Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[The 500 Project] Asian American speculative literature

Continuing some possible recommendations in Asian American reading as on offshoot of the 500 Project, here are some places to start if you're into science fiction, horror and escapist fiction:

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Atomik Aztek by Sesshu Foster
Hopeful Monsters and The Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto
Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
Slightly Behind and to the Left by Claire Light
The Poet's Journey by Amirthi Mohanraj
Dance Dance Revolution by Cathy Hong Park
Of Love and Other Monsters by Vandana Singh
Cecilia Tan has a wide range of science fiction, erotica and even baseball.
Hong on the Range by William F. Wu.

There's an anthology of Asian American superheroes called Secret Identities: The Asian American Super Hero anthology by editors Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma.

There's also the award-winning graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Yang that I would say absolutely deserves a spot on everyone's shelves as an examination of what's possible when telling our stories. Any of the work of Adrian Tomine also really deserves a peek.

To me it's important, yet hard for many to appreciate, that the recent decades are such an amazing change from the even the 1980s when it was next to impossible to find the voice of Asian Americans anywhere. 

The voices we did hear were often very prepackaged and we were only allowed to express particular iterations of our narratives, usually along the tonal lines of Trong Van Din's "USA A-OK!" essay:

We've come a long way, but there's still much more to go!

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