Bellingham, WA has a couple interesting shows on tap. The Whatcom Museum opens a couple exhibits related to portraits. At their Lightcatcher Building, the group show “Up Close & Personal: The Body in Contemporary Art” opens October 30, 2021 and remains on view through February 27. 2022. Curated by Amy Chaloupka from the collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky, this exhibit examines the human body through the expressive lens of 60 artists. Included in this show is work by Long-Bin Chen, Dinh Q. Le, Susie J. Lee, Hung Liu, Beth Lo, Roger Shimomura, Akio Takamori, Lena Takamori, Samatha Wall, Kumi Yamashita, Wanxin Zhang and many others. The Lightcatcher Building is at 250 Flora St. To complement the exhibition, the museum will also host a companion exhibit at Old City Hall entitled “Artists X Artists” which explores the intimate portraits of artists by artists. On view November 20, 2021 – April 10, 2022. That exhibit is drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection. Old City Hall is at 121 Prospect St. 360-778-8930 or try www.whatcommuseum.org. “Red Chador: Genesis 1” is a show by internationally known, Tacoma-based artist Anida Yoeu Ali now on view at Western Washington University through November 20, 2021 at Western Gallery. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to art making, Ali’s installation and performance work investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. Her recent work directly confronts the misrepresentation of Muslim women in an era of heightened Islamophobia. The exhibition relates through sculptures, video projections and photographs how the artist encounters the unsuspecting public through small acts of interventions. A series of events are planned throughout the duration of the exhibit. On Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 5pm, Assistant Professor of Sculpture + Expanded Media, Sasha Petrenkowin will perform, “We Will Not Be Silent.” On Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 5pm, Associate Professor of Creative Writing Jane Wong will present a talk on the artist’s work. On Wednesday, October 27 at 5pm, Michael Wolff, Associate Professor of Political Science speaks on “Hot Lands: Capturing War in the Heart of Mexico” and how it relates to Ali’s work. On Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at noon, Anida Yoeu Ali gives a talk entitled “Uncharted Distance: Performing In-Between Here and There.” On Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 5pm, Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Dhariti Bhattacharjee gives a talk, “Perspectives”. On Wednesday, November 10 at 4:30pm there is a panel discussion on “The Red Chador in Space (Here and Elsewhere).” On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, Robert Yerachmiel Sniderman, Instructor in Contemporary Art speaks at 5pm on “Walking Interventions: Anida Yoeu Ali in Context.” To conclude on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 2pm there will be an artist talk and closing reception on “The Red Chador: Genesis 1”. Western Gallery is at 516 High St. on the school’s campus. 360-650-3000 or try westerngallery.wwu.edu.
“Contemporary Joomchi: New Works” is a show by Jiyoung Chung at ArtXchange Gallery in Seattle October 7 – November 20, 2021. In this show the artist explores the ancient Korean craft tradition of hand-felted hanji (mulberry paper). She revives the tradition of perforated, dyed and stacked paper-panel tradition and takes it into the newer realm of modernist abstraction. Opening is October 7 from 5 – 8pm. A reception will be held on November 4 from 5 – 8pm. 512 1st Ave. S. in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Hours are Tuesday – Saturdays from 11am – 5:30pm. 206-839-0377 or try artxchange.org.
The work by two major artists in the field of glass and ceramics is highlighted in Dante Marioni/Jun Kaneko” at Traver Gallery in Seattle. Through October 30, 2021. Go to travergallery.com for details.
“Kenjiro Nomura, American Modernist: An Issei artist’s Journey” is on view at Cascadia Art Museum October 21 – February 20, 2022. It is the first exhibition for this Northwest artist in over sixty years. Nomura painted landscapes of Seattle neighborhoods, particularly downtown and the Chinatown/ID before the war and owned Noto Sign Company with another prominent artist Shokichi Tokita. After internment and the end of WWII, Nomura returned with a modern abstract style. He also holds the distinction of being the first artist to receive a solo show at Seattle Art Museum. This show will show the trajectory of his varied career. It is accompanied by a book by historian Barbara Johns. 190 Sunset Avenue South in Edmonds, Washington. 425-336-4809 or cascadiaartmuseum.org.
The 33rd Annual Best of The Northwest Fall Show sponsored by the Northwest Art Alliance takes place November 13 (10am – 6pm) and November 14, 2021 (10am – 5pm) at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park. On sale will be artwork, glass, wearable art, jewelry, photography and more. Tickets are $8 or 2 for $10. 16 and under are free as are retired and active military (with valid ID.) 6310 NE 74th St. For tickets, go to https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5279441. [email protected].
AMcE Creative Arts presents “Cosmic Gardens”, a show of new work by Denver-based artist Christine Nguyen. The show is on view through October 23, 2021. Nguyen is currently working on a public art project with Sound Transit for a Federal Way location. She has exhibited extensively world-wide and coast to coast. The gallery is at 612 – 19th Ave. E. in Seattle. Hours are Thursday to Saturday from 11am – 6pm & Wednesdays by appointment. For information, email [email protected].
“Queer Visibility” is a show that is part of Henry Art Gallery’s “Viewpoints” series. This one is curated by Nina Bozicnik and Kira Sue. It includes work by Berlin-based artist Dean Sameshima and Seattle-based Anthony White. Sameshima makes connect-the-dots drawings based on old gay leather magazine photos and White has work with dancing figures, equating the male nude with ubiquitous consumer products. On view October 2021 – January, 2022. Also “Diana N-Hadid: Archive of Longings” which presents works that explore the interplay between the female body and European Art and Syrian Muslim Immigrant Histories. On view from October 2, 2021 – Feb. 6, 2022. On the UW Seattle campus at 15th Ave. NE and NE 41st st. 206-543-2280 or go to henryart.org.
Michelle Kumata’s show entitled “Northwest Nikkei” will be on view at the Seattle Japanese Garden in the Arboretum from August 17 – Oct. 31, 2021 in the Tateuchi Community Room. Admission fees apply and tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance and reservations are a must for Fri. – Sun. visits. Hours change each month. Closed Mondays. Open during regular hours but call ahead to make sure at 206-684-4725. Go to https://www.seattlejapanesegarden.org/location-and-hours for details. To see some of the work at the Japanese Garden online, go to https://www.seattlejapanesegarden.org/events-calendar/2021/10/northwestnikkei. Also the Library of Congress has acquired several of the artist’s works on paper. If you are in Washington D.C. and 16 years or older, you can view the works in person in the Library’s Prints & Photography Reading Room.
“Swallowing Silence: Power and Censorship in the Arts” was an event at the Bellwether Arts Festival in Bellevue (through September 9, 2021 – go to bellwether.org for details.) It was a forum facilitated by Ploi Pirapokin in which local artists Erin Shigaki and Anida Yoeu Ali shared insights on their experiences with censorship, racism and sexism and offer advice and solutions. To access this online, go to https://bellwetherart.org/swallowing-silence-panel.
Modern Glaze Ceramic Studio and Gallery presents “Intimate Historicities”, a group show of seven ceramic artists who investigate their intimate tactility and deep seated ‘consciousness.’ Co-curated by Doug Jeck and Laura Brodax. Includes work by Re/On Nguyen, Adrian Gomez, Robin Green, S. Lantz, Gustavo Martinez, Sonya Peterson and Julianna Wisdom. On view through October 31, 2021. Open weekends from 12 – 5pm or by appointment. 14800 Westminster Way N. in Shoreline, Washington. 206-949-4007 or [email protected]
Davidson Galleries has the following – “Alone Together” looks at alienation and isolation in today’s online generation is a new series of etching/aquatints by Azumi Takeda on view from through November 27, 2021. A show of “Serigraphs” by Humio Tomita emphasizing his bold patterns and swatches of color is being shown. “CONNECTED: Complete Portfolios & Suites includes more than 70 groupings by major print artists. All three shows are now on view through October 30, 2021. Appointments are encouraged. 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-7684 or go to davidsongalleries.com.
Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location has the following. “”Folding Into Shape – Japanese Design and Crafts” is on view through September 25, 2022. Creating three-dimensional objects by folding, layering and weaving two dimensional materials is a core concept in Japanese design and crafts. Ranging from textiles and paintings to ceramics and bamboo baskets, this exhibit serves up various examples from the permanent collection and private holdings. Also on view is “Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, And Culture in Late Imperial China.” Another show opening March 20, 2021 and ongoing will be “Northwest Modernism: Four Japanese Americans” which takes a look at the work of Kenjiro Nomura, Kamekichi Tokita, Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa. Seattle Asian Art Museum has the following. “Boundless: Stories of Asian Art” is a group show re-imagining of items from the museum’s permanent collection of Asian art. “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art” showcases current trends in contemporary Asian art. In the Fuller Garden Court you will find Kenzan Tsutakawa Chinn’s installation “Gather.” Tsutakawa Chinn is a Seattle-raised, New York-based LED light installation artist. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details on all this. The Museum’s new Saturday University Series is curated under the theme of “Encountering Asia: Plunderers and Collectors.” Presented with the UW’s Jackson School of International Studies and the Elliott Bay Book Company. Try [email protected] for more details. There is a video on artist Zhang Huan’s piece “Family Tree” on view at SAAM in the “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art” show. To view it, go to samblog.seattleartmuseum.org. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park reopens on May 28, 2021. Tickets released every Thursday at 10am. Tickets must be obtained in advance. Capacity is limited.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum reopens on March 5, 2021. Hours are Fridays through Sundays from 10am – 5pm. Reserving tickets online prior to visit is highly encouraged as it is operating at limited capacity. Current exhibits include the following – “Paths Intertwined” features works from diaspora Taiwanese and Chinese artists drawing on themes of identity, place and belonging. Featured artists include Agnes Lee, ZZ Wei, Larine Chung, May Kytonen, Jenny Ku, Shin Yu Pai, Ellison Shieh, and Monyee Chau which remains on view through November 7, 2021. On-site tours are available twice a day in the Tateuchi Story Theatre. “Hear Us Rise” is an exhibit that highlights Asian Pacific American women and other marginalized genders that have challenged society’s expectation. On view through Nov. 16, 2021 is “Guilty Party” a group exhibition of multi-media work by various Asian Pacific American artists curated by Justin Hoover. Upcoming exhibit is “Gerard Tsutakawa: Stories Shaped in Bronze” which explores the inspiration, design, and the fabrication process of public sculptures by Gerard Tsutakawa as well as their effect on Seattle physically, socially and culturally. There are many virtual programs now as well. 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’s “Featured Collection” in art has “Objects of Pine and Paint from Seattle Artist Michael Zitka”. KOBO at Higo is now open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am – 5pm. Masks are required and you must use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering. 30 minute shopping sessions by appointment only at the KOBO on Capitol Hill will soon be made available through an online booking system. Time slots will be limited to keep everyone safe, plus more protective protocols in place to meet safety guidelines. Shipping and curbside pickup is still available by scheduling a Pickup Time at Checkout. They have a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop or try their website at koboseattle.com. The Capitol Hill store is at 814 E. Roy St. and their hours are Tues. – Sat. from noon to 5pm. Congratulations to KOBO which celebrates its 25th anniversary. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. in the CID.
“Paper Dialogues: The Dragon and Our Stories” pairs the work of two papercut artists from two different cultures and the symbolism of the dragon in each. Danish papercutting artist Bit Vejle and Professor Xiaoguang Qiao of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts have their work shown together with the common motif of the dragon. This exhibition also includes the work of Layla May Arthur and Emma Reid. October 28, 2021 – January 31, 2022. A Virtual Art Talk entitled “Paper Dialogues” will feature Bit Vejle on Saturday, October 30. Free for members and $5 for the general public. National Nordic Museum in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood at 2655 NW Market St. Go to nordicmuseum.org for details.
Bellevue Arts Museum has an ongoing collaborative exhibition of innovative glass works by Terri Grant & Purnima Patel entitled “Trace”. 510 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue, WA. 425-519-0770 or try bellevuearts.org.
“World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience” is the title of a show curated by Aarin Packard at Pacific Bonsai Museum. Last chance to catch this exhibit as it ends soon. This show tells a history rooted in racism told through the living art of bonsai. It presents the powerful and inspiring untold history of bonsai artists working in the WWII-era and how they changed the course of bonsai art history forever. With 32 bonsai, archival documents and photographs. The exhibition traces the cultural practice of bonsai in the U.S. and Japan immediately before, during and after WWII, amid incarceration and at peace. Artists from the Puget Sound, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Japan are featured including Ben Oki, the Domoto family, Kelly Nishitani, Kenny Hikogawa and Joe Asahara, Ted Tsukiyama, Mas Imazumi, Kyuzo Murata and Yuji Yoshimura. The exhibition also includes a site-specific artwork by Seattle artist Erin Shigaki which includes wheat-pasted images of individuals who played a role in the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. Hurry, on view now ONLY through the end of October 2021. 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].
Tacoma Art Museum re-opens April 10th, 2021. “Painting Deconstructed: Selections from the Northwest Collection” includes work by Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Tram Bui, Donnabelle Casis, Paul Horiuchi, Fumiko Kimura, Roy Kiyooka, John Matsudaira, Mark Takamichi Miller, Kenjiro Nomura, Frank Okada, Joseph Park, Roger Shimomura, Maki Tamura, Kamekichi Tokita, George Tsutakawa, Thuy-Van Vu and many others. On view for an extended time. 1701 Pacific Avenue. 253-272-4258 or go to [email protected].
The Outdoor Sculpture Collection on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham is open and accessible to everyone. This is an outdoor collection of major sculptures from the late 20th century to the present and includes work by Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Isamu Noguchi among others. Get a map from the information booth and explore the campus collection for yourself. Call 360-650-3900.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at WSU is a new art space for Eastern Washington. Inaugural shows include the following – “”Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar” on view until March 12, 2022 and “Black Lives Matter Grant Exhibition” on view through December 18, 2021. Also ongoing are “Art & Healing” virtual exhibitions. The museum plans a retrospective exhibition for Eastern Washington artist Keiko Hara for 2022. “Keiko Hara: The Poetics of Space, Four Decades of Paintings” is set for May 2022 – December 2022. There are a number of activities in which the staff will give tours of the new space. If you are interested, try https:/museum.wsu.edu/about/meet-the-staff. 1535 Wilson Road on the Washington State University campus in Pullman. 509-335-1910 or try [email protected]
The Museum of Vancouver has “A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia” which highlights the importance of food and restaurant culture in the Chinese-Canadian immigrant experience. Situated in Vanier Park at 1100 Chestnut St. in Vancouver, BC, Canada. 604-736-4431 or try museumofvancouver.ca.
Outsiders and Others Gallery has “Spirit Works: The Art of Noviadi Angkasapura”, a solo exhibition of works by this Indonesian visionary artist. October 1 – 31, 2021. 716 Hastings St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-499-5025 or try outsidersandothers.com.
SUM Gallery has ”Eva Wong and Naoko Fukumaru: Mass Reincarnation of Wish Fragments (Ganhen Tairyou Tensei)” which opens October 28, 2021 with opening reception from 6 – 8pm. This is an open collaboration art installation bringing together the traditional Japanese practices of origami and kintsugi. This art residency begins October 14 and the public is invited to make origami butterflies and submit their wishes at the gallery for display. At the Pride in Art Society at 425-268 Keefer St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-200-6661 or try sumgallery.ca.
The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum at 555 Columbia St. in Vancouver B.C. has an ongoing exhibit entitled “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia”. 604-658-8880 or go to cccvan.com.
Vancouver Art Gallery has “GROWING FREEDOM: The instructions of Yoko Ono/ The art of John and Yoko” which opens October 9, 2021. 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. Go to https://ww.vanartgallery.bc.ca/.
On view until October 24, 2021 is Paula Nishikawara’s immersive underwater installation experience entitled “If I Lived in the Ocean” at Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vanier Park. 1905 Ogden Ave. in Vancouver, BC, Canada. 604-257-8300 or vanmaritime.com.
Bau-Xi Gallery presents a show of new figurative work by Vancouver-based painter Michelle Nguyen through October 30, 2021. 3045 Granville St. in Vancouver BC Canada. 604-733-7011 or bau-xi.com.
“Broken Promises” is a 7 year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project that explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. Opening June 27, 2021 is a group show entitled “Iron Willed: Women in STEM” which features inspirational women such as Irene Uchida, Donna Stricklan and Jocelyn Bell Burnell and their important contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This exhibit addresses the many structural and cultural barriers that contribute to gender biases and underrepresentation of women in these fields. Also on view is an ongoing exhibit on “TAIKEN: Japanese Canadians Since 1877”. Opening on October 23, 2021 is “SAFE/Home” is a collaboration between Kellen Hatanaka and Alexa Hatanaka. Through the lens of the historic Vancouver Asahi baseball team, these artists explore issues of race, xenophobia, representation and implicit bias that are relevant in both sport and society today. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby at 6688 Southoaks Crescent. 604-777-7000 or try nikkeiplace.org.
