’s palaces, lakes, and mountains. This book explores how painters depicted places, mapped terrains, celebrated water resources, and triggered memories to foster political and personal attachments to land.
“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.
“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.
(the Chinese character for ‘retrun’/Return” (Nightboat Books) by Emily Lee Luan is engaged in the act of looking back – toward an imagined homeland and a childhood of suburban longing, through migratory passages, departures, and etymologies, and into the various holes and voids that appear in the telling and retelling of history. The poems ask essential questions like “What is feeling?”, “What is Melancholy?”, and “Can language translate either?”
“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.
“Burning Like Her Own Planet” (Alice James) by Vandana Khanna. Against a backdrop of iconic, ancient Hindu texts, this book reimagines the lives of Hindu goddesses through a contemporary feminist lens. Told in a series of persona poems and dramatic monologues, the book reinvents these myths into essential stories of love, betrayal, and faith. Set for April 2023 release.
“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.
“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”.
“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.
“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.
“Decade Of The Brain – Poems” (Alice James Books) by Janine Joseph. Set for January 17, 2023 release. In a deeply personal book, Joseph writes of a newly-naturalized citizen who suffers from post-concussive memory loss after a major accident and the odyssey of what it means to recover both mentally and physically.
“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.
“The Bear and the Little Green Thing” (Berbay Publishing) by written and illustrated by Diandian. This beautifully illustrated book with sparse text reveals the intimate connection and friendship that develops between a large bear and a sapling and their journey through nature.
“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.
“Novelist as a Vocation” (Knopf) by Haruki Murakami. In this book, the writer shares with readers his thoughts on the role of the novel in our society; his own origins as a writer; and his musings on the sparks of creativity that inspire other writers, artists, and musicians.
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.
“She Sang For India – How M. S. Subbulaksmi Used Her Voice for Change” (FSG) by Suma Subramaniam and illustrated by Shreya Gupta. This picture book tells the story of a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations. In early 1900s India, women were not allowed to perform for the public yet she found a way. Her fascinating odyssey tells the story of a woman who changed the world.
“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.
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.
“Koreatown, Los Angeles – Immigration, Race, and the ‘American Dream’” (Stanford University Press) by Shelly Sang-Hee Lee. This book tells the story of an American ethnic community often equated with socioeconomic achievement and assimilation, but whose experiences as racial minorities and immigrant outsiders illuminate key economic and cultural developments in the United States since 1965.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Afterparties” (Ecco) – Stories by Anthony Veasna So was the debut short story collection about Cambodian American life that offered insight into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communities. It garnered much praise upon publication even after the author’s untimely death before its publication. Now this summer, it will make its paperback edition debut.
“Fairest” (Penguin) by Meredith Talusan. This book tells the story of a precocious boy with albinism raised in a rural Philippine village who would grow up to become a woman in America. Perceived as white in the U.S., Talusan would go on to Harvard but required a navigation through complex spheres of race, class and sexuality until she found her own place within the gay community.
“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.
“Woman Running in The Mountains” (NYRB) by Yuko Tsushima with an introduction by Lauren Groff as translated by Geraldine Harcourt. A young single mother seeks refuge in the company of other women, then ventures beyond the city into the countryside towards a mountain that captures her imagination and desire for a wilder freedom.
“Tokyo Dreaming” (Flatiron) by Emiko Jean is the sequel to “Tokyo Ever After” in which a common Japanese American family learn their connection to Japanese royalty and a teenage girl becomes a princess. But just as her parents are about to be married, the Imperial Household questions their pedigree. What can she do if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own path and the failure to follow her own heart.
“Racist Love – Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy” (Duke) by Leslie Bow. The author traces the ways in which Asian Americans become objects of anxiety and desire. Conceptualizing these feelings as “racist love”, she explores how race is abstracted and then projected onto Asianized objects.
“Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight” (Bitter Lemon) by Riku Onda as translated by Alison Watts. Set in Tokyo over the course of one night, a couple meets for one last time before breaking up. Their relationship broken down by the death of their guide on a mountain trek, each believes the other to be a murderer.
“All the Flowers Kneeling” (Penguin) by Paul Tran. Visceral and astonishing, this debut book of poetry investigates intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and US imperialism in order to radically alter our understanding of freedom, power and control.
