List: Asian American and Pacific Islander Memoirs
Chung, Nicole, author.
Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by ... More
Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. She was told her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But Nicole grew up facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn't see, and wondered if the story she'd been told was the whole truth. Here Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, and chronicles the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets. -- Less
Ha, Robin, author, illustrator.
"A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts ca... More
"A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life--perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo. For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to--her mother. Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined"-- Less
Fu, Ping, 1958-
In her autobiography, Ping Fu tells her story as she lived it--from child soldier and political pri... More
In her autobiography, Ping Fu tells her story as she lived it--from child soldier and political prisoner to a CEO and "Inc." magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year. Less
"A ... journalist's memoir in the spirit of Richard Rodriquez's Hunger for memory an... More
"A ... journalist's memoir in the spirit of Richard Rodriquez's Hunger for memory and Nathan McCall's Makes me wanna holler: an intimate look at the mythology, experience, and psyche of the Asian American male"-- Less
Abrams, Sil Lai, author.
"The unique and beautifully written story of one multiracial woman's journey of acceptanc... More
"The unique and beautifully written story of one multiracial woman's journey of acceptance and identity that tackles the fraught topic of race in America. Sil Lai Abrams always knew she was different, with darker skin and curlier hair than her siblings. But when the man who she thought was her dad told her the truth--that her father was actually black--her whole world was turned upside down. Raised primarily in the Caucasian community of Winter Park, Florida, Abrams was forced to re-examine who she really was and struggle with her Caucasian, African American, and Chinese identities. In her remarkable memoir, she shares this journey and how it speaks to a larger question: Why does race matter? Black Lotus is a story of acceptance and identity but it is also a dialogue on the complex topic of race in this country by an award-winning writer and inspirational speaker"-- Less
Talusan, Meredith, author.
"A heartrending immigrant memoir and a uniquely intersectional coming-of-age story of a life l... More
"A heartrending immigrant memoir and a uniquely intersectional coming-of-age story of a life lived in duality and the in-between, and how one navigates through race, gender, and the search for love."-- Less
Cao, Lan, 1961- author.
"A mother-daughter memoir exploring loss, love, and healing, told in two alternating voices, f... More
"A mother-daughter memoir exploring loss, love, and healing, told in two alternating voices, from the critically acclaimed novelist and her teenage daughter"-- Less
Chang, Gordon H., author.
In 1864, as the Civil War still raged, throngs of Chinese migrants began to converge on the enormou... More
In 1864, as the Civil War still raged, throngs of Chinese migrants began to converge on the enormous western worksite of the Transcontinental Railroad. Over the next five years, they blasted tunnels through the granite cliffs of the Sierra Nevada and laid tracks across the burning Nevada and Utah deserts. As many as twelve hundred lost their lives along the route. Those who survived would suffer a different kind of death: a historical one. Chang retraces the laborers' odyssey, showing how they lived, ate, fought, loved, worked, and worshiped. -- adapted from jacket Less
Chee, Alexander, author.
"...How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is the author's manifesto on the entangling of... More
"...How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is the author's manifesto on the entangling of life, literature, and politics. In these essays, he grows from student to teacher, from reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend. He examines some of the most formative experiences of his life and the nation's history, including his father's death, the AIDS crisis, his adult reckoning with childhood sexual trauma, the jobs that supported him as he wrote his debut novel, Edinburgh (from Tarot reading to bookselling to cater-waiting for William F. Buckley), and the election of Donald Trump."--Front flip cover. Less
Lahiri, Jhumpa, author.
"A series of reflections on the author's experiences learning a new language and living a... More
"A series of reflections on the author's experiences learning a new language and living abroad, in a dual-language edition"-- Less
Tran, Phuc, 1974- author.