“Relations: Diaspora and Painting” is a group show organized by the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art and features 27 artists based in Canada, the US and the UK whose ancestry is rooted predominately in Africa and Asia. Curated by Cheryl Sim. Some of the artists featured include Bharti Kher, Jordan Nassar, Marigold Santos, Mickalene Thomas, Yinka Shonobare CBE and Yoko Ono. On view through November 27 2021. 1011 – 9th Ave. SE – 4th floor in Calgary, Canada. 403-930-2490 or try eskerfoundation.art.
The New Media Gallery in New Westminster, Canada has a group show entitled “Assembly” which includes the work of Elizabeth Price, Fiona Tan and Zimoun on view through December 5, 2021. The artists consider the human drive to collect, categorize and control knowledge and data. In Anvil Centre at 777 Columbia St. – 3rd Flr. 604-515-3834 or try newmediagallery.ca.
Canadian artist Matthew Wong lived with autism spectrum disorder and as a teenager, he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome as well. He struggled with depression his whole life, dying by suicide in 2019. Yet this Toronto-born artist who studied anthropology, specialized in photography and wrote poetry eventually found his calling in painting beginning in 2013. Largely self-taught, he created more than 1,000 works in a span of a few years. Now “Blue View”, an exhibit of more than 40 of his works painted between 2017 – 2019 are on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada. 317 Dundas St. W. On view through April 18, 2022. 416-979-6648 or try ago.ca.
North America’s first Japanese garden is being recreated in Esquimalt Gorge Park on Vancouver Island more than 100 years after it was established. The garden was designed by Isaburo Kishida in 1907. The Takata family which operated the tea house has donated $25,000 towards the planting of a cherry forest. The family had to give up the tea house in 1941 when Canadians of Japanese ancestry were sent to internment camps.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following – “Korean Ceramic Culture: Legacy of Earth & Fire” on view through May 8, 2022. “Fit to Print: The Dawn of Journalism – Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Lavenberg & Michels Collection” opens July 31, 2021. “Myriad Treasures – Celebrating the Reinstallation of the Soreng Gallery of Chinese Art” on view through June 30, 2022. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Portland Japanese Garden’s new show “Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga – Changing Tastes in Japanese Woodblock Prints” from the collection of Irvin Lavenberg. This show illuminates the dramatic social, political and economical shifts in Japanese culture between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries by taking a look at the work of Toyohara Kunichika and Kawase Hasui. November 20, 2021 – January 20, 2022. Also Portland Japanese Garden is discussed in an Asia Week New York Webinar entitled “The Luxurious Garden and the Gratification of Retreat” on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 5pm (EDT) and 2pm (PT). A distinguished panel will discuss the origins of these spaces designed in the Chinese and Japanese tradition. To register, go to japanesegarden.org. 611 SW Kingston Ave. 503-223-1321.
Japanese American Museum of Oregon is now open in a new space. Current exhibits include the following – “Oregon’s Nikkei: An American Story of Resilence” and “Grace, Grit and Gaman: Japanese American Women Through The Generations” curated by Marsha Matthews and Linda Tamura on view through December 2021. Several online exhibits on the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon can also be viewed. 411 NW Flanders. 503-224-1458 or email [email protected].
Portland Chinatown Museum has the following – Their permanent exhibit is “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns.” Opening on October 16, 2021 and on view through February 6, 2022 is Seattle photojournalist Dean Wong’s photo essay on “The Future of Chinatowns.” It will look at the gentrification and displacement going on in four West Coast Chinatowns. A series of virtual and live events and public programs are planned around this exhibit. 127 N.W. Third Ave. 503-224-0008 or email [email protected]
“Shadows From the Past – Sansei Artists And The American Concentration Camps” is a virtual group exhibition presented by Celadon Arts and San Joaquin Delta College and curated by Gail Enns. Artists in the exhibition include Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Reiko Fujii, Lucien Kubo, Wendy Maruyama, Tom Nakashima, No Omi Judy Shintani, Masako Takasashi and Jerry Takigawa. The next physical venue for this touring exhibit will be at the Monterey Museum of Art from September 9, 2021 through January 9, 2022. 559 Pacific St. 831-372-5477 or montereyart.org.
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following currently on view. “Lost At Sea: Recovered from Shipwrecks”. “Zheng Chongbin: I Look For The Sky.” “After Hope: Vidoes of Resistance.” Site-specific installations – “Momento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang.” Outside murals by Channel Miller and Jennifer K.Wofford are visible from Hyde St. 200 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA. 415-581-3500.
The De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has the following – Noted Bay Area artist Hung Liu has a show entitled “Golden Gate” remains on view through Jan. 2, 2022. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in San Francisco, CA. 415-750-3600.
The Berkeley Art Museum/PFA has the following. “Kay Sekimachi: Geometries” on view through Oct. 24, 2021. 155 Center St. Berkeley, CA 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
The San Jose Museum of Art has the following. “Karma” is a 23 foot high sculpture by Do Ho Suh on view through Jan. 30, 2022. Coming later this summer is a massive installation entitled “Factory of the Sun” by European artist Hito Steyerl which opens August 6, 2021. 110 South Market St. in San Jose, CA. 408-271-6840.
“Seek, Memory – A Solo Show of Paintings, Prints and Artifacts” by Amrita Singhal is on view through October 23, 2021. Shoh Gallery at 700 Gilman St. in Berkeley,CA. 510-504-9988.
“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” will celebrate the designs of Guo Pei hailed as China’s first couturier and includes more than 80 works from the past two decades highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. The exhibition will be on view through September 5, 2022 at The Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The show was organized by Jill D’Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 100 – 34th Ave. 415-750-3600 or try https://legionofhonor.famsf.org.
The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) has the following – Ongoing is “Common Ground – The Heart of Community” which features a WWII Japanese internment camp building. Just opened is “Mine Okubo’s Masterpiece – The Art of Citizen 13660”, an exhibition that exhibits all the drawings from the seminal book on camp life by one of its inhabitants, artist Mine Okubo. Besides the drawings from the book, the exhibit also includes the rough sketches and ideas behind the book and a series of colorful figurative works she did in the late post WWII era of her career. Before the artist died, she bequeathed the museum a sizeable chunk of her artistic archive. On view through February 20, 2022. “A Life in Pieces – The Diary And Letters of Stanley Hayami” on view now through Jan. 9, 2022. This L.A. native’s journal writing and wartime letters from Heart Mountain concentration camp and the war in Europe brought to life with a 3d virtual experience accessed via smart phone. His artwork, journal entries and letters will also be on display. Hayami died in combat at the age of 19 in Italy. His brief legacy lives on in this exhibit created by Nonny de la Pena of Emblematic and Sharon Yamato in collaboration with JANM. 101 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles, CA. 213-625-0414.
“Yoshitomo Nara” is a retrospective of the Japanese artist known for his child-like characters who scowl on view through January 2, 2022. “Ink Dreams: Selections From The Foundation INK Collection” is a group show of contemporary painting, sculpture and video inspired by traditional East Asian ink art. On view through December 12, 2021. LACMA is at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. 323-857-6010 or go to lacma.org.
“Memory, Structure, Scaffold Series” is an installation that looks at the hidden contributions of labor. On view through March 20, 2022. Wede Museum at 10808 Culver Boulevard in Culver, City, California. 310-216-1600 or go to wendemuseum.org.
“Wave – New Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts” is a touring exhibit of works by 55 contemporary Japanese illustrators and graphic artists now on view through November 28, 2021. At Japan House at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Go to japanhousela.com.
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. In the fall of 2021, a group show entitled “Intervention: Perspectives For a New PAM” will be shown. “Global Asia’s: Contemporary Asian And Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer & the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation” comes to the museum from March – June, 2023. 2680 N. Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, CA. 626-787-2680 or [email protected].
“Fluxus Means Change:Jean Brown’s Avant-Garde Archive” is a show representing a rich collection of work from artists in this contemporary art movement including Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, Ay-O, Takako Saito and many, many others. On view through January 2, 2022. At the Getty Center at 1200 Getty Center in Los Angeles. 310-440-7300 or go to getty.edu.
“No Humans Involved” examines the categories we use to decide who does or doesn’t get humane treatment. This group show includes Wangshui’s mixed media installations and video works that highlight queer sensibilities in Chinese spiritualities and architecture. “Witch Hunt” is a group show of contemporary feminism and includes the work of Shu Lea Cheng. Both shows on view from through January 9, 2022. The Hammer Museum at UCLA. Go to hammer.ucla.edu. 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. The show “Witch Hunt” is split in two parts and one part will be on view at The Institute of Contemporary Art on 1717 E. 7th St. 213-928-0833. theIcala.org.
“Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in America” is on view from October 9, 2021 – January 9, 2022. The history of this early 20th century community of Korean American agricultural workers is recalled in photographs, maps, documents and ephemera. At UCR Arts at 3824-34 Main St. in Riverside, California. Go to [email protected] for details.
The Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, Inc. present a zoom virtual program entitled “Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles” now on exhibit at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. On Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 10am (PDT) with curators Lingen Lu and Kimberly Masteller Ph.D and Yayoi Shinoda. Free. Go to httpas://tinyurl.com/ImaSplendorFnC.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has undergone a renovation with a new gallery devoted to contemporary art. In the inaugural group show you will find works by Anish Kapoor, Helen Frankenthaler, Roger Shimomura and others. On view through December 5, 2021. 1130 State St. Go to sbma.net.
The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. will present the first major large-scale retrospective of work by Hung Liu, the internationally acclaimed Chinese-born American artist. “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020” will feature more than 50 artworks spanning Liu’s time in Maoist China in the 1960s, her immigration to California in the 1980s, and the height of her career today. This is the first time the museum will celebrate an Asian American woman with a solo exhibition. The exhibition’s opening coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021. On view through January 9, 2022.
The National Museum of Asian Art/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall in Washington D.C .has the following – “Encountering the Buddha: Art & Practice Across Asia” on view through Jan. 17. 2022. Upcoming is an anticipated show of brush paintings by early 20th century Japanese artist Tomioka Tessai. “Prehistoric Spirals: Earthenware From Thailand” showcases work from NE Thailand from over 2000 years ago. Opens on November 1, 2021.1050 Independence Ave. SW. Washington, D.C.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the following – “Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Travel & Home” on view through March 6, 2022. “Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light” on view through July 3, 2022. 465 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA. 617-267-9300 or go to mfa.org.
Candace Lin has an exhibit of her installations coming to the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts. February 4 – April 10, 2022. 617 Quincy St. in Cambridge, Mass. On the campus of Harvard University. 617-496-5387 or try https://carpenter.center.
The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA has the following – “Zarah Hussain: Breath” on view through Jan. 2, 2022. 161 Essex St. in Salem, MA 816-745-4876 or go to pem.org.
On The Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale” celebrates the work of women artists who attended that institution. Includes work by Maya Lin, Rina Banerjee, An-My Le and many others. On view through January 9, 2022 at the Yale University Art Gallery. 1111 Chapel St. in New Haven, CT. 203-432-0600 or go to [email protected]
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “20 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy Then And Now” through Jan. 2, 2022. “Shimmering Surfaces: Chinese Lacquer Motifs And Techniques” on view through April 10, 2022. “Captive Beauties: Depictions of Women in Late Imperial China” through Nov. 28, 2021. “Intimate Space: A Noblewoman’s Bedroom in Late Imperial China” on view through Nov. 7, 2021. “With New Light: MIA’s Reinstalled Himalayan, South and Southeast Asian Art Galleries” on view through Oct. 7, 2021. “Amano Kazumi: Prints From The Kimm-Grufferman Collection” through November 29, 2021. “Dayanita Singh’s Pothl Khana: Archive Room” November 12, 2021 – April 10, 2022.2400 Third Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 888-642-2787.
The Walker Art Center has the following – A show by Candace Lin entitled “Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping” through January 1, 2022. A sound & video installation by Twin-Cities-based artist Shen Xin from Nov. 17, 2021 – July 2, 2022. “Paul Chan: Breathers” on view from July 27, 2022 – April 22, 2023. And a Pacita Abid retrospective planned for sometime in 2023. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN. 612-375-7600 or try [email protected].
The Art Institute of Chicago has the following – “Fantastic Landscapes: Hokusai & Hiroshige” on view through October 11, 2021. “Onchi Koshiro: Affection for Shapeless Things” remains on view through January 10, 2022. Onchi Koshiro was a major figure of the “Sosaku Hanga” movement in Japan. It was a group whose members conceived, carved and printed their own works, jettisoning the old system of division of labor. His favored mode was working with abstraction. He produced very few prints, often a single edition of each work. “Senju’s Waterfalls for Chicago” opens November 13, 2021 and remains on view through March 13, 2022. These screen paintings of falling water were created specifically for Gallery 109, the space designed by architect Ando Tadao. Senju tailored the scale and lighting to best suit the distinctive space. The lighting in the gallery is designed to highlight the nature of the falling water in the painting in light and darkness. 111 South Michigan Ave./159 E. Monroe. Chicago, ILL. 312-443-3600.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has the following – “Japan: A History of Style” through April 24, 2022. “Celebrating the Year of the Ox” through Jan. 12, 2022. “Masters and Masterpieces: Chinese Art from the Irving Collection” through June 5, 2022. “Companions in Solitude- Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art” through August 14, 2022. The Metropolitan Museum’s online newsletter The Met” has the following – “Beyond Beauty: Shiseido and Hanatsubaki Magazine.” For almost 100 years this magazine has been a barometer of Japanese style and culture. “Chinatown’s Art And Activism – Then And Now” In this program, artists Tomie Arai and Mei Lum address this topic. 1000 Fifth Ave. 212-535-7710. Go to https://www.metmuseum.org.
The Korea Society features a group show entitled “Interlacement”. The exhibition challenges the conventional idea of fiber and textile art by employing already established techniques of weaving, embroidery and assemblage with new materials and forms. On view through January 28, 2022. An online exhibition “The Feeling of Han: Marie Ann Yoo” is on view through December 16, 2021.The photos by this Korean American photographer depict South Korea, its people and culture during a period of transition after the war in the year 1956. They also have a series of art talks by contemporary artists including Sui Park on November 2, 2021 at 5pm (ET) and Ja Young Yoon on November 30, 2021 at 5pm (ET). 350 Madison, 24th floor in New York City. 212-759-7525 or go to koreasociety.org.
“Diane Serin Nguyen: If Revolution is a Sickness” is the first solo institutional exhibition for this artist. It is a newly commissioned video work set in Warsaw. The film follows an orphaned Vietnamese child absorbed in a South Korean pop-inspired dance group. On view through December 13, 2021. At the Sculpture Center at 44-19 Purves St. in Long Island, New York. +1-718-361-1750 or try sculpture-center.org.
Asia Society Museum has the following – “Rebel Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians” on view through Jan. 16, 2022. 725 Park Ave. in New York City.212-327-9721 or try www.asiasociety.org.
Indian photographer Gauri Gill has a show of new work entitled “A Time To Play: New Scenes From Acts of Appearance” at the James Cohan Gallery in New York City through November 13, 2021. 52 Walker St. – 2nd Floor. 212-714-9500 or try [email protected]
Burmese artist-in-exile Sawangwongse Yawngwe has a show of new work entitled “Cappuccino in Exile” at the Jane Lombard Gallery through October 23, 2021. 58 White St. 212-967-8040 or [email protected]
“Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment” is a new exhibition that runs through January 3, 2022 at the Rubin Museum of Art curated by Elena Pakhoutova. The show was organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit guides visitors on a journey toward enlightenment, showcasing the power of Tibetan Buddhist art to focus and refine awareness. Accompanying the exhibition is an audio guide and a catalog. 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. “Shrine Room Projects: Shiva Ahmadi, Genesis Breyer P-orridge and Tsherin Sherpa” features three artists who do work inspired by the Museum’s Buddhist Shrine in multi-media forms. On view through November 12, 2021. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” remains on view through June 5, 2023. “Journey Through Himalayan Art” remains on view through January 8, 2024.”150 West 17th St. in New York City. 212-620-5000 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The New Museum’s fifth edition of their Triennial entitled “Soft Water Hard Stone” is a survey of artists reimaging traditional models, materials, and techniques beyond established methods. Includes work by Jes Fan, Kaurie Kang, Kang Seung Lee, Yu Ji, Thao Nguyen Phao, Amy Lien/Enzo Camacho and many others. 235 Bowery in New York City. October 28, 2021 – January 23, 2022. 212-219-1222. Go to http://www.newmuseum.org.
The late video artist Shigeko Kubota saw video technology as a “new paintbrush”. Now the Museum of Modern Art has curated a retrospective show in her honor entitled “Liquid Reality” on view through January 1, 2022. 11 West 53rd St. in Manhattan, New York City. Go to moma.org for details.