“Peasprout Chen – Battle of Champions” (Henry Holt) by Henry Lien. Now in her second year at Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout Chen tries to reclaim her place as champion of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful sport of martial arts figure skating. But Peasprout faces a surprising threat. As Peasprout guides her mission to save a kingdom, she must learn what it truly means to be a leader.
“Vulgar Beauty – Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium” (Duke) by Mila Zuo. In this book, Zuo offers a new theorization of cinematic feminine beauty by showing how mediated encounters with Chinese film and popular culture start to produce a feeling of Chineseness.
“Disorientation” (Penguin Press) by Elaine Hsieh Chou tells the unforgettable story of a Chinese American grad student trying to finish a dissertation on a late canonical Chinese poet and be done with the cultural thing. A curious note in the archives leads to an explosive discovery that sets off a rollercoaster of mishaps and mis-adventures. A blistering send-up of privilege and power in America.
“All About Vietnam – Projects & Activities for kids” (Tuttle) by Phuoc Thi Minh Tran as illustrated by Dong Nguyen & Hop Thi Nguyen, In this lavishly detailed picture book, children will get an inside look at Vietnam’s vibrant culture, while learning through fun, hands-on games, songs, and activities. This multicultural children’s book is a great fit for story time at home or in a classroom.
“Climate Lyricism” (Duke) by Min Hyoung Song looks at how climate change affects the work of American authors as varied as Frank O’Hara, Tonny Pico, Sholmaz Sharif, Kazuo Ishigoro and others. This is a powerfully argued case for literature and poetry as a way of cultivating sustained attention to climate change in this tumultuous time.
“Birds of Paradise Lost” (Red Hen Press) by Andrew Lam is a collection of short stories that looks at what happened to the “Boat People” who escaped after the fall of Saigon.
“My Mechanical Romance” (Holiday House) by Alexene Farol Follmuth. When Bel accidentally reveals her talent for engineering, she finds herself a loner in her school’s legendary robotics club. Fortunately, Mateo who is captain of the club recognizes Bel as a potential asset. As competition heats up for national competition, the two form a closer relationship. This YA novel explores the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with wit and honesty.
“Love Decoded” (Razorbill) by Jennifer Yen. A young adult novel about a teenage girl creates a friend-making app to earn a shot to represent her school and the chance at a prestigious tech internship. Trouble is, the app becomes a major scandal and ends up hurting her friends. How can she salvage her friendships?
“When I’m Gone, Look For Me In The East” (Pantheon) by Quan Barry. From the acclaimed author of “We Ride Upon Sticks” comes her new novel that moves across a windswept Mongolia, as estranged twin brothers make a journey of duty, conflict, and renewed understanding. Are our lives our own, or do we belong to something larger? This novel is an examination of our individual struggle to retain our convictions and discover meaning in a fast-changing world, as well as a meditation on accepting simply what is.
“And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight” (Wave) by Lynn Xu. This book-length poem is epic yet intimate and in various shades of design that unrolls itself across the page s it spreads its words like seeds in the wind. Part protest against reality, part metaphysical reckoning, part international for the world-historical surrealist insurgency and part arte povera for the wretched of the earth.
“Tokyo Dreaming” (Flatiron Books) by Emiko Jean is a sequel to the bestseller “Tokyo Ever After”. When Japanese American teenager Izumi Tanaka learns that her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she goes to Tokyo to finally find a place she belongs. When it appears that she will have a royal wedding and marry her bodyguard turned boyfriend, things turn awry. Her parents are breaking up, the Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage and her boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. Will Izumi pull it all together.
“Peach Blossom Spring” (Little, Brown) by Melissa Fu. It is 1938 in China, and Meilin, a young wife, has a bright future. But when the Japanese army approaches, Meilin and her four-year old son, Renshu are forced to flee their home. Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter, Lily, is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. Spanning continents and generations, this book is a look at the history of China, told through the journey of one family.
“CURB” (Nightboat) by Divya Victor won the 2022 Pen Open Book Award. These poems document how immigrants and Americans navigate the liminal sites of everyday living undergirded by violence. It bears witness to immigrant survival, familial bonds, and interracial parenting within the context of nationalist and white-supremicist violence against South Asians.