"For anyone who has ever felt like they don't belong, Sigh, Gone shares an irreverent, fu... More
"For anyone who has ever felt like they don't belong, Sigh, Gone shares an irreverent, funny, and moving tale of displacement and assimilation woven together with poignant themes from beloved works of classic literature. In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran immigrates to America along with his family. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlett Letter, The Iliad, and more, Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, teenage rebellion, and assimilation, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his immigrant parents. Appealing to fans of coming-of-age memoirs such as Fresh Off the Boat, Running with Scissors, or tales of assimilation like Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Displaced and The Refugees, Sigh, Gone explores one man's bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy and reveals redemption and connection in books and punk rock. Against the hairspray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the '80s, he finds solace and kinship in the wisdom of classic literature, and in the subculture of punk rock, he finds affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. In his journey for self-discovery Tran ultimately finds refuge and inspiration in the art that shapes--and ultimately saves--him" Less
They called it an "honor killing," but to Elizabeth Kim, the night she watched her grandfa... More
They called it an "honor killing," but to Elizabeth Kim, the night she watched her grandfather and uncle hang her mother from the wooden rafter in the corner of their small Korean hut, it was cold-blooded murder. Her Omma had committed the sin of lying with an American soldier, and producing not just a bastard but a honhyol--a mixed-race child, considered worth less than nothing. Left at a Christian orphanage in postwar Seoul like garbage, bleeding and terrified, Kim unwittingly embarked on the next phase of her extraordinary life when she was adopted by a childless Fundamentalist pastor and his wife in the United States. Unfamiliar with Western customs and language, but terrified that she would be sent back to the orphanage, or even killed, Kim trained herself to be the perfect child. But just as her Western features doomed her in Korea, so her Asian features served as a constant reminder that she wasn't good enough for her new, all-white environment. After escaping her adoptive parents' home, only to find herself in an abusive and controlling marriage, Kim finally made a break for herself by having a daughter and running away with her to a safer haven--something Omma could not do for her. Unflinching in her narration, Kim tells of her sorrows with a steady and riveting voice, and ultimately transcends them by laying claim to all the joys to which she is entitled. Less
Bui, Thi, author, artist.
"Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child... More
"Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves"--Publisher description. Less
Yang, Kao Kalia, 1980-
In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn ju... More
In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America. But lacking a written language of their own, the Hmong experience has been primarily recorded by others. Driven to tell her family's story after her grandmother's death, The Latehomecomer is Kao Kalia Yang's tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard. Less
Kingston, Maxine Hong.
A fiercely honest autobiography of growing up Chinese-American in California chronicles Kingston... More
A fiercely honest autobiography of growing up Chinese-American in California chronicles Kingston's struggle to balance the ``ghosts'' of her Chinese tradition with her new American values. (N 1 76) From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. Less
Bhagwati, Anuradha Kristina, 1975- author.
"A raw, unflinching, and inspirational memoir by a former United States Marine Captain describ... More
"A raw, unflinching, and inspirational memoir by a former United States Marine Captain describing her journey from dutiful daughter of immigrants to wide-eyed recruit to radical activist dedicated to effecting historic policy reform in the military. After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons her grad school career at Harvard University to join the Marines. It's the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military: the perfect place for her to prove that she's the ultimate Cool Girl, someone who can brawl with the boys in every sense of the word. Or at least that's what she thinks. From the moment training begins, Anuradha's G.I. Jane fantasy is punctured. As a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faces adversity and underestimation at every stage, confronting misogyny, racism, abuse, and astonishing injustice perpetrated by those in power. Pushing herself beyond her limits to prove her ability, she is forced to wrestle with what exactly drove her to pursue such punishment and violence in the first place. Once her service concludes in 2004, instead of retreating and putting it all behind her, she decides to do the exact opposite: take to task the leaders and outmoded conventions that she found so objectionable and even dangerous. Full of strength, courage, and heroic resilience, Unbecoming is about one woman who learned to believe in herself in spite of everything; it is the kind of story that will light a fire beneath you, and that will inspire our next generation of fierce female heroes to always persist"-- Less