Installation artist Ian Cheng brings his latest work to The Shed in New York. Cheng uses artificial intelligence and video game technology to explore the nature of human consciousness. “Life After BOB: The Chalice Study” is a ‘narrative animation’ piece inspired by his daughter. On view through December 19, 2021. In the Bloomberg Building at 545 West 30th St. in New York City. 646-455-3494 or email [email protected]
The Noguchi Museum has the following – “Noguchi’s Useless Architecture” is a show inspired by his visits to Indian astronomical devices. On view through May 8, 2022. “Objects of Common Interest: Hard, Soft, And All Lit Up With Nowhere To Go” is a collaboration with Eleni Petaloti & Leonidas Trampoukis of Greece with New York-based studio, Objects of Common Interest on view through February 13, 2022. There are also various video programs that deal with Noguchi’s history and life that you can view. 9-01,33rd Rd. Long Island, New York. 718-204-7088.
The Japan Society has the following – “Improvisation in Wood: KawamataxMunakata”. This show includes major works by two leading Japanese artists from different generations. Takashi Kawamata pays tribute to the Japan Society Building and to earlier artist Munakata with this juxtaposition between the Munakata print collection alongside new works and archival material by Kawamata. Through January 16, 2022. 333 East 47th St. New York, New York. 212-263-1258.
The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has the following – “KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature” on view through Oct. 31, 2021. Yayoi Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with nature with these pieces. On view are floral sculptures that transform the space’s landmark landscape. Her monumental sculptures “Dancing Pumpkin” and “I Want To Fly To The Universe” are here as well. And coming this summer will be her “infinity Mirrored Room – Illusion Inside the Heart” which will reflect the outdoor light. Timed tickets will be sold in installments. 2900 Southern Blvd. Bronx, New York. 718-817-8700 or try nybg.org.
The Museum of Chinese in America has re-opened with the show, “Responses – Asian American Voices Resisting The Tides of Racism”. The exhibit was marred by criticism from artists who withdrew from the exhibit protesting the support of city funds to the museum which at the same time has a contested city plan to site a new jail facility in Chinatown. The museum has been adamant that it does not support the jail but critics in the community contend that you cannot be opposed to something while at the same time financially benefit from it. 215 Centre St. in New York City. For information, try [email protected].
“The New Woman Behind The Camera” is a group show that features over 100 international photographers in the early 20th century. Includes a lot of women photographers from Asia. October 31 – January 30, 2022. National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Sixth St. & Constitution NW.
Art Museum of the Americas presents “The Ocean Between Us: Art of Asian Diasporas in Latin America and the Caribbean 1945 – Present” now on view indefinitely. Some of the artists represented include Carlos Runcie Tanaka, Bernadette Persaud, Wilfredo Lam and Sri Irodik Romo. With featured videos by Yukata Toyota and Laura Fong Prosper. Curated by Adriana Ospina. 201 – 18th St. NW in Washington, D.C. For details, go to [email protected] or museum.oas.org.
“Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan – Calligraphic Paintings from the Museum’s Collection” on view February 26 – July 24, 2022. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Jefferson Drive at 12th St. SW. Try asia.si.edu for details.
“Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain” (one of the earliest major Hindu sites in Southeast Asia) is a show that makes an effort to make the museum collection’s Hindu God entitled “Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan” visible in its original context with the use of virtual reality and loans from Cambodia and France. On view from November 14, 2021 – January 3, 2022. Cleveland Museum of Art. 11150 East Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio. Go to clevelandart.org for details.
“Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles” showcases rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Persian costumes and textiles from the museum’s collection. On view through March 6, 2022. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 4525 Oak St. in Kansas City, MO. 816-751-1278 or try [email protected]
The New Orleans Museum of Art has the following – “The Pursuit of Salvation: Jain Art from India” through May 15, 2022. The Jain faith of India is older than Buddhism yet is little known outside of India. This exhibit presents sculpture, ink and watercolor drawings and manuscripts that open a window to this fascinating religion. “Orientalism: Taking and Making” is on view through January 2, 2022. “Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks From The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society” on view through May 31, 2022. One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. 504-658-4100.
The British Museum has an exhibition entitled “The Great Picture Book of Everything: Hokusai”. This show consists of drawings done for an encyclopedia that was never published. This box of art work by the great Japanese woodblock print genius is on view through January 30, 2022 and is part of the Museum’s permanent collection. Curated by Timothy Clark. The Museum is on Great Russell St. in London. +44 (0) 20 7323 8000 or try communicat[email protected].
The Japan Society UK presents Rosina Buckland, Curator of the Japanese Collections at the British Museum who will give an online talk entitled “A Curator’s Journey Through Objects: In Conversation with Rosina Buckland” on Thursday, October 21 at 6:30pm (BST). Go to japansociety.org.uk for details.
The Tate Modern has the following on view –Catch a talk with New York-based installation artist Annika Yi on October 15, 2021 at 6:30pm (British time). She has an installation of giant airborne creatures in the Turbine Hall and an aroma that will change week to week. On view through January 16, 2022. Also on view, is a show entitled “Carving & Printing” by Singapore-born, London-based artist Kim Lim who displays both his sculpture and prints and the viewer can see how they are interrelated. “Med Networks: Yin Xiuzshen” is an exhibit of sculptures that suspend from the ceiling and remains on view until November, 2021. The Traveling exhibition entitled “Surrealism Beyond Borders” will be on view February 24 – August 29, 2022 at the Tate Modern and will feature work by Japanese artist Koga Harue. “Haegue Yang’s “Materials & Objects” remains on view until November 21, 2021. The Tate St. Ives branch museum will also give Thao Nguyen Pham her first UK museum exhibition in February of 2022 on view until May 2, 2022. It will include video, paintings, and mixed media works. Go to tate.org.uk for details on all these.
“Noguchi” is an exhibition celebrating the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. It’s his first touring retrospective in Europe in 20 years. It focuses on Noguchi as a global citizen and his risk-taking approach to sculpture as a living environment. Over 150 works are presented from a variety of media. On view through January 9, 2022. Advance booking is essential. Barbican Centre on Silk St. in London. Go to barbican.org.uk or email [email protected]
“Yoko Ono: MEND Piece for London” “Mend carefully/think of mending the world/at the same time”. Viewers are invited to respond to this instruction from artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono. This work draws on the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery using lacquer mixed with precious metals. On view through January 2, 2022. Advance booking required. White Chapel Gallery. 77-82 Whitechapel on High St. London +44 20 7522 7888 or try whitechapelgallery.com.
“Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective” continues on its world tour with stops in Berlin and Tel Aviv. April 23 – August, 2022. Gropius Bau in Berlin. Niederkirchner Stra Be7,10963 Berlin. Tel Aviv Museum of Art from November 2 – April 23, 2022. The Golda Meier Cultural & Art Center, sderot sha’ul HaMelech Blvd., Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. +972-3-6077020.
The Tokyo National Museum has the following – “14 Dynasties And A Region: The History and Culture of the Muslim World – The Collection of The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia” on view through Feb. 10, 2022. “Commemorating the 1200th Anniversary of Saicho’s Death: Buddhist Art of the Tendai Sect” stays on view through November 21, 2021. 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo. +81 – (50) – 5541 – 8600.
The National Art Center, Tokyo has a retrospective show for Hideaki Anno set for October 1 – December 19, 2021. 7-22-2 Roppongi Minato-Ku Tokyo 106-8558. For details, go to https://www.annohideakiten.jp/.
“Midway Between Mystery and Symbol: Yayoi Kusama’s Monochrome” dispels the myth that Kusama’s palette is all color with this dip into her black and white side. On view at her own museum in Tokyo until December 26, 2021. Yayoi Kusama Museum at 107 Bentencho, Shinjiku City, Tokyo +81 3-5273-1778.
“Reversible Destiny – Australian & Japanese Contemporary Photography” and “Wild Animals Now” by Miyazaki Manabu. Both shows through October 31, 2021. Tokyo Photographic Art Museum in Yebisu Garden Place,1-13-3 Mita Meguro-Ku, Tokyo. 03-3280-0099.
Ginza Six is a department store that uses different artists to design their interior from floor to ceiling. Currently on view through April 15, 2022 is the Shinto-inspired installation of a deer floating above clouds entitled “Metamorphosis Garden” by Kyoto-based artist Kohei Nawa. Download to a corresponding app and you can see the installation come to life on your cell phone. 6-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. https://ginza6.tokyo.e.abf.hp.transer.com/news/94805.
“Vivo Video: The Art and Life of Shigeko Kubota”. Kubota made work that some called video sculpture. I once saw her refreshing ode to Duchamp at Hara Art Museum which consisted of bicycle wheels with video monitors attached. This retrospective consists of drawings and documents found in her own archives along with works culled from Japanese collections. On view November 13, 2021 – February 23, 2022. Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo at 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto Ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81-50-5541-8600 (Hello Dial).
Artist Manish Nai has his first solo show in New Delhi entitled “Regenerative Visions.” He uses the most humble materials to create elaborate artworks full of meaning and potential. On view through October, 2021 at Nature Morte Dhan Mill Gallery. 287, 288, 100 Feet Rd. Chhatapur Hills, New Delhi, India. Go to www.naturemorte.com for details.
“Material Scars” is a show of sculpture and photography by Asim Waqif at Norte Morte Vasant Vihar. 7 Poorvi Marg, Block A, Vsant Vihar, New Delhi, India.
Japanese historian Meher McArthur has curated a touring group exhibit entitled “Washi Transformed: New Expressions In Japanese Paper” which features the work of nine contemporary Japanese artists which include Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kyoko Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka, and Ayomi Yoshida. The exhibit tours over 6 cities across the United States beginning in October of 2021.The lone West Coast date thus far is at Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA. October 13, 2023 – January 7, 2024. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Hyonjeong Kim Han has been selected as the Denver Art Museum’s new Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art. She will oversee the museum’s Asian art collection as well as continuing to bring world-class special exhibitions to Denver and showcasing the museum’s own collection. She was previously the Department Head and Associate Curator of Korean Art at Asian Art Museum of San Francisco since 2010.
The New York Times style magazine “T” recently ran an article entitled “12 Talents Shaping the Design World.” Included in the profile was furniture designer Minjae Kim, floral designer Doan Ly and rug & textiles designer Arati Rao.
Paris Photo & Aperture Foundation recently announced their Shortlist for the 2021 Paris Photo Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. Jody Quan, director of photography at New York Magazine was one of the judges. Nominated for “First Photo Book” award was Indu Antony, Tarrah Krajnak, Luke Le, Kanta Nomura and Sasha Pjyars-Burgess. Nominated for “Photo Book of the Year” was Muhamad Fadii and Fatris, Rahim Fortune and Vasantha Yogananthan. Nominted for “Catologue of the Year” was Mao Ishikawa and Zora J. Murdd/Rana Young.
“What The World Needs Now” is a series of events in which artists, libraries, entertainers and organizers team up to dream a better pandemic life together through art, inspiration and wisdom from people and communities at the frontlines of the COVID-19 health crisis. October 22 – 23, 2021. There will be several public virtual events, a community celebration, selfie stations, a virtual dance party and the Reflections Dance Festival on November 4, 2021. There will be a special spotlight on Pacific Islanders and their work on vaccine equality. The event link is https://tb.me/e/10mPO55LZ or try www.spl.org/Dreamathon.
Town Hall Seattle has also announced their 2021/22 “Global Rhythms Series”. Of particular interest to our readers are the following – Homayoun Sakhi will perform “Traditional Afghan Rubab (double-chambered lute), Reimagined” on Saturday, December 4 at 7:30pm (PST). Ak Dan Guang Chil serves up dynamic Korean shamanic folk-pop music on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). 1119 8th Avenue. 206-504-2857. To get tickets and find out the complete schedule, go to townhallseattle.org.
This year’s “Diwali – Lights of India” celebration usually held at Seattle Center is virtual. Tune in on October 23, 2021 from 12pm – 4:30pm on Facebook and Youtube. Hmong New Year Celebration takes place on November 6, 2021 from 12pm – 4:30pm on Facebook and Youtube as well. This is a celebration of the end of harvest season for the Hmong people. Event includes displays of intricate clothing, dance, food and more. Both events are free and open to the public.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s 25th Anniversary takes place on November 6, 2021 at 5:30pm (PT) at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Go to asiapacificculturalcenter.org for details.
Edmonds Center for the Arts has revealed their upcoming season. Events of interest to our readers might be the following – The Korean shamanic folk-pop group Ak Dan Gwang Chil perform on November 5, 2021 at 7:30pm (PST). Ensemble Mik Nawooj do two concerts. The first will be an education matinee on February 10, 2022 at 10am and the evening concert on the same day at 7:30pm (PST). The annual favorite, “Masters of Hawaiian Music” returns on March 26, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). 410 Fourth Ave. N. in Edmonds,WA. 425-275-9595.
Seattle Folklore Society’s fall concert series includes Austin-based singer/songwriter BettySoo on their calendar. Her voice has been compared to other artists such as Patty Griffin and Joni Mitchell. She appears in a virtual only concert on November 13, 2021. Go to SeaFolklore.org for details.
Henry Art Gallery, On the Boards and Velocity Dance Center collaborate to feature a series of performances, films and installations from August – November 2021 around the Seattle area both inside ad outside. Among these, OTB presents Degenerate Art Ensemble in “The Gatherer of Spring” set for October 2021 in Occidental Square. The piece explores animism and the connections and disconnects between human beings and the natural world. It includes director/performer Haruko Crow Nishimura, composer/musician Joshua Kohl and video artist Leo Mayberry with costumes by Wyly Astley. For details, go to ontheboards.org.
Harissa Mediterranean Cuisine presents “Friday Night Jazz at Harissa’s” from 9pm – midnight every Friday. Featuring Bob Antolin, Norm Bellas and Ernesto Rediancco. $5 cover. 2255 N. E. 65th St. in Seattle. For reservations, call 206-588-0650.
STG Productions operates out of several theatres in the city and they have announced their up and coming 2021-22 live-in-person schedule. Comedian Hasan Minhaji returns to his storytelling roots with a new program “King’s Jester” on November 12 at 7pm at the Paramount. Malaysian comedian/actor and star of Comedy Central, Ronny Chieng performs on Sunday, December 12 at the Neptune. On Monday, February 14, 2022, catch Yamato Drummers of Nara, Japan who will shake the rafters with their giant taiko drums at the Moore Theare. Go to STG.org for details.
“Create Your Own Series”, choose any 5 concerts and save on Seattle Symphony’s upcoming “live-in-person” 2021-22 season. Some highlights include the following – Violin virtuoso Ray Chen plays the “Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto” under the baton of Michael Sanderling on November 4, 6 & 7. Tenor Nicholas Phan joins guest conductor Lee Mills in a series of special performances around “Viennese New Year” on December 30 & 31 and January 2, 2022. Contemporary composer John Adams conducts the symphony in a concert entitled “The Music of John Adams” set for January 6 & 8, 2022. Beloved violinist Itzhak Perlman performs with pianist Rohan De Silva in a concert entitled “An Evening with Itzhak Perlman” on January 18, 2022. Popular singer/songwriter/violinist Kaoru Ishibashi known as Kishi Bashi joins the Seattle Symphonic in a program entitled “E09066”, a series of improvisations based on the experience of incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans during WWII set for January 27 and 29, 2021.“Tied Together” is the name for a program of new music from the Asia/America New Music Institute in a collaboration of the HUB New Music String Quartet and Silkroad Ensemble shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki set for January 28, 2022. The piano duo HOCKET plays “(UNTITLED) 2022”, the second part of a two-part program dedicated to a hopeful future emerging from the pandemic. This program includes new works by composers Hitomi Oba and Jonathan Richards set for February 25, 2022. “Ragamala: A Journey into Hindustani Music” on March 18, 2022 is part of the “Octave 9 Emerging Artists” series curated by Seattle Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence Reena Esmail and featuring virtuoso Indian violinist Kala Ramnath. The annual “Celebrate Asia” series returns on March 20, 2022 with Kahchun Wong conducting. Soloists include Kala Ramnath on Indian violin and Ko-ichiro Yamamoto on trombone. Yamamoto plays in a program of work by Yoshio Hosokawa and, Tan Dun which is a Seattle Symphony co-commission and U.S. Premiere along with Seattle Symphony Composer-in-Residence Reena Esmail’s “Violin Concerto” written for and with Kala Ramnath, also a Seattle Symphony co-commission and World Premiere. Pianist Lang Lang returns on behalf of his recent recording of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” in a concert entitled “Lang Lang in Recital” on March 22,2022. The dynamic pianist Yuja Wang performs “Yuja Wang in Recital” on April 1, 2022 and Japanese virtuoso pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii comes to perform “Nobuyuki Tsujii in Recital” on April 12, 2022. Musicians of the Seattle Symphony perform “Wynton Marsalis: A Fiddler’s Tale Suite” as well as Portland-based composer Kenji Bunch’s “String Circle” and Anton Arensky’s “String Quartet No. 2” on May 3, 2022. In related news, a recent hire at Seattle Symphony is viola player Olivia Chew. She was most recently a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for six seasons. 206-215-4747 or go to seattlesymphony.org.