“The Verifiers” (Vintage) is a novel by Jane Pek. Claudia Lin is an amateur sleuth who verifies people’s online lives and lies for a dating detective agency in New York. Things go smoothly until a client with an unusual request goes missing. She breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery and part family story, this novel offers an incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.
“Set On You” (Berkley) by Amy Lea is a romance novel that follows the life of a fitness instructor who after a recent break-up takes solace in the gym, her place of power and positivity. That calm turns competitive when a firefighter enters the gym and the two begin to spar.
“Red Thread Of Fate” (Berkley) by Lyn Liao Butler is a story of loss and recovery and a powerful message about the ties of family. After the tragic death of her husband and cousin on the eve of their adoption of a son from China, things get complicated. Tam Kwan finds herself a widow and sudden mother. She is named the guardian of the cousin’s five- year-old daughter without her knowledge. Now, Tam must decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage.
“Sunday Funday in Koreatown” (Holiday House) written and illustrated by Aram Kim. Yoomi has big plans for her day – make kimbap for breakfast, wear her favorite shirt, get her favorite books from the library and visit Grandma with her dad. But nothing goes right. This charming picture book shows how even when things don’t turn out the way you want to, the day can be rewarding. This is a story of resilience, family, and Korean culture.
“The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void” (Nightboat) by Jackie Wang. Although dreams, in psychoanalytic discourse, have been conceptualized as a window into the unsconscious, Wang’s poetry emphasizes the social dimensions of dreams, particularly the use of dreams to index historical trauma and social processes.
“Search History” (Coffee House Press) is a novel by Eugene Lim. Frank is dead—or is he? While eavesdropping on two women discussing a dog-sitting gig over lunch, a bereft friend comes to a shocking realization: Frank has been reincarnated as a dog! This epiphany launches a series of adventures—interlaced with digressions about AI-generated fiction, virtual reality, Asian American identity in the arts, and lost parents—as an unlikely cast of accomplices and enemies pursues the mysterious canine.
“A Magic Steeped In Poison” (Feiwei & Friends) by Judy I. Lin. When Ning realizes it was she who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her mother and now threatens to take away her sister too, she is beside herself. But she takes on the challenge to find the kingdom’s true masters of the magical art of tea-making for the princess will grant a favor to the winner. A favor she hopes will save her sister.
“The Trees Witness Everything” (Copper Canyon Press) by Victoria Chang. This latest book of poetry by Chang balances the Japanese traditional from of tankas to grab at the core of the world. Largely insipid by the poet W.S. Merwin, she explores the self and how it abuts nature, often running through that boundary entirely.
“Aerial Concave Without Cloud” (Nightboat) by Sueyeun Juliette Lee. This is a collection steeped in the bluest apocalypse light of solar collapse and the pale, ghostly light of personal devastation.nr Lee channels and interprets the language of starlight through her body into poetic form.
“Hana Hsu And The Ghost Crab Nation” (Razorbill) by Sylvia Liu. Desperate to figure out what’s going on, Hana and her friends find themselves spying on one of the most powerful corporations in the country – and the answers about the mystery could be closer to home than Hana’s willing to accept. Will she be able to save her friends – and herself – from a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows?
“Cadenzas” (Redbat Books) by Alex Kuo. This is a unique, double-sided work of fiction that narrates a conversation between music and languge, with walkins by Dorothy Parker, Dante, Edith Sitwell, J.S. Bach, Qiu Jin, Dmitri Shostakovich and June Jordan. It is Alex Kuo’s accumulation of more than eighty years of living, listening, and writing on several continents and breathing in the cadences of several languages, including three Chinese dialects.
“Loveboat Reunion” (Harper Teen) by Abigail Hing Wen. A couple teenagers emerge from a tumultuous past in which hearts were broken and revenge was plotted but all is forgiven as they become friends Determined to forge a future, Sophia has college plans and Xavier plays the waiting game, hoping to dodge his overbearing father long enough to collect his trust fund when he turns eighteen. But obstacles are in their way, can they succeed together or are they destined to combust? Find out in this young adult romance novel.
