In an enduring effort to promote reading and literacy, the IE features summer reading suggestions from remarkable people in our community. We hope our readers will be inspired to pick up a book and share it with others this season. In this installment, we asked Connie So, senior lecturer of American ethnic studies at University of Washington (UW) and vice president of the OCA-Greater Seattle, to share her current favorites. Here are her reasons for recommending these five.
1. Same Difference and Other Stories
By Derek Kirk Kim
“I enjoy comic books and grew up on them,” said So. “Through comic books, I learned English (I eventually became an English and communications major at UW). Both [Derek Kirk Kim and Gene Luen Yang] do a great job of fusing relevant Asian-American issues and situations into a form understandable for youths and adults.”
2. American Born Chinese
By Gene Luen Yang
“I particularly like Yang’s fusing of the Monkey King legend into the story,” said So.
3. Crossing Three Wildernesses: A Memoir
By U Sam Oeur
“I have read many books on the Khmer Rouge Massacre. U Sam Oeur’s book is one that I continually recall,” said So. “As a poet, his descriptions about what he witnessed in Cambodia are … horrifying… but it is difficult to turn away from this book.”
4. The Nanjing Massacre: Poems
By Wing Tek Lum
“Like the photographs of the massacre, it is hard to forget [Lum’s vivid descriptions of the massacre] once seen, heard or read,” said So.
By Fae Myenne Ng
“It’s a personal favorite,” So said. “She captures the Chinese Americans of San Francisco Chinatown very well.”