“When We Wake” is the apt title of Arts West’s new 2021-22 season with six new stories and six Seattle premieres. Kicking off their season is “We’ve Battled Monsters Before” which is a world premiere musical by Justin Huertas running Nov. 26 – Dec. 26, 2021. Loosely adapted from a 16th century Filipino epic poem, the youngest sibling in a family o secret warriors must decide what she must sacrifice to save her family from monsters and deities invading Seattle. Coming later in the season is “Miku, and the gods” which is another world premiere by Julia Izumi. An epic adventure that braids friendship, death, memory, time, rhythm and power in the story of a group of gods whom must journey to the underworld and back. Runs June 16 – July 3, 2022. Go to artswest.org for more details.
Henry Art Gallery and Jack Straw Cultural Center present “Sonolocations – A Sound Works Series” in conjunction with Murmurations. Participants are composers Byron Au Yong (available starting June 4, 2021), Chenoa Egawa (available starting July 2, 2021) and Bill & Naima Lowe (available starting August 8, 2021). All works available at henryart.org and jackstraw.org as well as soundcloud and other pod cast platforms.
UW School of Drama has announced their 2021-2022 public season. Among their selections, they will produce Christopher Chen’s “Passage” May 19 – 29, 2022. Adrienne Mackey will direct. 206-543 -5140.
5th Avenue Theatre has announced a second cycle of new musical commissions for their “First Draft: Raise Your Voice” program. Five writing teams representing BIPOC writers have been selected to receive a First Draft Commission. Of the five, one is the team of Erika Ji, Clare Fuyuko Bierman and Brandy Hoang Collier for their piece entitled “Yoko Husband’s Killer’s Japanese American Wife, Gloria” in which they ask the questions – “Did Yoko Ono really breakup the Beatles? Was Gloria Abe actually responsible for killing John Lennon? And if Asian women will inevitably be blamed for the actions of their White husbands, shouldn’t they at least have a say in the matter?” Each team gets 18 months to complete a first draft. Then a one week reading with a final presentation in New York City. For details, email [email protected]. The 5th Avenue Theatre and Village Theatre have announced their NW New Musical co-commission recipients. Three local writing teams will write a new musical based on one photo of their choosing. Each show gets a year-long-development plan and the photographers receive a $500 prize. “Pabitin” by Rheanna Atendido with photo by Stephen Zapantis was one of the projects chosen. It’s a Filipino American story of grief, gratitude and growing up in a magicalized Seattle.
Pacific Northwest Ballet & PNB School present the following – In their 2021-2022 season of live performances in McCaw Hall will be a world premiere by choreographer Robin Mineko Williams in a program entitled “Plot Points” set for March 18 – 27, 2022.For complete details, go to PNB.org/DigitalSubscription or call 206-441-2424 or try www.PNB.org..
The UW Meany Center For The Performing Arts has announced a welcome return to live performance starting October 13, 2021 when their 2021-2022 season begins. Season tickets are now on sale and single tickets will go on sale September 7, 2021. Some performers include the following – In the “Chamber Music Series”, Wu Han, Philip Setzer and David Finckel perform on Wed., Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:30pm. George Li, a promising young concert pianist performs on Feb. 18, 2022 at 7:30pm. Included in this program is Qigang Chen’s Peking Opera inspired “Moments”. Concert pianist Joyce Yang takes the stage on May 3, 2022 at 7:30pm. Online ordering of tickets at MeanyCenter.org or call 206-543-4880.
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.
Town Hall Seattle presents singer/songwriter No No Boy on Friday, November 12, 2021 at 7:30pm (PT). Vietnamese American musician Julian Saporiti takes his musical name “No No Boy” from the groundbreaking novel about the brutal impact of incarceration forced upon West Coast Japanese during WWII by Seattle-raised John Okada. Saporiti’s visit to Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp where he saw a photograph of an all Japanese American jazz band formed behind barbed wire inspired him to explore culture, genre and musical storytelling and helped redefine his folk music through Asian American history. Presented by the Wing Luke Museum, International Examiner and Town Hall Seattle. Town Hall also has digital programming of upcoming events on their live stream page. They have a media library of hundreds of video and audio free to enjoy. New additions include Pardis Mahdayi’s “A Social and Personal History of the Hyphen” and Audrea Lim’s “Stories And Lessons from America’s Unsung Environmental Movement.” The discussion of the memoir “An Immigrant Daughter’s Story” by Senator Mazie K. Hirono with Viet Thanh Nguyen has been added. Laila Lalami who talks about “What It Means Be An American” and her book, “Conditional Citizens” with fellow author Viet Thanh Nguyen is also available. Go to townhallseattle.org for details.
UW Seattle presents the following – “Maysoon Zaydi:Survival of the Unfittest”. Hear this comedian, author and disability advocate talk about diversity. On Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 6:30pm (PST). At Meany Performing Arts Center. Try [email protected] for details.
Mukai Farm & Garden on Vashon Island kicks off their Japan Festival this year with a new self-guided “Labyrinth” tour at Mukai Farm & Garden. The Festival also includes courses and lectures. More information at mukaifarmandgarden.org.
Portland pop group Floating Room is fronted by lead singer Maya Stoner. Their new ep due out via Famous Class Records on November 12, 2021 is entitled “Shina”. The lead single “Shimancnu” reflects Stoner’s Uchinanchu (Okinawan) heritage as she addresses the condescension she faces daily as an Asian American woman. Floating Room will appear in Seattle at The Crocodile on November 21, 2021.
The Museum of Food & Drink presents award-winning chef Surbhi Sahni, founder of TAGMO who discusses the regional significance of mithal (sweets) during the festival of Diwali. On October 28, 2021 at 7pm (ET) online. Go to mofad.org for details.
Virtuoso violinist Jennifer Koh spent this Covid period soliciting short violin pieces from contemporary composers. The project “Alone Together” is now a digital album on the Cedille label that includes compositions from 39 different composers.
“Angel Island Oratorio for Voices and String Quartet” is composer Huang Ruo’s tribute to the Chinese immigrants who passed through that Bay Area immigration station. Inspired by the poems etched into the walls of that place, Ruo created this musical work. San Francisco’s Del Sol Quartet and Vocal ensemble Volti will give a world premiere of the piece at the newly renovated Presidio Theatre in San Francisco on October 22, 2021 and on Angel Island itself the next day, weather permitting. The piece depicts an immigrant’s journey through three large choral settings sung in Mandarin. The premiere will include talks by experts in immigration law, civil rights and Chinese American cultural historians.
Japan Society, UK presents a program on the Burnt Lemon Theatre’s production of a musical on “Tokyo Rose”, the Japanese wartime disc jockey who broadcast Axis propaganda. The production tours England from September/October 2021. The musical’s producer Tanya Aganwal and co-writer Maryhee Yoon discuss the inspiration behind this production with Bill Emmott on October 28, 2021 at 6:30pm (BST). Free but donations welcome. Registration is essential. Go to japansociety.org.uk for details.
Miho Hazama, New York-based Japanese composer/conductor whose big band arrangements have turned heads in the Big Apple, gets a chance to turn her jazz charts loose on the Danish Radio Big Band in her next recording entitled “Imaginary Visions” (Edition Records) now out.
Film & Media
China Institute’s “Seeing China Through Film” series presents a virtual screening of Jia Zhangke’s debut film “The Pickpocket” on Thursday, October 21 (ET). The director joins film scholar Richard Pena to talk about his film. Produced in 1997, it tells the story of a poor provincial town looking to crack down on crime in 1997 during the reform era. Members are free and $10 for non-members. Go to chinainstitute.org for details.
Toei Animation along with Fanthom events will have a special two-night screening on November 7 (English Dub) and November 9 (English Sub.) od “One Piece Film: Strong World”, the 2009 movie written by creator Eichiro Oda and the 10th film in the series. Advance tickets at Fanthomevents.com/OnePiece. Screens at over 12 theatres in Washington state.
Screening on October 20 & 21, 2021 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian will be a special screening of Japanese director Sion Sono’s (“Suicide Club”,“Love Exposure”) first English language film entitled “Prisoners of the Ghostland” starring Nicolas Cage as a notorious outlaw who must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl or else risk his own death. Go to siff.net for details.
The “All Monsters Attack” series returns for a 14th year just in time for Halloween. In this horror film orgy, two Japanese classics of the genre are screened. “Tetsuo, The Iron Man” from October 29 – November 1, 2021 and “Tetsuo II: The Body Hammer” October 30 – November 2, 2021 directed by Shinya Tsukamoto and both in new restorations. Grand illusion Cinema at 1403 NE 50th St. near the new University District linkrail station. [email protected].
A new 4k restoration of Hayao Miyazaki’s fantastical 1879 animated feature “ Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro“ opens on October 27, 2021 at the SIFF Egyptian and then screens again at the SIFF Film Center on October 28 & 29. SIFF Cinema Egyptian is at 805 E. Pine and the SIFF Film Center is near the corner of Warren & Republican on the Seattle Center campus. Go to siff.net for details.
Seattle Queer Film Festival screens October 14 – 24, 2021. This will be a hybrid festival with virtual programming as well as in-person screenings and live events at venues around Seattle. For details, go to https://threedollarbillcinema.org/enews or @seattlequeerfilmfestival.
Tasveer Festival returns screening films from all over the South Asian diaspora. Runs from October 1 – 24, 2021. Some highlights include actor Riz Ahmed as festival keynote speaker and a 4 week comedy workshop for South Asian women with a comedy presentation by Zubi Ahmed of Kutti Gang. Go to tasveer.org for details.
“Searchlight Serenade” is a 2012 animated short based on woodcuts by California artist Amy Uyeki that highlights the contributions of Japanese American big bands which numbered 20 in the many internment camps during WWII. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by9Zq4kTjPg.
“All About My Sisters” is a documentary portrait of a family by Chinese filmmaker Wang Qiong, warts and all. It follows seven years in which the director follows parents, siblings and relatives as they deal with issues of intimacy and rancor among family. In theatres now.
“One Second” is a 2020 drama directed by Zhang Yimou. It is about a man who escapes from a farm prison during the Cultural Revolution. Though selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, it was withdrawn shortly before screening. The official explanation was “technical difficulties encountered during the post-production but critics suspect politically motivated censorship. It was scheduled to screen at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival in September. Neon has acquired the film’s U.S. distribution rights.
Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti’s film on corruption and journalism entitled “On The Job: The Missing 8” gained mention in a New York Times article on the Venice International Film Festival by Jessica Kiang.
Actor/director Justin Chon’s latest film “Blue Bayou” is about a Korean adoptee raised in a small town in the Louisiana Bayou. Struggling to make a better life for his family, he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past after learning he could deported from the only country he’s ever called home. Chon directed and stars in the film with Alicia Vikander, Linh Dan Pham and Vondie Curtis Hall. Screened at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Focus Features releases it in theatres on September 17, 2021. Locally playing at Regal Thornton Place Imax & Screen X and AMC Seattle 10. In related news, Justin Chon and Kogonada will each direct four episodes each of “Pachinko”, Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel that chronicles the hopes and dreams of four generations of a Korean immigrant family living in Japan. Cast includes Lee Min Ho, Jin Ha, Anna Sawai, Misha Kim and Soji Arai. The script is written by and executive produced by Soo Hugh for Media Res Productions and will be a multi-part series for Apple TV. Scheduled to start shooting in October, 2021.
“ROH” as directed by Emir Ezwan was Malaysia’s official entry for Best International Feature Film” at the 2021 Academy Awards. Cut off from civilization, a young family’s life is upended by the supernatural in this eerie folktale. This film premieres on Virtual Cinema, VOD and digital on October 29, 2021 from Film Movement. Go to [email protected] for details.
“Eternals” is Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao in a Marvel comic universe with an all-star cast of Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kumail Nanjani, Angelina Jolie and many others. Opens November 5, 2021 in theatres.
“Flee” is the award-winning full-length animated feature that was a Sundance award-winner. It tells the story of an Afghan man who fled the country as a child, bouncing from place to place in the world, looking for refuge. Opens December 3, 2021 in theatres.
“Try Harder” is documentary filmmaker Debbie Lum’s look at the hypercompetitive race to for students to get into college at a Bay Area high school. Opens December 3, 2021 in theatres.
“Drive My Car” is another film by Ryusuki Hamaguchi that looks at a stage actor/director, his recently deceased wife and a journey by car to a theatre by a mysterious young woman driver. Scenes of the intersection between drama and real life. Opens November 24, 2021 in theatres.
The Rescue” is Oscar-winning (“Free Solo”) documentary filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin’s look at the 2018 cave rescue of a boys soccer team in a Thai cave. Opens in theatres in October, 2021.
“Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” is a trio of stories of three female characters that hinge on chance coincidences, misunderstandings and surprise reactions. Opens October 15, 2021 in theatres and virtual cinemas. Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
“Found” is a documentary about three adopted teenage girls from China who discover one another through DNA testing and go on a journey together to the land of their birth. Directed by Amanda Lipitz. Opens on October 20, 2021 on Netflix.
“There’s Someone Inside Your House” stars Sydney Park as a teenager transplanted from Hawai’i to Nebraska who works with friends to unmask a killer. Comes out October 2021 on Netflix.
“Memoria” is a 2021 film by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It stars Tilda Swinton as a British ex-pat in Columbia who becomes ill with a respiratory complaint. One night she wakes up from her sleep from a strange banging sound that nobody else seems to be able to hear. It is distributed in the US by NEON which began a theatre release plan in which the film will screen at one theatre at a time for successive weeks.
On November 23, 2021, Film Movement will issue a trio of award-winning films from the award-winning director of “Minari” which won numerous awards at Sundance. “The Early Films of Isaac Chung” includes the films “Munnyurangabo, Lucy Life” and “Abigail Harm”. For details, email [email protected]
“Broadcast Signal Intrusion” stars Harry Shun Jr. as an archivist trying to discover who’s behind some disturbing pirate broadcasts. Directed by Jacob Gentry. Out October 22, 2021 in theatres and on demand.
“They Say Nothing Stays The Same” is actor-turned-director Joe Odagiri’s cinematic debut. It’s the story of a ferryman whose job is being replaced by the building of a bridge. Set in the turn-of-the-century and starring Akira Emoto. Cinematography by Christopher Doyle. In theatres November 12, 2021 and on demand.
MUBI presents the following – Kim Cho-Hee was director Hong Sang-Soo’s former producer. In 2019, he directed his own feature film entitled “Lucky Chan-Sil” which stars Kang Mai-Geun as a film producer who loses her job when her director dies. Working as a cleaning lady for a household, she becomes infatuated with the French teacher to the family she works for. Co-stars Youn Yun-Jung of Minari” fame. Zeshawn Ali’s 2020 documentary film debut “Two Gods” is an invaluable documentary of the Muslim American experience as it follows a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer throughout the years as he serves the community in New Jersey. “Moving On” was the 2019 debut feature film by South Korean director Yoon Dan-bi. It is a moving exploration of family dynamics. When a penniless, divorced man moves into his father’s house with his young son and daughter to care for him, it becomes a temporary shelter. But when their aunt who is fleeing marital strife, moves in as well, things begin to crumble. Lynne Sachs 2013 documentary film “Your Day Is My Night” is a film in which the director crafts a portrait of the lives of Chinese immigrants in America. Jia Zhangke’s 2020 film “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue” is a documentary meditation on his home province and chronicles China’s rapid transformation using the vessel of oral history to turn personal memoir and literature into the story of a nation. Park Chan-Ok’s 2009 fim “Paju” looks at how Korea is changing in the face of gentrification and how mistakes and repressed memories are reflected in the repeating image of demolished homes. “Voice of the Unheard: A Mrinal Sen Retrospective” continues with these films. The 1973 film, “The Guerilla Fighter” in which a revolutionary activist feels turmoil with his political path as he moves his way through Calcutta, a city on the brink of change itself. Sen’s 1980 film “In Search of Famine” uses cinema to criticize the film industry’s apathy and blind privilege. With an outstanding performance by Smita Patel. “Truth or Consequences: is a documentary film by Hannah Jayanti set in a small desert town in New Mexico. It follows five residents as they lead their lives in the shadow of one of the world’s fist commercial spaceports. Shunji Iwai’s 2001 film “All About Lily Chou Chou” is a plaintive ode to fandom and friendship among the young at the dawn of the online age. “Genus Pan” is Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz’s 2020 film which screened at last year’s Venice Film Festival. It’s psychological thriller that looks at human nature and the rise of facism and a nation’s trauma. Go to [email protected] to find out about this film streaming service where you can rent these films.
“Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams” is a documentary film about Japanese high school baseball and the culture that surrounds it. Director Ema Ryan Yamazaki follows tow coaches taking their teams to the national championship with divergent philosophies and analyzes their methods of coaching. Streamed on Criterion or rent on Amazon Prime Video.