“Two at the Top: A Shared Dream of Everest” (Groundwood) by Uma Krishnaswami as illustrated by Christopher Corr. In this colorfully illustrated picture book, the author lets the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and mountain climber Edmund Hillary both tell their story as they ascend Mt. Everest.
“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.
“This Jade World” (University of Nebraska Press) by Ira Sukrungruang , Thai American poet and writer, chronicles a year of mishap, exploration, experimentation, self-discovery, and eventually, healing. It questions the very nature of love and heartbreak, uncovering the vulnerability of being human.
“Personal Attention Roleplay” (Metonymy Press) – Stories by Helen Chau Bradley. A young gymnast crushes on an older, more talented teammate while contending with an overworked mother. A newly-queer twenty-something juggles two intimate relationships. A codependent listicle writer becomes obsessed with a Japanese ASMR channel. A queer metal band’s summer tour unravels in the summer heat. These tales offer portrayals of awkward interactions and isolations of a generation, community and culture.
“Pure Invention – How Japan Made The Modern World” (Crown) by Matt Alt. Japan is the forge of the world’s fantasies: karaoke and the Walkman, manga and anime, Pac-Man, online imageboards and emojis. But in this book, a Japan media reporter proves in his investigation, these novelties did more than entertain, they paved the way for our perplexing modern lives.
“ABC Of Feelings”(Philomel) written and illustrated by Bonnie Lui. This picture book is a journey through the alphabet that shows kids it’s perfectly okay to feel many different things, sometimes all at once. The perfect read-aloud for little ones learning all about feelings and their ABC’s.
“Beasts Of A Little Land” (Ecco) is a novel by Juhea Kim. It is an epic story of love, war, and redemption set again the backdrop of the Korean independence movement. From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in Pyongyang to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul and the boreal forests of Manchuria, where battles rage, Juhea Kim’s unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation’s.
First published in 1937, Genzaburo Yoshino’s “How Do You Live?” (Algonquin) has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers and a favorite of Academy Award-winning anime director Hayao Miyazaki who will base his final film on the book. With a foreword by Neil Gaiman and translated by Bruno Navasky, the story involves a young boy who loses his father at the age of fifteen and the journal entries he receives from his uncle about life’s big questions.
“Goodbye, again – essays, reflections, and illustrations” (Harper Perennial) by Jonny Sun. The author of “everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too” returns with this offering of meditative essays, short humor pieces and memorable one-liners covering topics such as loneliness and burnout, advice on caring for dying houseplants, and a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry.
“Faultlines” (Custom House) by Emily Itani. A bittersweet love story of a bored Japanese housewife in a dilemma who must make choices and a piercing portrait of female identity.
“Outside Voices, Please” (Cleveland University Press) is a new book of poetry by Valerie Hsiung due out October 5, 2021. “Hsiung orchestrates a symphony of voices, past, present, and prescient: time (and with it, history) compresses and expands, yielding long poetry sequences reminiscent of Myung Mi Kim’s sonic terrains and C.D. Wright’s documentary poetics.” – Diana Khoi Nguyen
“Heaven” (Europa Editions) by Mieko Kawakmi. From the best-selling author of “Breasts And Eggs”, a striking exploration of working women’s daily lives in Japan comes a new story of the experience of a teenage boy who is tormented by his schoolmates. It explores the meaning and experience of violence and the consolations of friendship. Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd.
“Alma Presses Play” (Make Me A World) by Tina Cane. Alma is a half-Chinese and half-Jewish teenage girl going through changes with her Walkman on most of the time. Friends move away, love comes and goes and her parents divorce. In this world of confusing beginnings, middles, and endings, is Alma ready to press play on the soundtrack of her life?
“Japanese Dress in Detail (Thames & Hudson/Victoria & Albert Museum) by Josephine Rout is the catalog for an exhibition held in Britain in 2020. It brings together more than 100 items of clothing and reveals the intricacies of Japanese dress from the 18th century to the present and includes garments for women, men and children. The details have been selected for their exquisite beauty and craftsmanship and for how much they impart about the wearer’s identity.
