[Reading Challenge] AAPI Writers With A Twist

(Check out the booklist here.)

We’re a two weeks deep into AAPI Heritage Month and I’ve already scrapped two other versions of this reading challenge in order to go with this one.

I think that non-Asian Americans are slowly familiarizing themselves with some Asian cultures. Indian, Chinese, and Japanese Americans have always been recognized, if not appreciated. Korean culture has a well-earned seat at the youth culture table right now so people are becoming more familiar with Korean-Americans as well.

But y’all…Asia is a BIG place. It’s no more a country than Africa is, yet we tend to flatten the diversity there into a few East Asian and Indian stereotypes writ large on the American psyche. For this reading challenge, let’s rewire our brains a bit, shall we?

Let’s try and read books from Asian-American authors whose ancestry is NOT Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Indian. Fortunately, that still leaves us spoiled for choice. Poet and novelist extraordinaire Ocean Vuong is Vietnamese. Anthony Veasna So, author of the bittersweetly funny short story collection Afterparties was Cambodian-American.(R.I.P.). There’s also Rumaan Alam (Bangladeshi American), Meredith Talusan(Filipina American), and many, many more.

If you get stuck, check the list I made on Bookshop for recommendations. But if you’re not–what are you going to read, beautiful people?

(Beautiful people! Diverse reading isn’t just reading what you know of diversity–it’s reaching beyond, to unfamiliar and unknown viewpoints too. If you want to see more diverse booklists, check out the Equal Opportunity Bookshop. Remember that we have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop and other sites, and if you buy anything there after clicking on a link here, we’ll make a little cash and buy more books with it. Now, go read something good! Peace!)

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