Cary Fukunaga was director of the Spanish language crime drama “Sin Nombre”, a 2011 adaptation of “Jane Eyre” and the Emmy-winning work on HBO’s “True Detective” and Netflix’s “Beast of No Nation” but his biggest spot in the limelight may come when MGM releases the long-delayed final Daniel Craig edition of the James Bond caper “No Time to Die” on October 8, 2021.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest film “Wife of a Spy” came to Seattle in a brief weekend run at Northwest Film Forum the first week of October. It’s a Hitchcockian thriller about a Japanese couple and espionage in China at the outbreak of WWII. Starts streaming October 15 and distributed by Kino Lorber.
“Karnan” by Tamil filmmaker Mari Selvaraji looks at quirky, tempered anti-hero in rural South India who takes on the state when he discovers village elders who have been tortured by the police. Stars Dhanush as the main character. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
NFFTY lauches their inaugural National Youth Filmmaker Summit set for October 4 – November 6, 2021. It’s a free virtual resource to support emerging filmmakers with 5 weeks of sessions with industry pros and ends with a Film Career Day 2021. Produced in partnership with the City of Seattle. For details, go to nffty.org.
The Written & Spoken Arts
Seattle IE contributing writer Juanita Tamayo Lott talks about her memoir entitled “Golden Children: Legacy of Ethnic Studies at SF State” via Zoom on Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 1:30pm (PT). Presented by FANHS East Bay Chapter. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Vicky Santos at [email protected]. To join in, go to httpas://zoom.us/i/93226645945?pwd=Ric4UDhOQmF2cGtlMWFNbFIXVXJPUT09. The meeting ID is 932 2664 5945. Passcode is h8p5Z.
Hugo House, Seattle’s center for writing has new classes for fall planned on site and virtual. Some possibilities include the following – Aimee Suzara has a class entitled “Poetry from Asian American Identity and Race” starting November 16, 2021. Shankar Narayan has these classes. “I’ve Drunk Your Poisoned Nectar: Writing With the Goddess in Hindu Mythology” which starts up on September 30, 2021. “Techwashed!” Writing with AI, Data and Surveillance” starting up on October 9, 2021. Anne Liu Kellor has this class entitled “Discovering Your Story: Writing Creative Nonfiction for Women of Color” set for October 13, 2021. Brian Dang has a couple of classes for theatre buffs. “Bake-Off: Start and Stage a Play in 4 Weeks” set for October 19, 2021 and “The Talk of a Party: Dialogue Generation” set for October 30, 2021. Want to know more about these and other classes? For details try [email protected] or call 206-322-7030. If you need to confirm your reservations for classes, email Lily at [email protected]. “Novel Nights” is a part book club, part celebration and unique approach to the literary salon presented by Hugo House. In its latest iteration, this program presents a virtual meet and greet with best selling authors Benjamin Percy, Daniel James Brown, Elizabeth George, Karen Russell, Ha Jin and Sonora Jha. Each event features an in-depth discussion with the author, guest moderators who will share insights and the audience can participate in an ! and A session with each writer. All sessions at 6pm (PT). November 4 – November 19, 2021. $25 per each event or $100 for the whole series. Go to [email protected] to register. Hugo House is located on Capitol Hill at 1634 – 11th Ave in Seattle.
The University Book Store has the following virtual events – Dr. Anu Taranath, UW Professor an author of “Behond Guilt Trips: Mindful travel in an Unequal World” talks about her book with fellow writer Reagan Jackson on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 6pm (PT). UBS partners with Third Place Books to present the popular Chinese science fiction writer Cixin Liu who reads from his latest book “The Wandering Earth” on Monday, November 1 at 7pm (PT). In this case, your pre-order of the book is your ticket. If you get the book before Friday, October 29 at 12 pm (PT), you will be emailed a link to the event the same day. After that customers will receive an email with their digital access.
Third Place Books presents these virtual readings – Gene Kwak discusses his debut novel “Go Home” (Overlook), the story of a washed up pro wrestler searching for his estranged father with fellow writer Catherine Lacey on Wed., October 20, 2021 (PT). Cixin Xin, China’s most well known Sci-Fi author discusses his newest book entitled “The Wandering Earth” (TOR) on November 1 at 7pm (PT) with Emily Xueni Jin (A pre-order of his book also serves as your ticket for this reading) , 2021 Farah Ali, Pushcart Prize-winning author of a new short story collection of various characters in Pakistan entitled “People Want To Live” (McSweeney’s) talks with fellow author Brian Castleberry on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 8pm (PT). Two Asian American women poets with new books out will read and discuss their work. Jane Wong is the author of “How To Not Be Afraid of Everything” and Susan Nguyen is the author of “Dear Diaspora”. On Friday, November 12, 2021 at 6pm (PT). Kyle Lucia Wu, Programs & Communications Director at Kundiman, discusses her debut novel “Win Me Something” (Tin House Books) with local poet and Western Washington University Associate Professor Jane Wong on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7pm.The book is a coming-of-age story of a biracial Chinese American girl from New Jersey who comes to terms on how she might begin to define her life. Melissa Guida-Richards talks about her new book “What White Parents Should Know About Transracial Adoption: Am Adoptee’s Perspective on Its History, Nuances and Practices” with Kalani Kapahua, General Manager at Third Place Books. On Tuesday, November 23 at 6pm.
The Jackstraw Cultural Center presents “Adventures in Sound” which includes conversations with and readings by the current crop of Jack Straw writers. Writers include Troy Osaki, Ching-In Chen, Ebo Barton and others. Go to jackstraw.org/blog or try itunes to hear these readings. Michael Schmeltzer has been chosen as the 2022 Jack Straw Writers Program Curator. He is a biracial author originally from Japan. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Floating Bridge Press. His forthcoming poetry book “Empire of Surrender” is the 2021 Wandering Aengus Book Award. The deadline for the Writer’s Program is November 1, 2021. Go to jackstraw.org for details.
Elliott Bay Book Company has a full slate of events in their virtual reading series. Here are a few. To celebrate the paperback reissue of a collection of essays entitled “Invisible People” by the late award-winning Seattle journalist Alex Tizon, the book’s editor Sam Howe Verhovek will moderate a discussion of his work at Town Hall Seattle in person and virtual with the author’s widow, Melissa Tizon and others. Set for November 5, 2021 at 7:30pm (PDT). On November 8, 2021 at 6pm (PDT), join a virtual discussion as Michael David Lukas and R.O. Kwon interview Rabih Alameddine about his book entitled “The Wrong End Of The Telescope” (Grove). This new novel by award-winning author Alameddine explores an Arab American trans woman’s journey as she arrives on the Greek island of Lesbos to work with Syrian refugees. “Investigations of the Body” is the title of a virtual discussion set for Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 6pm (PDT) with Kristen Millares Young, author of “Seduction”, Grace Talusan, author of “The Body Papers” and Michelle Bowdler, author of “Is Rape a Crime?” These three writers read and talk about our literary interrogations of a millennia of structural misogyny as manifested in the societies and systems of today. The following Northwest poets read together in a virtual reading on behalf of their new books on November 22 at 6pm (PDT). Sharon Hashimoto, Robert McNamara, Ann Spiers and John Wilson. The evening is hosted by fellow poet Michael Spence. On Monday, December 6, 2021 at 6pm (PDT), author Shayda Kafai talks with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a queer disabled femme writer, organizer, performance artist and educator. Kafai is the author of the book entitled “Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Art Activism of Sins Invalid” (Arsenal Pulp Books). The book explores the art-activism of Sins Invalid, a Bay Area performance project that radically imagines what disabled, queer, trans and gender non-conforming body/minds of color can do: how they can re-write oppression, and how they can gift us with transformational lessons for our collective survival. ASL interpretation provided. Sponsored by Seattle Public Library. Register via Elliott Bay Book Company. On Wednesday, December 8, 2021 join a virtual discussion as author Steph Cha talks with fellow writer Juhea Kim about her debut novel entitled “Beasts Of A Little Land” (Ecco), an epic story of love, war and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement. On Friday, December 10, 2021 there will be the virtual 2021 Creative Aging Conference: Cultivating Compassion. Presented by The Frye Art Museum and Centrum, this program is designed for lifelong learners and professionals from diverse discipline. Rooted in a discussion of compassion and empathy, the conference will focus on how we care for ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Speakers from multiple disciplines and life experiences will offer perspectives on the many ways we seek and build connections across time, culture and language. Sara Dickerman will interview Japanese Breakfast singer/songwriter and author Michelle Zauner (“Crying in H Mart”). Kris Rhoads interviews James Doty, Lynda Mapes, Jay Julius and Filipina photographer Hannah Reyes Morales. Go to https://fryemuseum.org/calendar/event/7592/. For making reservations to the virtual events, go to elliottbaybook.com and click on the “events” page or call 206-624-6600 or toll-free at 1-800-962-5311. Although all events are virtual for the time being. The bookstore remains open.
The 2021 Jack Straw Writers will be doing readings at a number of venues around the area this fall. They include the following – Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 7pm at Hugo House. Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 4pm at Seattle Public Library hosted by E. J. Koh. Go to [email protected] for details.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has announced their schedule for their 2021/22 season. All single tickets and subscriptions are on sale now. Go to [email protected]es.org or call 206-621-2230. Our readers may be interested in the following – Cathy Park Hong in conversation with Ijeoma Oluo: In-Person and online both. On Friday, January 28, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist and staff writer at The Atlantic and author of “I Contain Multitudes” will speak on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). At Town Hall Seattle. Charles Yu, author of the award-winning novel “Interior Chinatown” talks on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST) at Benaroya Hall – S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium. Writer Mira Jacob appears in person and online on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST) at Town Hall Seattle. Jacob is the author of the graphic memoir, “Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations”. Poet and noted translator of Korean feminist poets, Don Mee Choi speaks with Stefania Heim on Thursday, April 17, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). At Hugo House’s Lapis Theatre. Choi is the author of “Hardly War” and “DMZ Colony” both on WAVE Books.
Humanities Washington has announced their 2021 – 2023 Speakers Bureau Roster with presentations ranging from the personal to the global. Public presentations are free and will start July 1, 2021. Some speakers include the following – Under “Arts & Literature”, Deepti Agrawal will speak on “The Ancient Art Of Madhubani Painting.” Under “History”, Julie Pham speaks on “Hidden Histories: The South Vietnamese Side of the Vietnam War.” Under “Life & Culture”, Lori Tsugawa Whaley talks about “The Samurai Code: How Bushido Changes Lives”. Under “Race & Identity”, Michelie Liu talks about “Laughing Matters: Asian Americans, Comedy And Inclusion.” King County Library System presents “Laughing Matters: Asian Americans, Comedy and Inclusion” on Sept. 18, 2021 at 2pm. To reserve an online virtual program, contact [email protected]. For more information, try [email protected]
EAST WIND BOOKS in Berkeley, California remains one of the most comprehensive bookstores in the country for Asian American and Asian titles. They are sponsoring the following free virtual events. “The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics” is a book about Chinese migration to the gold fields of California, Australia and South Africa. The author/historian Mae Ngai will discuss the book with Harvey Dong, Christopher Tomlins and Lok Siu on Friday, November 19, 2021 at 1pm (PDT) in a Zoom webinar. This is a re-scheduled date. Register at crg.berkeley.edu/events. To get more details on these events, email [email protected] or go to asiabookcenter.com.
The Korea Society in New York has the following author talks – Keun Suk Gendry-Kim reads on October 21 at 5pm. Sang Yong Park reads on November 9 at 5pm and Jehea Kim reads on December 7 at 6pm. All times are East Coast time. 350 Madison on the 24th floor. New York City, New York. 212-759-7525 or try koreasociety.org.
“The Good Asian” is a comic book series about real life in pre-war San Francisco’s Chinatown starring a Chinese American detective. Written by Pornsak Paichetshote and illustrated by Alexandre Tefenkgi. For more information, try [email protected].
“In a Yellow Tone” (OCA Asian Pacific Advocates of Greater Seattle) is a comic novella produced by UW students from Professor Connie So’s class. Created in honor of the Chinese, Japanese and Filipino American Congressional Gold Medalists. Students Cyman Wong and Collette Chang discovered an old trunk with letters, photographs and mementos from WWII during research for a class assignment. This turned into a film project that was aborted during Covid 19. Instead, the students turned the material into a book that looks at the Japanese invasion of China, the internment of Japanese Americans, the end of WWII as well as a look at Seattle’s Chinatown International District.
The Long List for the National Book Awards for 2021 has been announced. Some Asian American and Asians on the list include the following – Penguin Young Readers group has their new titles named to the 2021 National Book Awards Young People’s Literature Longlist. They include “Last Night At The Telegraph Club” by Malinda Lo and “The Legend of Auntie Po” by Shing Yin Khor. Elisha Shua Dusapin’s “Winter in Sokcho” (Open Letter) translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins, Go Fei’s Peach Blossom Paradise” (NY Review of Books) translated by Canaan Moore and Bo-Young Kim’s “On The Origin of Species and Other Stories” (Kaya Press) translated by Joungmin Lee Comfort & Sora Kim-Russell have all been nominated for the 2021 National Book Award or Translated Literature. Jackie Wang’s “The Sunflower Cast A Spell” (Nightboat Books) and Hoa Nguyen’s “A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure” (Wave Books) have both been longlisted for the National Book Awards in Poetry. In the “Fiction” category, Katie Kitamura’s “Intimacies” (Riverhead Books) has been nominated. In the “Non-Fiction” category, Grace M. Cho’s “Tastes Like War: A Memoir” (Feminist Press) has been nominated. In the “” category, Paula Yoo’s “From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement” (Norton Young Readers) has been nominated. The finalists will be announced on October 5, 2021. Also the National Book Foundation announced that author Karen Tei Yamashita has been awarded its medal for “Distinguished Contribution to American Letters that comes with a $10,000 cash award. The foundation praised her work as “expansive and innovative”. Yamashita is the author of books that employ multiple perspectives and narrative styles such as “I Hotel” and “Tropic of Orange”. She along with Maxine Hong Kingston are the only Asian Americans to receive the award in its 34 year history.
The Washington Book Awards winners and finalists have been announced. E.J. Koh’s “The Magical Language of Others” won in the “Biography and Memoir” category. Donna Miscolta’s “Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories” was a “Fiction” finalist and “DMZ Colony” by Don Mee Choi was a “Poetry” finalist. Congratulations to Choi who received a “Genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation for “DMZ Colony”.
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 –
“The Modern Tiffin, On-The-Go Vegan Dishes With a Global Flair” (Tiller Press) by Priyanka Nair. The author travels the world in search of global vegan dishes that fit perfectly into a stainless steel circular lunchbox, layer by layer.
“Touring The Land of The Dead” (Europa Editons) by Maki Kashmada 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”.
“The Wandering Earth” (Tor) by Cixin Liu. A collection of ten stories that form an ode to earth, its pasts and its futures. Liu’s stories show humanity’s attempts to reason, navigate and survive in a desolate cosmos.
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.
“Go Home, Ricky! (Overlook) by Gene Kwak. Set in the world of independent wrestling, a native American wrestler is on the threshold of fame when he sustains a career-ending injury. With a loss of identity, he spirals downward culminating in a search to learn about his long lost father.
“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.
“EM” (Seven Stories) is a novel by Kim Thuy with a linked narrative of characters connected by birth and destiny. From the rubber plantations of Indochina, daily life in war-torn Saigon, Operation Babylift and today’s global nail salons, here are human lives shaped by trauma and sacrifice. Translated from the French by Sheila Fischman.
“Kuan Yin – The Princess Who Became The Goddess of Compassion” (bala kids) by Maya van der Meer and elegantly illustrated by Wen Hsu. A princess discovers the true meaning of compassion by leaving the palace and coming out into the world. This ancient Chinese tale of the world’s most beloved Buddhist divinity is a story of sisterhood, strength and following your path.
“Almost American Girl” (Balzer + Bray) is graphic novel by Robin Ha. It’s a powerful memoir of an uprooted Korean kid who all of a sudden finds herself dropped down in a new school in the deep South and how she begins to adjust and cope to such a new environment.
“My Day With Gong Gong” (Annick Press) by Sennah Yee and illustrated by Elaine Chen. May is a little girl who isn’t sure about spending a day with her grandfather. He doesn’t speak much English and she can’t understand Chinese. She’s hungry and grandpa’s errands in Chinatown are boring. But just when she’s had enough, Grandpa has a surprise she didn’t see coming. A charming, warm-hearted tale about how love crosses over between generations.
“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.
“I Love Boba” (Lychee Press) by Katrina Liu and illustrated by Phidit Prayoga is a delightful ode to that delicious bubble tea called Boba that originated from Taiwan and has become an international sensation.