A Way of Looking” (Silverfish Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng. Winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Book Award. Zheng, shaped by the Cultural Revolution in China somehow ended up in Mississippi and fell in love with the blues and in this book, he takes the haiga Japanese literary form (one prose journal entry followed by the echo of a haiku poem to end it) and plants it in the deep south. autumn night/a freight train chugging/across the Yazoo.
“XOXO” (Harper Teen) by Axie Oh. A teenage romance that blossoms in L.A. and re-ignites in Seoul. A Korean American girl meets a Korean guy on his last day in the city of angels and sparks fly. But she forgets about him when he flies off to Seoul. But when the girl and her mother fly to Seoul to take care of an ailing grandmother, guess who she discovers is in her class. But he is not an ordinary guy, he’s in one of the most popular K-pop bands in the land. And in K-pop, dating is strictly forbidden. Read the book if you want to find out how this complex relationship turns out.
“Head – Hoard” (University of Chicago Press) by Atsuro Riley. Winner of the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, juror Julie Carr had this to say about Riley’s new book – “A landscape charged with the bright light of discernment, where emotions are stirred by rhythmic torsion and sonic density.”
“Amira’s Picture Day” (Holiday House) by Reem Faruqi and illustrated by Fahmida Azim. A joyful and sensitive look at the Muslim holiday of Eid as seen through the eyes of a young girl who loves to celebrate but feels conflicted because her school class photo shoot happens the same day.
“Colorful” (Counterpoint) by Eto Mori. Translated from the Japanese by Jocelyne Allen. This popular novel in Japan finally finds its way to the U.S. in this English translation. A young adult tale of death, mental health and what it means to truly live. When a formless soul is given a second chance to return to earth and inhabit the body of a fourteen-year-old boy who has just committed suicide, things get complicated.
Now it’s becoming more common for foreign players to break into U.S. professional baseball but “MASHI – The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams Of Masunori Murakami, The First Japanese Major Leaguer” (Nebraska) by Robert K. Fitts takes us back to 1964 and tells the story of Japan’s first major leaguer in America. A baseball pioneer’s tale.
“The Alpactory – Ready, Pack, Go!” (Harper) written and illustrated (charmingly, I might add) by Ruth Chan. Most kids when embarking on a trip have trouble deciding what and how to pack. Let an alpaca with unusual packing skills be your guide as you contemplate your next journey.
“In The Watchful City” (Tor Dot Com) by S. Qiouyi Lu. Anima is an extrasensory human with the task of surveilling and protecting the city. But what happens when a mysterious outsider enters this world with curiosities from around the world? A multifaceted story of borders, power, diaspora and transformation.
“City of Illusion” (Viking Graphic) is the graphic novel follow-up to Victoria Ying’s “City of Secrets”. In this sequel our child heroes Hannah and Ever live with the Morgan family in peace until Mr. Morgan is kidnapped. The kids get in a spat with street magicians but the two must learn to work together if the mystery of the missing is ever solved.
“Silent Parade – A Detective Galileo Novel” (Minotaur) by Keigo Higashino. Detective Galileo, the author’s best-loved character from “The Devotion of Suspect X” returns in a complex and challenging mystery – several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence. DCI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manbu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.
“The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round” (Orchard) by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and illustrated by Lorian Tu. A clever twist on “The Wheels on the Bus” in which the eating of Chinese food is celebrated with love and laughter within a multi-generational family.
Ghost Food (One World) by Pik-Shuen Fung. A sparely written novel about a first generation of immigrants in Canada whose father decides to stay in Hong Kong earning him the title of “astronaut” father. With a lonely mother and ill father, a daughter struggles to understand her family history revealing threads of matrilineal history and the inheritance of stories and silences.
“Intimacies” (Riverhead) by Katie Kitamura. An American woman newly relocated to The Hague works as an interpreter at a war crimes tribunal. Interpreting for a notorious former president accused of crimes against humanity, and entangled in a complicated love affair with a married man, she wrestles with mounting professional and personal dramas.
“On The Ho Chi Minh Trail –The Blood Road, The Women Who Defended It, The Legacy”(ASIALINK, London) by Sherry Buchanan. Buchanan reveals the stories of the women who defended the Trail against the sustained American bombing campaign – the most ferocious in modern warfare – and of the artists who drew them. She focuses on what life was really like for the women and men under fire, bringing a unique perspective to the history of the Vietnam War.
