Join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! We celebrate those who have enriched and continue to enrich our culture through their heritage and art.
Like most commemorative months, Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become Public Law 95-419. This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 101-283 which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
Here are a few selections by authors of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. Continue to celebrate these authors and more throughout month and the year. More resources are available within the OCPL Catalog, WV Deli, and Hoopla.
Author(s): Ocean Vuong
Summary: The highly anticipated collection of poems from the award-winning writer Ocean Vuong
How else do we return to ourselves but to fold
The page so it points to the good part
In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother's death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, Vuong's poems circle fragmented lives to find both restoration as well as the epicenter of the break.
The author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize, and a 2019 MacArthur fellow, Vuong writes directly to our humanity without losing sight of the current moment. These poems represent a more innovative and daring experimentation with language and form, illuminating how the themes we perennially live in and question are truly inexhaustible. Bold and prescient, and a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, Time Is a Mother is a return and a forging forth all at once
Publication Information: New York : Penguin Press, 2022.
Title: The Mountains Sing
Author(s): Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
Summary: The International Bestseller
A New York Times Editors' Choice SelectionA Winner of the 2020 Lannan Literary Awards Fellowship
A Best Book of 2020: NPR's Book Concierge * PopMatters * Washington Independent Review of Books * Real Simple * The Buzz Magazine * NB Magazine * BookBrowse * Paperback Paris * Writer's Bone * Global Atlanta
" An] absorbing, stirring novel . . . that, in more than one sense, remedies history." --The New York Times Book Review
"A triumph, a novelistic rendition of one of the most difficult times in Vietnamese history . . . Vast in scope and intimate in its telling . . . Moving and riveting." --VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner's In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in H Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Ch Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore apart not just her beloved country, but also her family.
Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.
The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai's first novel in English.
Publication Information: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2020.
Title: Rise : A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now
Author(s): Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, Philip Wang - Illustrated by Julia Kuo.
Summary: RISE is a love letter to and for Asian Americans--a vivid scrapbook of voices, emotions, and memories from an era in which our culture was forged and transformed, and a way to preserve both the headlines and the intimate conversations that have shaped our community into who we are today.
Publication Information: Boston : Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2022.
Author(s): Min Jin Lee
Summary: A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone. Profoundly moving and gracefully told, PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life. So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Publication Information: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2018.
Author(s): Lois-Ann Yamanaka - Illustrated by: Ashley Lukashevsky
Summary: A celebration of home, family, and finding beauty in your heritage, beautifully illustrated by the artist behind Anti-Racist Baby.
Claire has been surrounded by the deep blue waves of Hapuna Beach and the magnificent mountains of Hawai'i all her life, but has never, ever seen snow. When her father drives her and her family to the top of the Mauna Kea, she can't help but to be disappointed...it's not the winter wonderland she's always dreamed of. And that's what she wants, more than anything.
But as Claire edges ever closer to the new year, she wonders if maybe-- just maybe--she can delight in the special joys of winter in her own way--right there, on her Big Island of Hawaii.
Includes backmatter that captures the environmental culture of Hawaii, and will teach children not only about the local flora and fauna, but also the value of being environmentally friendly.
Publication Information: New York : Make Me a World, 2021.
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