“Red Flowers – The Complete Mature Works of Yoshiharu Tsuge Volume 2” (Drawn + Quarterly) by Yoshiharu Tsuge. Series editor and essay by Mitsuhiro Asakawa. Co-editor, translator, and essay co-author, Ryan Holmberg. This book ranges from deep character studies to personal reflections to ensemble comedies set in the hotels and bathhouses of rural Japan. It’s a world of extreme poverty, tradition, secret fishing holes, and top-dollar koi farming. “Red Flowers” affirms why Tsuge went on to become one of the most important cartoonists in Japan.
“I, Witness Accused – My Story of Injustice” (Norton) by Adama Bah. Bah grew up in New York City after her family immigrated from Guinea when she was two years old. She was deeply connected to her community and never had cause to question her identity. But in the shadow of 9/11, as a Muslim she began to experience hatred, racism and prejudice because of her clothing, her skin color and her religion. In this memoir, a young writer opens a window for young readers on America and the discrimination faced by Muslim Americans after 9/11.
“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.
“Painting Myanmar’s Transition” (Hong Kong University Press) edited by Ian Holliday and Aung Kaung Myat. A vibrant art scene emerged in the years of transition following a long period of military dictatorship and before the military re-emerged to shut it all down. This book puts names and faces to over 80 contemporary artists to reveal the lived experience of Myanmar’s reform years and the aspirations expressed by its citizens for the future.
“Imagine A Death” (Texas Review Press) by Janice Lee. This novel is a depiction of the ways our pasts envelope us as the author illuminates the depths of grief of three characters as they survive the death of loved ones and look for ways to carry on.
“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.
In the board books “Sumo Opposites” and “Sumo Counting” (both on Little Bigfoot Books), local author Sanae Ishida uses the charming figures of sumo wrestlers to teach tots and their parents rudimentary Japanese words. A fun way to learn a foreign language with cute pictures and text.
“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.
“A Home Under The Stars” (Little Bigfoot) by Andy Chou Musser. After a boy moves to the city, he misses the stars he can no longer see at night. When he encounters animals who are lost because they can no longer see the North Star to guide them home, the book turns into an otherworldly, nocturnal journey. All kids will enjoy joining in on this journey of discovery. With colorful, vibrant artwork by this Northwest author.
How High We Go In The Dark” (Morrow) by Sequoia Nagamatsu. This debut novel follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague.
“The Shape of Home” (Levine Querido Books) written and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. In Rashin’s first day of school in America, everything is in a different shape than she’s used to. And the kids’ families are from all over the world. Open this book to join Rashin and her classmates to discover the true things that shape a place called home.
“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.
“Beautiful Country” (Doubleday) is a memoir by Qian Julei Wang. It puts readers in the shoes of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal,” and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.
“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.
“A Thousand Questions” (Quill Tree Books) by Saadia Faruqi. Mimi is not thrilled to be spending her summer in Karachi, Pakistan with grandparents she’s never met. On the other side of town, Sakina hasn’t told her parents that all she needs to be accepted to school is to improve her English test score. When the girls meet, they think they are way too different to ever be friends. But circumstances push them into a friendship in which they realize they can help each other including their kind hearts, big dreams, and all the right questions. A book that celebrates the power of courage and friendship.
“Genji The Prince and the Parodies” (MFA Boston) by Sarah E. Thompson looks at how artists have interpreted the intrigues and love stories of The Tale of Genji, one of the world’s oldest novels and serves as an exhibition catalog.
“My Love for You Is Always” (Philomel) by Gillian Sze and illustrated by Michelle Lee. “What is love?, a child wonders. As his mother prepares a traditional Chinese meal for him, she responds to his questions as the artwork dreamily enhances each image.
“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.
“Skinship” (Knopf) is the fiction debut by Yoon Choi which centers itself around a constellation of Korean American families. A long-married couple is forced to confront their friend’s painful past. A woman in an arranged marriage struggles to connect with the son she hid from her husband for years. A well-meaning sister unwittingly reunites an abuser with his victims. “Skinship” is a searing look at the failure of intimacy to show us who the people we love truly are.
“Reprieve” (Morrow) by James Han Mattson. This is a novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room – a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment.
“The Poverty Line” (Lars Muller) by Chow and Lin. What does it mean to live on the poverty line? The artist team of Chow and Lin explore these questions by creating a visual comparison that encapsulates an idea of poverty and its world-wide dimensions in regard to food.
“Night Bus” (Drawn & Quaterly) by Zuo Ma as translated from the Chinese by R. Orion Martin. Journey through the countryside in this magical realist debut from an underground Chinese cartoonist in this new graphic novel. Ride along with a young woman wearing round glasses as she finds herself on an adventurous late night bus ride that constantly makes detours through increasingly fantastical landscapes. Meanwhile a young cartoonist returns home after art school and tries his hand at becoming a working artist while watching over his aging grandmother whose memory is deteriorating.
“The Human Zoo” (Grove Press) by Sabina Murray. Filipina American Christina “Ting” Klein leaves New York to escape a bad divorce and lands in Manila to research the biography of an indigenous Filipino brought to America at the turn-of-the-century to be exhibited as part of a human zoo at an international expo. She stays with aristocratic relatives while the country lies paralyzed under the power of a newly-elected despot. Her best friend is a gay socialist professor and her ex-boyfriend may have ties with the corrupt government and then she is saddled with the task of introducing the islands to a cousin’s fiancé in search of his roots. This story has enough plotlines for a half-dozen novels. A storyteller at the height of her powers.
“SWAN DIVE – The Making of a Rogue Ballerina” (Holt) by Georgina Pazcoguin. Born of Filipino/Italian heritage in small town, Pennsylvania, Pazcoguin came to New York’s School of American Ballet. Within ten years as a professional ballerina, she would become NYCB’s first Asian American female soloist. In this memoir, she exposes the lives of dancers at the ballet in this survival of the fittest world with stories of highs, lows and a legacy of sexual harassment, mental abuse and racism.
“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.
“Arsenic And Adobo – A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery” (Berkley) by Mia P. Manansala. When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, she is tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s falling restaurant. Dealing with a bunch of matchmaking aunties is a nuisance but when a nasty food critic (and also an ex-boyfriend) drops dead in the restaurant, the pursuit of romance takes a back seat to solving a murder case.
“Made in China – A Memoir Of Love And Labor ” (Catapult) by Anna Qu is a story of discipline as a form of devotion. A young girl is forced to work in a Queens sweatshop by her mother. Instead of acquiescing, the girl calls the Office of Children and Family Services on her mother, a single act with consequences that will impact the rest of her life and her relationship with her mother. This powerful work traces a Chinese immigrant’s journey to an American future.
“Archer” (Algonquin) by Shruli Swarmy delves into one woman’s obsession with Indian dance and the complex relationship she has with her mother as the years go by.
“What We Hunger For – Refugee and Immigrant Stories about Food and Family” (Minnesota Historical Society Press) as edited by Sung Yung Shin looks at the diverse cultures that make up family in that state and the importance that food plays in their lives. Fourteen different writers write about their complicated, poignant, funny, difficult, joyful and ongoing relationships to food, cooking and eating.
“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.
“I Am Not Starfire” (DC Graphic Novels For Young Adults) pairs a story by New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki with artwork by Yoshi Yoshitoni . Seventeen-year-old Mandy is nothing like her mother, Starfire. Her mother is gorgeous, tall, sparkly and a superhero. Mandy has no powers and is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates almost everyone. But when someone from Starfire’s past arrives, daughter Mandy has choices to make. She can give up before the battle has begun or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom.
“Grandpa Across the Ocean” (Abrams) written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. When a young boy visits his grandfather in Korea, the language and customs seem foreign and his grandfather’s house, the most boring place on earth. But as he adjusts to the differences, he begins to appreciate and enjoy his grandfather. A book that shares the challenges and joys of having a relative who lives far away.
“Honor” (Algonquin) is a novel by Thrity Umrigar that tells the story of two Indian women and the courage they inspire in each other. One is a privileged American citizen and the other lives in India where the marriage of a Hindu to a Muslim man is a source of shame.
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.
“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.
“Lala’s Words” (Orchard) by Gracey Zhang. The author/illustrator’s vibrant images and plaintive text spread a message of love and kindness as it follows the tale of a young girl and the plants in her neighborhood that she cares for with a generous spirit.
“Issei Baseball – The Story of the First Japanese Ballplayers” (University of Nebraska) by Robert K. Fitts. This book tells the story of the pioneers of Japanese baseball, young men who came to America to start a new life, only to find bigotry and discrimination.
“My Tree” (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House) by Hope Lim as illustrated by Il Sung Na. A young boy recently arrived from Korea finds solace in the plum tree in his American backyard that reminds him of the persimmon tree his family had back home. As the seasons change, he follows the phases of his life looking out at the tree. But one day, a windstorm takes the tree down.
“In The Camps – China’s High-Tech Penal Colony” (Columbia Global Reports) by Darren Byler. A cruel and high-tech form of colonization has been unfolding over the past decade in China’s vast northwestern region of Xinjiang, where as many as a million and a half Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Hui have vanished into high-security camps and associated factories. It is the largest internment of a religious minority since World War II. Darren Byler, one of the world’s leading experts on Uyghur society and Chinese surveillance, draws on a decade of research to tell the story.
“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?
“It Fell From The Sky” (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) by The Fan Brothers. This tale of a strange object that fell from the sky has all the creatures puzzled over its identity. The entrepreneurial instincts of Spider know how to make this marvel his until it wasn’t anymore. A curious tale beautifully illustrated featuring nature’s varied insects.
“The Prisoner” (Verso) by Hwang Sok-Yong. This leading Korean political novelist turns the light upon himself and his life and the present and future of Korea in this honest memoir. Once imprisoned by the government, he demands no less than a comprehensive commitment to freedom, justice and a moral universe.
“Where Three Oceans Meet” (Abrams) by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan. This picture book is a sweet tale of a journey mother, daughter and grandmother take together to the Southern tip of India and the friends they visit, the meals they share and the old friends they meet.
“The Adventures of Team Pom – Squid Happens” (Flying Eye) by Isabel Roxas. Friends form their very own synchronized swimming club in Queens, New York only to stumble upon a lonely creature secretly living in their pool in this young adult adventure/mystery in the form of a graphic novel.
“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.
“Piece by Piece – The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab” (Amulet) story and art by Priya Huq. When 13-year old Nisrin is viciously attacked for wearing a headscarf as part of her Bangladeshi cultural dress for a school project, her family does their best to help her heal before high school starts. But when Nisrin makes the abrupt decision to hear her jhijab every day, her family is shocked and frightened. What happens next will challenge her will and her decision to reclaim the symbol that made her a target in the first place.
“Violets” (Feminist Press) by Kyung-Sook Shin and translated by Anton Hur. This novel by Man Asian Literary Prize winner Shin, tells the story of a neglected young woman who experiences the violence and isolation of contemporary Korean society.
“Yellow Rain” (Graywolf Press) by Mai Der Vang. In this work of documentary, poetry and collage, a Hmong American poet does a reinvestigation of chemical biological weapons dropped on the Hmong people in the fallout of the US war in Vietnam.
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.”
“Watercress” (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House) by Andrea Wang as illustrated by Jason Chin. As her family drives through the countryside, a young girl and her brother must get out and help when their parents spot a vegetable they know from their childhood. Picking watercress by the side of the road, the girl is embarrassed and wonders why her family can’t just get their groceries at the store like everybody else. But when the mother shares the story of the family’s life in China, the girl learns to appreciate the food they foraged.
“O Beautiful” (St. Martins) by Jung Yun (“Shelter”). When her mentor from grad school offers a forty-something former model, struggling to reinvent herself as a freelance writer a chance to write for a prestigious magazine about an oil boom in North Dakota, it gives our protagonist a chance to re-visit her hometown. Born of an overbearing Caucasian father and a distant Korean mother, the woman returns to a landscape she hardly recognizes. As her past intertwines with what she’s reporting on, it reveals new realities that will forever changer her life and the way she looks at the world.
“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.
“Names for Light – A Family History” (Graywolf Press) by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint was the winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. Born in Myanmar and raised in Bangkok and San Jose, Myint in this memoir presents a moving chronicle of colonialism and inheritance. The book traverses time and memory to weight three generations of a family’s history against the painful backdrop of postcolonial violence and racism.
“Goodnight Ganesha” (Philomel) by Nadia Salomon and illustrated by Poonam Mistry. As night falls over the city, two children visiting their grandparents in India find there’s so much fun to be had.
“Sisters Of the Snake” (Harper Teen) by Sarena & Sasha Nanua. The story of how two lives collide, turning everything upside down. Princess Rani is feared royalty by the people yet her father doesn’t believe she is capable of ruling. Ria is a wily thief who is under the threat of being conscripted into a looming war. Since the two women look identical, how will they join forces, switch places and save the kingdom. A fantasy novel for teenagers.
“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.
“The Book of Form and Emptiness” (Viking) by Ruth Ozeki (“A Tale for the Time Being”) is this Northwest writer’s latest novel. A teenage boy begins to hear voices in everything after his father dies. The voices follow him as he takes refuge in a library where he discovers a strange new world. And when he meets his very own talking book, his life begins to change. On sale on September 21, 2021.
Hello, Dark“ (Pajama Press) by Wai Mei Wong and illustrated by Tamara Campeau. In a soothing monologue, a little boy confronts his fear of the bedtime darkness – and reimagines it as a new friend who can visit him every night. With appropriate dark blue shadowy illustrations that enhance the mood.
“More American” (Off the Grid Press) by Sharon Hashimoto. This title by Seattle poet and fiction writer won the 2021 Off The Grid Poetry Prize. In this volume she conjures up from collective memory the voices of grandparents, children, soldiers and survivors to convey the realities of assimilation, service and internment as experienced by Japanese Americans during and in the decades following the Second World War. Full disclosure, the artwork adorning the cover is by me.
“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 Keifo 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.
“Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon” (Simon & Schuster) by Kat Zhang and illustrated by Charlene Chua. Amy loves craft time at school but when her teacher asks everyone to make a dragon, Amy feels stuck. When her grandmother inspires her with a story, she rounds up the whole family for a dragon performance at school that makes it all perfect.
“Born Behind Bars” (Nancy Paulsen) by Padma Venkatraman (“The Bridge Home”) tells the story of Kabir, a child who was born in jail because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. When he is suddenly released, he has to fend for himself on the streets of Chennai. Luckily another street kid named Rani takes him under her wing. How these lower caste kids plot their future and how Kabir finds justice for his mother fills up the rest of the story in this young adult novel.
“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.
“Lady Joker – Volume One” (Soho Crime) by Kaoru Takamura as translated by Marie Iida and Allison Markin Powell. This magnum opus was inspired by the unsolved true-crime kidnapping case perpetrated by “the Monster with 21 Faces”. It has become a cultural touchstone since its 1997 publication in Japan. It has been twice adapted for film and TV. The case involved five conspirators who decided to carry out a heist-kidnap of the CEO of Japan’s biggest beer conglomerate and extract blood money from the company’s corrupts financiers.
“Makan: Recipes from the Heart of Singapore” (Bloomsbury Absolute) by Elizabeth Haigh. In her debut cookbook, the author and restaurant owner Elizabeth Haigh weaves together a love letter to Singaporean cooking and family traditions. Growing up, it was through food that Haigh’s mother demonstrated her affection, and the passion and love poured into each recipe is collected here. Southeast Asian cuisine is a proud mix of migrants and influences from all across Asia fused together.
“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.
“When Lola Visits” (Katherine Tegen) by Michelle Sterling and illustrated by Aaron Asis. Summer is special for a young girl when her grandmother visits from the Philippines. There is the aroma of mango jam, funny stories and her quiet, sweet singing in Tagalog. But summer is over too soon and when her grandmother prepares to leave, she has one more surprise for her favorite granddaughter.
“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.
“The Tiger Mom’s Tale” (Berkley) by Lyn Liao Butler. When an American woman inherits the wealth of her Taiwanese family, she travels to confront them about their betrayals of the past.
“Yusuf Azeem Is Not A Hero” (Quill Free Books) by Saadia Faruqi. A Pakistani American Muslim boy has high hopes that he can compete in the regional robotics competition and maybe even win it. But growing up in rural Texas on the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he knows he will have to face some obstacles. And when certain people in town start to say hateful things about him and his family, he realizes he will have to stand up to the bullies.
“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.
Ho’onani Hula Warrior” (Tundra) by Heather Gale with art by Mika Song. Based on a true story, this children’s picture book tells the tale of a young girl who longs to lead a school performance of a traditional hula chant even if it is an all male troupe. Will she win people over and be accepted?
“We Could Be Heroes” (Mira) is a novel by Mike Chen. Jamie loses his memory but has the ability to read and erase other people’s memories. Zoe is searching for her past and uses her abilities of speed and strength to deliver fast food and occasionally beat up bad guys if she feels like it. When these two archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. An emotional adventure about unlikely friends and the power of choosing who you want to be.