“Not Here to Be Liked” (Katherine Tegen Books) by Michelle Quach. This young adult novel is about a high school girl Eliza Quan who sees herself as the perfect candidate to be editor of her school paper until an ex-jock white male candidate appears and threatens her ambitions. To thwart his challenge, she writes a viral essay inspiring a feminist movement. But what happens when she starts to like the guy?
“Anne’s Cradle – The Life & Works of Hanako Muraoka” (Nimbus) by Eri Muraoka as translated by Cathy Hirano. Hanako Muraoka is revered in Japan for her translation of L. M Montgomery’s children’s classic, “Anne of Green Gables.” Because of her translation the book had a massive and enduring popularity in that country. This bestselling biography of Muraoka written by her granddaughter, traces the complex and captivating story of a woman who risked her freedom and devoted her life to bringing quality children’s literature to the people during a period of tumultuous change in Japan.
“Second Sister” (Black Cat) by Chan Ho-Kei. When a schoolgirl commits suicide by leaping from the twenty-second floor, her older sister refuses to believe it. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game through the streets of Hong Kong as big sister hunts for the truth about the murder and the murderer.
“Faraway Places” (Diode Editions) by Teow Lim Goh. The poems in this book reside in the spaces between the wild and the tamed, from orchid gardens and immense seas to caged birds and high alpine landscapes. It resists narrative and instead inhabits the residues of experience. It may be a private dictionary.
“Jenny Mei Is Sad” (Little, Brown and Company) written and illustrated by Tracey Subisak. This book introduces young readers to the complexity of sadness and shows them that the best way to be a good friend – especially to someone sad – is by being there for the fun, the not-fun, and everything in between. Charmingly illustrated.
“Vessel – A Memoir” (HarperVia) by Cai Chongda. This tender collection of personal essays by the Editorial Director of GQ China spotlights the family, friends and neighbors of his small town who helped shape him as he struggled to understand himself and what the future might bring as a young boy from simple means.
“A Way of Looking” (Silver Fish Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng. Half prose, half verse, this book is a heartfelt account of exile and homecoming. Uprooted from Chinese soil after the Cultural Revolution, this immigrant found new roots in the rich dark soil of the Mississippi delta and the home of the blues. Winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Book Award.
“Singing Emptiness – Kumar Gandharva Performs The Poetry Of Kabir” (Seagull) by Linda Hess. In this book, two men, five centuries apart, make contact with each other through poetry, music and performance. A great twentieth-century Hindustani classical vocalist takes up the challenge of singing the songs of Kabir, the great fifteenth century poet.
“Boys I Know” (Peachtree Teen Books) by Anna Gracia. A high school senior navigates messy boys and messier relationships in this bitingly funny and much-needed look into the overlap of Asian American identity and teen sexuality. June Chu is leaving high school to face an unknown world, battling her mother’s expectations and the drama of relationships and unsure on how she should work her path through it all.
“Glyph – graphic poetry + trans. sensory” (Tupelo) by Naoko Fujimoto. The poet finds a new way to connect word and image. Inspired by Emaki (Japanese picture scroll). The poet/artist uses bright colors and designs to bring the words of each poem to the reader in novel ways and from different directions. Or as Gabrielle Bates states, “I was wondering around the house of poetry and this book showed me to a door I didn’t know existed.”
“Lurkers” (Soho) by Sandi Tan. The author peoples her corner of surburban Los Angeles with two Korean American sisters rocked by suicide and a cast of characters like a creepy drama teacher, a gay horror novelist and a white hippie mom and her adopted Vietnamese daughter. Add drama and stir with a deft pen for optimum results.
“The Many Meanings of Meilan” (Kokila) by Andrea Wang. Meilan’s world is made up of a few key ingredients: her family’s beloved matriarch, the bakery the family owns and a run in Boston’s Chinatown; and her favorite Chinese fairy tales. But things change after her grandmother dies putting the family on the road in search of home. This young adult novel is an exploration of all the things it’s possible to grieve, the injustices large and small that make us rage, and the peace that’s unlocked when we learn to find home within ourselves.
