My wonderful friend Wendy Chen is co-hosting a reading challenge as part of Asian-American Heritage Month. The initiative was created by Shenwei (of Reading (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA, tweets @theshenners) to support Asian authors and their books in May.
The challenge is for, and hosted by, readers from several countries and there are prizes!
If you're not sure what to read, the group have put together a list of recommendations.
|MC = main character | Design: Aentee|
My to-read list for the challenge (and after):
- Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose (no words... this book is *amazing*)
- Letter to Pessoa by Michelle Cahill
- The Permanent Resident by Roanna Gonsalves
- Once Upon A Time in the East by Xiaolu Guo
- The Good Girl of Chinatown by Jenevieve Chang
Needless to say, the writers closest to my heart are Asian.
I still remember the moment, eight years ago, when I stumbled across an article by Alice Pung and thought, ‘Wow, someone like me – at last!’ All I want is to pass on that feeling. Like Alice, I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne and went to ‘Mao-Bin U’ [the University of Melbourne]. Her family is Cambodian-Chinese, mine Malaysian-Chinese.
I've also written about how few stories exist about the sex lives of Asian-Australians.
I have an interest in stories that relate to sexuality, especially from the perspective of an Asian-Australian female, as both a reader and a writer. Here are my recommendations:
- Banana Girl by Michele Lee (unapologetically irreverent yet poignant)
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (a stumbled-upon classic...)
- Fantasian by Larissa Pham (erotic thriller, mind-blowingly good... and graphic)
- A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo (very, very clever)
- Wave by Hoa Pham (on love, pain and sacrifice... haunting)
- Growing Up Asian in Australia ed. Alice Pung (includes section on sexuality)
- Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen (I am a braver writer and person thanks to Giselle.)
- 'The Summer I Learned I Wasn't the Exception' by Jenny Zhang
- 'Bi Bi Hua' by M. Elaine Mar (CW: rape)
Would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations xo