“Return Engagements – Contemporary Art’s Traumas of Modernity And History In Sai Gon and Phnom Penh” (Duke University Press) by Viet Le. The artist and critic examines contemporary art in Cambodia and Vietnam to rethink the entwinement of militarization, trauma, diaspora and modernity in Southeast Asian art.
“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.
“Kengo Kuma – My Life As An Architect In Tokyo” (Norton) by Kengo Kuma. This visionary architect of Japan’s new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo offers an enlightening tour of this complex city. Thoughts and reflections on his most influential buildings and Tokyo’s rich architectural heritage. Filled with the architect’s own drawings and photos of his buildings.
“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.
Laurel Nakanishi’s “Ashore” (Tupelo) is the winner of the Berkshire Prize for a 1st or 2nd book of poetry. The poems document the language, history and mythology of her native Hawai’i and show a real reverence for life.
“Let’s Not Talk Anymore” (Drawn&Quarterly) by Weng Pixin. This graphic novel weaves together five generations of women from the author’s family, each at age 15. While spanning 100 years, Pixin moves back and forth in time seamlessly, as each woman experiences loneliness and kinship, hope and belonging. The bold, vibrant paintings fill the aching silences between generations with beauty and emotion.
“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.
“Languages of Truth – Essays 2003 – 2020” (Random House) by Salman Rushdie. Newly collected, revised, and expanded nonfiction from the first two decades of the 21st century by this Booker Prize-winning international author. A look at the evolution of literature and culture with Rushdie’s most piercingly analytical views.
Best-selling young adult author David Yoon (“Frankly in Love”) has switched genres with his new adult novel entitled “Version Zero” (Putnam). A data whiz at a social media company sees the dark side of big tech and starts asking questions about the data they collect. He finds himself fired and blackballed across Silicon Valley.
“Building for Hope- Towards an Architecture of Belonging” (Thames & Hudson) by Marwa Al-Sabouni. This book is a memoir about survival and a manifesto for understanding the seeds of the Syrian civil war. This architect argues passionately for architecture’s pivotal role in shaping social realities and re-building a society from the ground up.
“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.
“Build Your House Around My Body” (Random House) by Violet Kupersmith. A kaleidoscopic debut novel that reads as part puzzle, part revenge tale, and part ghost story. It follows the intersecting fates of three unforgettable women across a half century of Vietnamese history.
“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.”
“How to Kidnap the Rich” (HarperPerennial) by Rahul Raina. A satire of modern-day India that tells the story of a poor yet intelligent young man who makes his living taking exams for sons of wealthy parents so they can get their visa and go to America.
“A Boy Named Isamu – A Story of Isamu Noguchi” (Viking) written and illustrated by James Yang. Yang imagines an artist’s sensibility talking us through a child’s mind as he walks through the world solitary but never alone. Beautifully illustrated with spare but telling text.
“The Thousand Crimes Of Ming Tsu” (Little Brown) by Tom Lin. This fiction debut reimagines the classic western through the eyes of a Chinese American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge on her abductors. “This book is a thriller, a romance and a story of one man’s quest for redemption in the face of a distinctly American brutality.”
“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?
“Crazy Rich Asians” author Kevin Kwan is back with “Sex And Vanity” (Anchor) which tells the story of the daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father. She has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side and when she finds herself drawn to a Chinese American man, she denies her feelings. When they meet again and romance flares, she must spin a web of deceit to her fiancé and family to keep the affair alive. A comedy of manners set between two cultures.
“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.
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners” (Harper) by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho. A young girl notices that her eyes look different from her friends. This book is a lyrical ode to loving oneself. It challenges readers to recognize their own beauty and strength, igniting a revolution of self-discovery and confidence.
“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.”
“The Revolution According To Raymundo Mata” (Soho) by Gina Apostal. This novel is in the form of memoir by a half-blind bookworm and revolutionary. It covers his Manila education, his love affairs and his discovery of writer and fellow revolutionary, Jose Rizal. The memoir is complicated by forewords, afterwords and footnotes by the voices of a nationalist editor, a neo-Freudian psychoanalyst critic and a translator.
“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.
Burying the Mountain (Copper Canyon) by Shangyang Fang. Deeply immersed in the music of ancient Chinese poetry, Fang’s debut alloys political erasure, exile, remembrance, and death into a single brushstroke on the silk scroll, where our names are forgotten as paper boats on water.
“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.
“Swimming to Freedom: My Escape from China and the Cultural Revolution” (Abrams) by local writer Kent Wong tells the harrowing tale of the author’s escape from China by swimming to Hong Kong. In 1974, it is estimated that half a million “freedom swimmers” risked everything to escape hardship and oppression by swimming to that city.
“Soul Lanterns” (Delacorte Press) by Shaw Kuzki. Translated by Emily Ballistrieri from the Japanese. Twelve–year-old Nozomi lives in Hiroshima and though not even born when the atomic bomb was dropped on that city, she participates in the lantern-floating ceremony to honor those lost in the blast. The names of the victims are written on each lantern but every year, Nozomi realizes her mom always releases one lantern with no name. When she investigates, complicated stories of loss and loneliness begin to unfold.
The work of Su Hwang, Samiya Bashir and Monica Youn appears in a new anthology entitled “There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters From a Crisis” (Vintage) as edited by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman. It’s a timely response to the Black Lives Matter movement by some of our country’s best writers in the form of poems, essays, letters and reflections.
Award-winning author Padma Venkatraman returns with her companion novel to “The Bridge Home” entitled “Born Behind Bars” (set for September 2021 release). This young adult novel on Penguin follows a boy who is unexpectedly released into the world after spending his whole life in Jail with his mother. Her previous book “The Bridge Home” received the SCBWI Golden Kite Award and was a 2019 Global Read-Aloud.
“Like a Dandelion”(Balzer + Bray) written and illustrated by Huy Voun Lee. This is a poetic tribute to immigrants and refugees, inspired by the author’s childhood experiences of moving to the United States from Cambodia. Like the feathery seeds of the dandelion we all fly away and take root in another place.
“Never Have I Ever” (Small Beer Press) by Isabel Yap is a collection of powerful short stories of speculative fiction/fantasy that explores themes ranging from monstrousness, shared trauma, systemic violence, friendship and the ambiguity of love.
“A Pho Love Story” (Simon & Schuster) by Loan Le is a romantic YA rom-com in which two Vietnamese American teens must navigate their new found love amid their family’s age-old feud about their competing pho restaurants.
“If I Were A Tree” (Lee & Low) by Andrea Zimmerman as imaginatively illustrated by local artist Jin Jing Tsong. This picture book traces two siblings journey into the woods and how they use the five senses to explore the natural world. Tsong’s kaleidoscopic art makes the wooded world come to life and illuminates the author’s poetic ode to trees.
“Shame On Me – An Anatomy on Race and Belonging” (Random House Canada) by Tessa McWatt. A mixed race woman asks tough questions about the necrotic legacies of race and affirming kinship and solidarity against the ongoing violence of silence and discrimination.
“Sato The Rabbit” (Enchanted Lion) written and illustrated by Yuki Ainoya and translated by Michael Blaskowsky. When a boy becomes a rabbit, he discovers the extraordinary can be found in the everyday, accepting and embracing the surreal in a world of endless possibilities. Charmingly illustrated with images that stretch the imagination.
“We Two Alone”(HarperVia) by Jack Wang. From the vulnerable and disenfranchised to the educated and privileged, the characters in this collection of stories embodies the diversity of the Chinese diaspora, past and present. An impressive fiction debut by this Chinese Canadian writer.
“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. In this book, the author questions the role of art after an act of atrocity.
“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.
“American Betiya” (Knopf) by Anuradha D. Rajurkar. This YA author takes an honest look at the ways cultures can clash in an interracial relationship. With themes of sexuality, artistic expression and appropriation, she gives voice to a young girl claiming ownership of her identity, one shattered stereotype at a time and going through the complex experience of her first relationship.
“Pop Song – Adventures in Art and Intimacy” (Catapult) by Larissa Pham. This is a memoir that plumbs the well of culture for clues and patterns about love and loss from paintings to travel, and sex and drugs before the author turns the gaze upon herself.
“Tastes Like War – A Memoir” (Feminist Press) by Grace M. Cho. The author grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. This book covers a daughter’s search through intimate and global history for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia. In her mother’s last years, the author learned to cook dishes from her mother’s childhood in order to invite the past into the present, and to hold space for her mother’s multiple voices. Over these shared meals, she discovered not only the things that broke the brilliant, complicated woman who raised her but also the things that kept her alive.
“Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food” (Ten Speed Press) by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho. The acclaimed chef behind Mister Jiu’s Restaurant shares the past, the present and the future of Chinese cooking with personal stories and recipes.
“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.
“Autumn Light – Season of Fire and Farewells” (Vintage) by Pico Iyer. Now, in a new paperback edition, the author returns to his second home of Japan after a father-in-law’s death. He immerses himself in the steadying patterns of everyday rites and reflects as the leaves turn to color and the heat begins to soften
“Yang Warriors” (University of Minnesota Press) by Kao Kalia Yang as illustrated by Billy Thao. In this inspiring picture book, the determined Hmong children of a refugee camp confront hardships and do what they can to provide subsistence to the younger kids and elderly. From this picture book emerges young heroes offering gifts of hope.
“Hiroshige – Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces” (Prestel) by Anne Sefrioul. Created during the Japanese master’s later years, this book contains images of each of Japan’s provinces. Panoramic views of the Japanese countryside captured before industrialization and Western influence.
Inspired by the Peabody Award-winning podcast, “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” (Walker) by Sheila Chari is a young adult thriller. As kids are disappearing one by one from a middle school and their parents don’t seem to care, Mars Patel and his crew go on a desperate search for answers.
“Mapping Abundance For a Planetary Future- Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai’i” (Duke) by Candance Fujikane. Fujikane criticizes settler colonial cartographies that diminish life and instead highlights the all encompassing voices of Hawaiian communities and their perspective of abundant healing and protection for the land.
“All You Knead Is Love” (FSG)by Tanya Guerrero. When a 12 year old girl must leave her mother to live with her grandmother in Barcelona, she feels estranged. But then she grows to love that city that her mother once called home. She connects with her Spanish roots, becomes close with her Filipino grandmother and discovers a passion and talent for baking bread. When her favorite bakery is in trouble, she learns what she can do to help.
“Folklorn: A Novel” (Erewhon) by Angela Mi Young tackles complex issues about mythology, science, generational trauma and identity. It follows a Korean American physicist in the Antarctic who must return to her childhood home in California to deal with mental illness that runs through her family. It explores the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.
“Afterparties – Stories” (Ecco) by Anthony Veasno So. This book marks the short story debut that offers profound insight into the intimacy of queer and Cambodian American immigrant communities. These children of refugees create a new life in California as they shoulder the inherited weight of the “killing fields” and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship and family.
“The Woman in the Purple Skirt” (Penguin) by Natsuko Imamura as translated by Lucy North is a past winner of the Akutagawa Prize. It tells the story of two chambermaids whose lives intertwine and explores envy, loneliness, power dynamics and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, suspenseful narrative.
“Kiyoshi’s Walk” (Lee & Low) by Mark Karlins as illustrated by Nicole Wong. When a boy watches his grandfather compose a haiku, he wonders “Where poems come from?” His grandfather’s response is to take him on a walk through the city.
International bestseller “Kim Jiyong, Born 1982” (Liveright) by Cho Nam-Joo as translated by Jamie Chang is now available in a paperback edition. It follows one Korean millennial “everywoman” as she descends into a psychic deterioration in the face of a rigid misogyny. A rallying cry of feminism and gender that resonated with women all over Korea.
“Lady Joker – Volume One” (Soho Crime) by Kaoru Takamura as translated by Marie Iida and Allison Markin Powell. This book centers on a crime inspired by a true case in which a food chain is sabotaged and held for kidnapping. It also turns a kaleidoscopic eye on Japanese cultural norms and taboos over a period of four decades. This fictional opus will appear in several volumes.
“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?
“The Human Zoo” (Grove Press) is the new novel by PEN/Faulkner Award-winning writer Sabrina Murray. It is the coming home story of a Filipino American woman who arrives in Manila under the throes of a dictatorship who must host a cousin’s fiancé in search of his roots, deal with a flirtation from an ex-boyfriend and co-exist with her upper class family. Due in August, 2021.
“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.
“Winter in Sokcho” (Open Letter) by French Korean author Elisa Shua Dusapin is billed as a novel as if Marguerite Duras wrote “Convenience Store Woman.” In it, a young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse in a border town between the two Koreas. An unexpected guest arrives, a French cartoonist determined to find interest in this desolate landscape. The two form an uneasy relationship that has them searching for answers.
“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.
“Paris Is A Party, Paris Is A Ghost” (FSG) is the debut novel by David Hoon Kim. Henrik Blatand is a translator living in Paris who was born in Japan and raised in Denmark as a Korean adoptee. In Paris he falls in with a group of expats from Korea and then falls in love with a Japanese student who has a nervous breakdown, eventually dying alone in her room. Haunted by this love, Henrik later becomes a parental figure to his best friend’s daughter who reminds him of his lost love. This is a transcontinental story of love, loneliness, strange bonds as well as race, calss, power and cultural identity.
“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.
“Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation” (One World) by Mira Jacob. This is a graphic novel that examines what it means to be an immigrant and a first generation American. It delves into race, sex, love and family and discusses what these issues mean to her family and to the rest of the nation.
“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.
“Tokyo Before Tokyo – Power and Magic in the City of Edo” (Reaktion) by Timon Screech. A beautifully illustrated volume on how the new capitol of Japan was formed set in the broader context of Japan’s cultural history and its extensive ties to China and Europe.
“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.
“Kalamata’s Kitchen” (Random House) by Sarah Thomas and illustrated by Jo Kosmides Edwards. Kalamata and her alligator pet take kids on food adventures around the world without ever leaving your table. In this episode she is anxious about her first day at a new school but she remembers how to feel brave when new experiences seem scary, reflecting on her visit to an Indian spice market last summer. And then without realizing it, young readers learn how to make dal, a spicy Indian lentil stew.
“Korean War Comic Books” (McFarland) by Leonard Rifas. Comic books have presented fictional and fact-based stories of the Korean War, as it was being fought and afterward. Comparing these comics with events that inspired them offers a deeper understanding of the comics industry, America’s “forgotten war” and the anti-comics movement. This book examines the dramatization of events and issues, including the war’s origins, germ warfare, brainwashing, Cold War espionage, the nuclear threat, African Americans in the military, mistreatment of POWS and atrocities.
“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.
“City of Ash And Red” (Arcade) by Hye-Young Pyun as translated by Sora Kim-Russell. This futuristic novel about a rat-killer sent by an extermination company into a foreign country swept by a plague and flooded with trash is a story of lost identity and redemption in trying times.
“We Belong” (Dial) by Cookie Hiponia Everman. In this Young Adult novel-in-verse, the author weaves together Philipino mythology and a family’s immigration story.
“Dumplings for Lili” (Norton) written and illustrated by Melissa Iwai is a delightful tale of a young girl’s cooking with her grandmother and how it leads to borrowing ingredients and sharing food in a multi-cultural apartment building.
“Count Me In” (Nancy Paulsen) by Varsha Bajaj. A middle school Indian girl doesn’t care for the bad boy next door. But when her grandmother begins to tutor him, a friendship develops. When an act of racist hate leaves her grandfather injured, the two must band together to overcome adversity.
“Heart of Fire – An Immigrant Daughter’s Story” (Viking) by Mazie K. Hirono – U.S. Senator. The intimate and inspiring life story of the first Asian American woman elected to the U.S. senate and her upbringing in immigrant Hawai’i.
“Bracelets For Bina’s Brothers” (Charlesbridge) by Rajani LaRocca as illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat. In this ingenious picture book, a young girl uses math to determine how she goes about making colorful bracelets for her many brothers.
“Utamaro and The Spectacle of Beauty” (Reaktion) by Julie Nelson Davis. This is the revised and expanded second edition. The author reinterprets this Japanese print artist within the context of his times. Looks at the roles of gender, sexuality and celebrity in Edo period Japan through Utamaro’s work.
“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?
“Mangoes, Mischief, And Tales of Friendship – Stories from India” (Candlewick) by Chitra Soundar as illustrated by Uma Krishnaswamy. This volume includes eight original trickster tales inspired by traditional Indian folktales.
“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.
“Abundance” (Graywolf) by Jakob Guanzon is a novel that looks at a father and son living on the streets down to their last dollar. It is a condemnation of capitalism and the cycles of poverty in which so many are trapped.
“Last Night At The Telegraph Club” (Dutton) by Malinda Lo. It’s 1954 and red-scare paranoia spreads across “cold war” America. Not the safest place for two teenage girls to fall in love. With deportation looming over her father, a Chinese American girl must risk it all to let her love for another see the light of day.
“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.