A God at the Door” (Copper Canyon) by Tishani Doshi. Doshi is an award-winning writer and dancer of Welsh-Gujarati descent. She has published seven books of fiction and poetry. This new volume of poems calls on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to redefine belonging and unveil injustice.
“Finding My Voice” (Soho) is a reprint of a classic young adult novel by Marie Myong-Ok Lee. It is a timeless coming-of-age story of a Korean American teenage girl who attends an all-white high school in Minnesota. She struggles to fit in while being different. When she falls for a popular white football player. Can this relationship withstand the bigotry of a small town and her family’s disapproval?
“Tokyo Ever After”(Flatiron) by Emiko Jean. It’s hard growing up Japanese American in a small, mostly-white Northern California town with a single mom. But when Izumi or “Izzy” as she’s known discovers her missing dad is the crown prince of Japan, things become surreal. Traveling to Japan to find her dad, her life is turned upside down. Not American enough in the States, not Japanese enough in Japan. Will Izumi ever land on her feet?
“The Bombay Prince” (Soho) by Sujata Massey. This popular mystery writer’s latest book is a Perveen Mistry series volume. Bombay’s fist female lawyer tries to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as the city streets erupt into riots protesting British rule. Set in 1920s Bombay.
“Angel & Hannah – A Novel in Verse” (One World) by Ishle Yi Park.The electricity of first love in the heart of New York’s neighborhoods. When a Korean American girl from Queens meets a Puerto Rican American boy from Brooklyn at a quincecanera, sparks fly and so does family opposition and cultural complexity. This former poet laureate of Queens uses bursts of language and imagery in sonnet and song form to bring alive the glow of first love.
“Swimming Back To Trout River” (Simon & Schuster) by Linda Rui Feng. It’s 1986 and a ten-year-old girl lives in a small Chinese village with her grandparents. Her parents left for the opportunities in America years ago. Now her father promises to pick her up and take her to America by her 12th birthday. The little girl is determined to stay. And what she doesn’t know is that her parents are estranged, burdened by demons from their past. Can one family, with an ocean between them, start anew without losing themselves –or each other? Jean Kwok calls this novel, “A beautifully written, poignant exploration of family, art, culture, immigration, and most of all, love.”
“Body Facts” (Diode Editions) by Jody Kim. These poems tell the story of a voice that is Korean, American, woman and body. It weaves together Korean history and aesthetics, the speaker’s childhood and family stories, US foreign policy with North Korea, and the things we do and shouldn’t do to our bodies.
“Made In Korea” (Simon & Schuster) by Sarah Suk. A “rom-com” novel debut depicts two entrepreneurial teens who butt heads – and maybe fall in love- while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
“At The End Of The Matinee” (Amazon Crossing) by Keiichiro Hirano as translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. Billed as a love story and psychological thriller, this novel traces the years long relationship between a concert guitarist and a journalist and examines whether the relationship will endure and perhaps blossom into something deeper.
“Finding Junie Kim” (Harper) by Ellen Oh. A young adult novel about a Korean American girl who tries to fit in at school by not sticking out. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school, she must make a decision. When a teacher assigns an oral history project, Junie decides to interview her grandparents about the Korean war and her world changes.
“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.
News & Information
For opera fans, Operavision is a free opera streaming service. Go to the link https://operavision.e/ for details.
The Seattle Public Library offers free tickets to visit Puget Sound museums. Visit www.spl.org/museumpass for details. Also available for loans is the Discover Pass which provides access to more than 100 state parks and other recreational amenities. Go to www.spl.org/outdoorrecreation.
Every year, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative Americans with what is known for short as “Genius Awards.” Congratulations to this year’s Asian American who nabbed this prestigious award. Winners include the following – Artist Paul Chan, computer scientist Yejin Choi, mathematician June Huh, historian Monica Kim, health justice lawyer Priti Krishtel, electronic music composer/performer Ikue Mori, and primary care physician & researcher Emily Wong.
Poets & Writers has a “Readings & Workshops Program” that provides mini-grants that pay writers to give readings or conduct workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson and Washington D.C. For details, try [email protected].
AARP announces a Creative Writing & Short Film Competition hosted by The Chinese American Museum, D.C. The theme is “Our America:Generation to Generation”. Go to https://www.chineseamericanmuseum.org/generations for more details.