“Ten Little Dumplings” (Tundra) by Larissa Fan and illustrated by Cindy Wume. In a Chinese family, boys are traditionally valued but this quirky children’s picture book looks behind the ten little boys in the family to reveal a sister who is just as important.
“All of Me” (HarperCollins) by Venita Coelho. What happens to a child locked into a basement so long that he develops a personality fracturing into many characters that become his family?
“The Ramble Shamble Children” (Nancy Paulsen) by Christina Soontornva as illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Five children live in a simple run-down house where they have everything they need – a garden, chicken eggs and each other. But when they get the idea to “proper it up”, things won’t feel the same.
“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 same time navigating a world of spirits and gangsters.
Two-time Newberry Medal winner Lois Lowry’s new book “On The Horizon – World War II Reflections” (HMH) is a moving young adult account of the lives lost and forever altered in the bombings of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.
“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?”
“The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void” (Nightboat Books) by Jackie Wang. These poems emphasize the social dimensions of dreams, particularly the use of dreams to index historical trauma and social processes.
“A Future For Memory – Art And Life After The Great East Japan Earthquake” (UBC Anthropology Museum Books) by Fuyubi Nakamura. This is the exhibition catalog for this show held recently at The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia that revisits the scene of the earthquake and tsunami that engulfed Northern Japan many years ago and chronicles how it’s changed and how it’s stayed the safe and how it’s affected 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.
“American as Paneer Pie” (Aladdin) by Supriya Kelkar. As the only Indian American kid in small town America, Lekha leads two lives. Her Indian cultural world at home and the one where she’s trying to fit in at school as she gets bullied for looking different. Things change however when another Indian girl appears at school. When a racist incident rocks the school, decisions must be made.
“The Pandemic – Perspectives on Asia” (Columbia University Press) edited by Vinayak Chaturvedi. A collection of essays that look at the effect of COVID-19 in Asia as interpreted by leading scholars in anthropology, food studies, history, media stuydies, political science and visual studies. Reports from China, India, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and beyond.
“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.
“Magic Ramen – The Story of Momofuku Ando” (Little Bee) by Andrea Wang as illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz. The true story of the man who invented instant ramen through trial and error in his very own kitchen.
“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.
“Experiments in Skin – Race And Beauty In The Shadows of Vietnam” (Duke) by Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu. The author examines the ongoing influence of the Vietnam War on contemporary ideas about race and beauty.
“Facing The Mountain – a True Story of Japanese American Heroes in WWII” (Viking) by Daniel James Brown. Based on extensive interviews, the book chronicles the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese American families and their sons during the war and their courage in combat and resistance.
“Yolk” (Simon & Schuster) by Mary H. K. Choi. Two Korean sisters once thick as thieves now can’t stand the sight of each other. But when one gets cancer, the other becomes the only one who can help her. Bound together by family secrets and sickness, will these sisters learn more than they’re willing to confront?
“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.
“Hokusai – A Graphic Biography” (Lawrence King) by Franceso Matteuzzi and illustrated by Giuseppe Lotanza. A vivid graphic biography that tells the story of Hokusai’s intriguing life and pioneering works.
“The Cat Man of Aleppo” (Putnam) is a Caldecott Medal winner by Irene latham and Kaerim Shamsi-Basha as illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. This picture book is based on a true story of an ambulance driver in the city who remained even as bombs fell and the war drove citizens away. He starts to care for all the orphan cats left behind and expands his charity to the children and the remaining survivors as donations come in to support his efforts.
“From A Whisper To A Rallying Cry – The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement” (Norton) by Paula Yoo. This award-winning children’s picture book author makes her YA debut with a compelling account of the killing of Vincent Chin, the verdicts that took the Asian American community to the streets in protest, and the groundbreaking civil rights trial that followed.
“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.
“Taking On The Plastics Crisis” (Penguin Workshop) by Hannah Testa is part of the “Pocket Change Collective” series. It’s a handy guide on how we can all reduce our use of plastics that clog our beaches, oceans and landfill.
“Almond” (Scholastic) is the latest picture book by master storyteller/artist Allen Say. In it he portrays a young girl named Almond who is a victim of self-doubt and is envious of the talented new girl in school who plays the violin. Yet, through trial and error she comes to find her place in the world and a role she can play.
“NARA” (Del Monico/Prestel/LACMA) is the official catalog for one of the first major museum exhibitions on the Japanese artist on the West Coast. It surveys his large output of paintings, sculptures, drawing and installations from the past 30 years. His wide-eyed yet vaguely menacing figures are now known world-wide but this exhibition connects the work to his inspiration taken from the early 70’s punk rock scene. To this end, the exhibition also includes selections of music by Yo La Tengo on vinyl. The catalog is edited by Mika Yoshitake with texts by Michael Govan, Yoshitomo Nara and Mika Yoshitake.
“HAO – Stories” (Catapult) by Ye Chun. This collection of short stories by a three-time Pushcart winner follows Chinese women in both China and the U.S. who turn to signs and languages to navigate the alien landscapes of migration and motherhood they find themselves in.
“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.
“How To Not Be Afraid Of Everything” (Alice James) is the sophomore release by Washington poet Jane Wong due out in October, 2021. This book explores the vulnerable ways we articulate and reckon with fear: fear of intergenerational trauma and the silent, hidden histories of families. These poems speak across generations of survival in not always easy times.
“I’m Waiting For You and Other Stories” (Harper Voyager) by Kim Bo-Young. Translated by Sophie Bowman and Song Ryu. These short stories have been hailed by Academy Award-winning director Bong Joon-Ha as “a breathtaking piece of cinematic art itself.” This marks the debut in English of one of South Korea’s most treasured writers whose speculative fiction explores the driving forces of humanity and the very meaning of existence.
“The Smile Shop” (Peachtree) written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura. When a boy goes to market to buy something special, disaster strikes and he becomes penniless. But when he sees a smile shop, his curiosity is aroused and he goes in. Will he find anything of value or will he leave empty-handed and disappointed?
“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.
“Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon” (Simon & Schuster) by Kat Zhang as illustrated by Charlene Chua. When a classroom teacher asks her students to make their own dragon, Amy Wu is stumped until her grandmother’s story gives her new inspiration.
“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.
“Ichiro” (Etch) by Ryan Inzana was a Will Eisner Award nominee, received the Asian/Pacific American Award and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. This graphic novel tells the story of a boy raised by his Japanese mother in Brooklyn who grows up idolizing his American father he never knew who was killed in combat. When he is forced to go to Japan with his mother who is on a work trip, he is left with a grandfather, a stranger to him in a country he doesn’t know. When he finds himself a fugitive in a land of mythic gods, he must figure out who he is and how he can escape.
“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?
“A Nail The Evening Hangs On” (Copper Canyon) by Monica Sok. A strong debut that illuminates the experiences of the Cambodian diaspora and reflects on America’s role in escalating genocide in Cambodia. A travel to war museums around the world re-shapes the imagination of a child of refugees and from these experiences tumble out powerful poems of voice and witness.
“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?
“Banned Book Club” (Iron Circus) by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju and Ryan Estrada. This graphic novel is a young adult memoir that takes place in the 1980s under a repressive regime in South Korea. When she joins a reading group, a Korean girl finds more than books. This is a dramatic true story of the death of democratic institutions and the relentless rebellion of reading.
“Constellation Route” (Alice James) by Matthew Olzmann This new book of poems (due out March, 2022) by this mixed-race poet uses the form of the letter to explain issues related to contemporary American society. The book is a metaphysical tribute to both the Post Office and the act of letter writing as a way to understand and create meaningful connections with the world at large.
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.
“Donut Feed The Squirrels” (RH Graphic) is a graphic novel about two squirrels named Norma and Belly who conspire to steal the delicious donuts from a local food truck run by a grumpy baker.
“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.
National Book Award-winning poet Arthur Sze in “The Glass Constellation” (Copper Canyon) has his poetry spanning five decades assembled into a book of new and collected poems. Fusing elements of Chinese, Japanese, Native American and various Western experimental traditions, the poems illuminate a concern for our endangered planet and troubled species.
“Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame” (Tu Books) by Supriya Kelkar is a historical novel of a young girl in colonial India who becomes a runaway teenage widow only to be forced to work as a servant to a British captain. When she discovers a British plot against India’s citizens, what will she do?
“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.
“Hello Rain” (Chronicle) by Kyo Maclear as illustrated by Chris Turnham. This joyful romp through a rainy day combines a captivating storyline with exuberant illustrations that kids will get lost in with joy.
“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?
“The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) as translated by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian is due out January 19, 2021. It is the only complete history of this major event written by an independent scholar based in mainland China. The author witnessed much of this history firsthand, as a student and then as a journalist His previous book “Tombstone”, his definitive history of the Great Famine received the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism presented by the Nieman Fellows at Harvard and Sweden’s Steig Larsson prize. This new book was published in Hong Kong in Chinese in 2016 but has been banned in mainland China.
“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.
“ACE – What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex” (Beacon) by Angela Chen. “ACE” explores the world of asexuality and those who have found a place in it. Through reportage, cultural criticism, and memoir, this book shows what we can gain from the ACE lens.
“The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art” (University of Minnesota) by Peggy Wang. In the 1980s and 90s, a group of Chinese artists rode to international fame but their work received simplistic Western interpretations that did not always go deep enough. The author gives each artist here a new appraisal, addressing fundamental questions about form, meaning and the possibilities of art.
“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.
“Sakamoto’s Swim Club – How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory” (Kids Can Press) by Julie Abery and illustrated by Chris Sasaki. This picture book tells the true story of a school teacher who can barely swim and how he turned a group of children into skilled swimmers who won Olympic gold.
“Sachiko” (Columbia University Press) by Endo Shusaku as translated by Van C. Gessel. This novel tells the story of two young Japanese Christians in Nagasaki trying to find love in the painful war-time years between 1930 and 1945.
“Kimono Culture – The Beauty of Chiso” (Worchester Art Museum) by Vivian Li and Christine D. Starkman tells the story of a Kyoto-based draper that is one of the oldest and most prestigious kimono makers in Japan today.
“Anna K – A Love Story” (Flatiron Books) by Jenny Lee. A re-imaging of “Anna Karenina”. This time in the persona of a teenage Korean American girl in Manhattan.
“Bestiary” (One World) by K-Ming Chang. This debut novel brings myth to life, revealing layer by layer origin stories of what becomes of women and girls who carry the spirits of beasts within.
“Land of Big Numbers” (Mariner) by Te-Ping Chen. This debut story collection depicts the diverse people of China, their government and how it has tumbled into the present. The author is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
“Other Moons – Vietnamese Short Stories of the American War and Its Aftermath” (Columbia University Press) translated and edited by Quan Manh Ha and Joseph Babcock. In this anthology, Vietnamese writers describe their experience of what they call the American war and its lasting legacy through the lens of their own vital artistic visions.
“Two Trees Make a Forest – In Search of My Family’s Past Among Taiwan’s Mountains And Coasts” (Hamish Hamilton) by Jessica J. Lee. This award-winning memoir from Canada opens as the author finds her immigrant grandfather’s letters and traces his adventures in the nature of his country.
“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.
“On Fragile Waves” (Erewhon) by E. Lily Yu. This debut novel by a local author traces a family’s journey from Afghanistan to their eventual new home in Australia. A coming-of-age tale and meditation on exile, belonging, fragility and hope.
“New Deal Art In The Northwest – The WPA And Beyond” (UW) by Margaret Bullock. This book tells the story of hundreds of Northwest artists employed by the U.S. Federal government under the WPA Project and also serves as the catalog for an accompanying exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum. Includes work by Kamekichi Tokita, Kenjiro Nomura and Fay Chong.
“Edge Case” (Ecco) by YZ Chin. The dilemma of a Chinese woman’s life on a work visa in New York City narrows as her marriage disintegrates and her options grow sparse. The author explores the imperfect yet enduring relationship we hold to country and family.
“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.
“Paper Peek Animals” (Candlewick) by Chihiro Takeuchi. A die cut book that allows kids to peek through and pick out the animals in this wild search-and-find journey that will engage minds and counting skills as well.
“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.
“My First Book of Haiku Poems – A Picture, A Poem And A Dream – Classic Poems by Japanese Haiku Masters” (Tuttle) by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and illustrated by Tracy Gallup. Classic Japanese haiku imaginatively illustrated with bilingual English and Japanese text. Each poem comes with questions for the young reader to think about.
“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…”
“SNEEZE” (VIZ) by Naoki Urasawa is a Japanese manga that collects some of the odds and ends of short pieces by this author in one collection. Urasawa’s career spans over thirty years and a multitude of subjects. Urasawa has been called one of the artists who changed the history of manga. He’s noted for his psychological storytelling style and detailed artwork. His stories touch upon the hopes, dreams and underlying fears of humanity.
Seattle poet Don Mee Choi calls Anna Maria Hong “the genius poet of fairy tale language and conventions in “Fablesque” (Tupelo), a new book by this former Seattle resident. She goes on to say how “Hong explores the grammar of horror and hunger, survival and abuse across the contorted historical, cultural, and familial terrains of the Korean diaspora.”
“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 shows how many different kinds of families there can be.
“Sonata Ink” (Ellipsis) by Karen An-Hwei Lee imagines Kafka in the city of angles seen through the eyes of a Nisei woman hired to be his interpreter and chauffeur. Los Angeles seen as the epicenter of “The Wasteland.”
“Story Boat” (Tundra) by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. A picture book that tells the story of a little girl and her brother forced to flee home and create a new one out of dreams and stories amidst migration and crisis.
“Territory of Light” (Picador) by Yuko Tsushima as translated by Geraldine Harcout. This novel finds a young woman left by her husband starting a new life in a Tokyo apartment with her two year-old daughter. As the months go by she must confront what she has lost and who she will become.
“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.
“Eat A Bowl of Tea” (UW) by Louis Chu is a classic influential novel that captured the tone and sensibility of everyday life in an American Chinatown. This new edition comes with a foreword by Fae Myenne Ng and an introduction by Jeffrey Paul Chan.
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.
“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?
“Peach Blossom Paradise” (NYRB) by Ge Fei and translated by Canaan Morse. This novel is the first volume of the award-winning “South of the Yangtze” trilogy. It is a sweeping saga of twentieth-century China that follows a family from a tiny village through three generations of history.
“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.
“Grievance is Their Sword, Subterfuge Is Their Shield” (OkeyDokeySmokeyPokey Publishing) in the words of former IE staff person Thomas R. Brierly is “an intersectional persuasion to elucidate and educate on matters of race, violence, white supremacy and the United States’ adherence to brutal capitalism…”. Go to vvovnn.bigcartel.com to order.
News & Information
Gay City launches two arts programs to support intergenerational LGBTQ storytelling. The Youth Arts Program features a guided mentorship with a $250 stripend for participants in this new performance art initiative for LGBTQ + BIPOC youth ages 13 – 18. Artists Naa Akua and Moonyeka will serve as mentors. Deadline is October 22, 2021. In November, Gay City will launch “Emerge”, an adult artists program in partnership with Velocity Dance Center and Northwest Film Forum. Details and applications will be available in November. For more information, go to gaycity.org/ARTS.
The Jack Straw Artist Residency Programs are now open for application. The Writer’s Program deadline is Monday, November 1, 2021. The Artist Support and New Media Gallery Program deadline is Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Online applications available online via Submittable. For more information on these programs, go to [email protected] or call 206-634-0919.
The 2021-2022 Heritage Arts Apprenticeship pairs have been chosen by Humanities Washington. These sixteen teams of artists and craftspeople chosen by the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions will help preserve traditional skills for our future. Through the program, a skilled and experienced master artist will mentor an apprentice in a one-on-one program throughout the year. Some participants include the following – Kagura (Sacred Japanese Dance) master Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki will mentor Gabrrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor. North Indian regional folk music specialist Srivani Jade will mentor Vibhuti Kavishwar. South Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam will be taught by Sandhya Kandadal Rajagopal to Dhanshika Vijayaraj. Tai Tu music which is South Vietnamese folk music will be taught by Sinae Joy Chek to Siyeon Park. Madhubani painting is one of the most ancient visual art styles in the world, originating in the prehistoric Kingdom of Mithila India. It will be taught by Deepti Agrawal to Harini Ihiagarajan. Lao food ways are a vital part of preserving Lao culture and building a positive relationship with one’s heritage. It will be taught by Phoukham Kelly Bounkeua to Kitana Ludwig. For more information on this program and the artists and craftspeople chosen, contact the Washington Cultural Traditions at waculture.org.
The University of Washington Press issues a call for writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. The editors at this local press want to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. They invite writers to contact them by email to set up a meeting by phone or zoom. If interested, contact Executive Editor Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
The Readings & Workshops program at Poets & Writers has funds to provide mini-grants to pay poets, fiction writers and creative non-fiction writers to give readings throughout King County between now and June 30, 2022. Deadline is six weeks prior to any event. Email [email protected] for more information.