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Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: In the Library

Join the TCC libraries in celebrating generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history.

Print Books Gallery

book cover image - teenage girl, holding books, looks over her left shoulder at the camera

Almost American Girl

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, Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. 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. 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. 

illustration of an adult woman holding a child's hand as they walk away from the viewer

America Is Not the Heart

When Hero De Vera arrives in America, she's already haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and been disowned by her parents. Her uncle gives her a fresh start in the Bay Area, and he and his younger wife don't ask about her past. But their daughter--the first American-born daughter in the family--can't resist asking Hero about her damaged hands. An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. 

A family sits at a table and eats together

Asian American Food Culture

Covering topics ranging from the establishment of the Gulf Coast shrimping industry in 1800s to the Korean taco truck craze in the present day, this book explores the widespread contributions of Asian Americans to U.S. food culture. The book's seven chapters provide an historical overview of Asian immigration and the development of Asian American food culture; detail the major ingredients of the traditional Asian diet that are now found in the United States; introduce Asian cooking philosophies, techniques, and equipment as well as trace the history of Asian American cookbooks; and outline the basic structure and content of traditional Asian American meals. 

a colorful map of the southern United States

Asian Americans in Dixie

Extending the understanding of race and ethnicity in the South beyond the prism of black-white relations, this interdisciplinary collection explores the growth, impact, and significance of rapidly growing Asian American populations in the American South. Avoiding the usual focus on the East and West Coasts, several essays attend to the nuanced ways in which Asian Americans negotiate the dominant black and white racial binary, while others provoke readers to reconsider the supposed cultural isolation of the region.

A young girl with a long black pony-tail wearing a school uniform, facing away from the viewer

Chinese Cinderella

From the author of critically acclaimed and bestselling memoir Falling Leaves, this is a poignant and moving true account of her childhood, growing up as an unloved daughter in 1940s China. A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In her own courageous voice, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph in the face of despair.  Like the classic Cinderella story, this powerful memoir is a moving story of resilience and hope. 

Several men with varying skin tones reach for a basketball; only their arms are seen

Desi Hoop Dreams

South Asian American men are not usually depicted as ideal American men. They struggle against popular representations as either threatening terrorists or geeky, effeminate computer geniuses. To combat such stereotypes, some use sports as a means of performing a distinctly American masculinity. Desi Hoop Dreams focuses on South Asian-only basketball leagues common in most major U.S. and Canadian cities, to show that basketball, for these South Asian American players is not simply a whimsical hobby, but a means to navigate and express their identities in 21st century America. 

photo of a bottle of Sriracha hot sauce

Eating Asian America

The deep associations Asians in the United States have with food have become ingrained in the American popular imagination. So much so that contentious notions of ethnic authenticity and authority are marked by and argued around images and ideas of food. Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader examines the ways our conceptions of Asian American food have been shaped Chop suey, Sushi, Curry, Adobo, Kimchi, and other foods. The contributors to this anthology bring into focus the potent forces of class, racial, ethnic, sexual and gender inequalities that pervade and persist in the production of Asian American culinary and alimentary practices, ideas, and images. 

cartoon style drawing of an island coast with palm trees and a volcano in the background

Frangipani

In Tahiti, it's a well-known fact that women are wisest, mothers know best, and Materena Mahi knows best of all -- or so everyone except for her own daughter thinks. Soon enough, mother and daughter are engaged in a tug-of-war that tests the bonds of their love.

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Gender on the Edge

Transgender identities and other forms of gender and sexuality that transcend the normative pose important questions about society, culture, politics, and history. They force us to question, for example, the forces that divide humanity into two gender categories and render them necessary, inevitable, and natural. The transgender also exposes a host of dynamics that, at first glance, have little to do with gender or sex, such as processes of power and domination; the complex relationship among agency, subjectivity, and structure; and the mutual constitution of the global and the local. Particularly intriguing is the fact that gender and sexual diversity appear to be more prevalent in some regions of the world than in others. This edited volume is an exploration of the ways in which non-normative gendering and sexuality in one such region, the Pacific Islands, are implicated in a wide range of socio-cultural dynamics that are at once local and global, historical, and contemporary.

book cover image; yellow and orange flames behind the words of the title

Girls Burn Brighter

An electrifying debut novel about the extraordinary bond between two girls driven apart by circumstance but relentless in their search for one another.  After her mother's death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to care for her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond arranged marriage. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle.

a young woman with black hair over her face wears a black jacket and a black hat with the word

Internment

Rebellions are built on hope. Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the camp's Director and his guards. Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

book cover image; colorful, kaleidoscope-style artwork

Lone Star Muslims

Lone Star Muslims offers an engaging and insightful look at contemporary Muslim American life in Texas. It illuminates the dynamics of the Pakistani Muslim community in Houston, a city with one of the largest Muslim populations in the south and southwestern United States. Drawing on interviews and participant observation at radio stations, festivals, and ethnic businesses, the volume explores everyday Muslim lives at the intersection of race, class, profession, gender, sexuality, and religious sectarian affiliation to demonstrate the complexity of the South Asian experience. 

comic-book style drawing of a young man with flames coming out of his open palms

Patron Saints of Nothing

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder. Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story. Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it. As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

photo of Christine Ha at a kitchen counter with a rolling pin and a mixer

Recipes from My Home Kitchen

In her kitchen, Christine Ha possesses a rare ingredient that most professionally-trained chefs never learn to use- the ability to cook by sense. After tragically losing her sight in her twenties, this remarkable home cook, who specializes in the mouthwatering, wildly popular Vietnamese comfort foods of her childhood, as well as beloved American standards that she came to love growing up in Texas, re-learned how to cook. Using her heightened senses, she turns out dishes that are remarkably delicious, accessible, luscious, and crave-worthy. Recipes from My Home Kitchen braids together Christine's story with her food for a result that is one of the most compelling culinary tales of her generation.

photograph of an island taken from the air; clouds visible in the background

Sea People

For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a vast triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Until the arrival of European explorers they were the only people to have ever lived there. Both the most closely related and the most widely dispersed people in the world before the era of mass migration, Polynesians can trace their roots to a group of epic voyagers who ventured out into the unknown in one of the greatest adventures in human history. How did the earliest Polynesians find and colonize these far-flung islands? How did a people without writing or metal tools conquer the largest ocean in the world? A thrilling intellectual detective story that looks deep into the past to uncover who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific, where they came from, how they got there, and how we know. 

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The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

book cover image; a skin care product photo with the book's title on the lid

Whiter

In Whiter, thirty Asian American women provide heartfelt, first-hand accounts of their experiences with colorism and skin color bias through powerful, accessible, and brutally honest essays edited by Nikki Khanna. Featuring contributors of many ages, nationalities, and professions, this compelling collection covers a wide range of topics, including light-skin privilege, aspirational whiteness, and anti-blackness. From skin-whitening creams to cosmetic surgery, Whiter amplifies the diverse voices of Asian American women who continue to bravely challenge the power of skin color in their own lives.

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Yell-Oh Girls!

In this groundbreaking collection of personal writings, young Asian American girls come together for the first time and engage in a dynamic conversations about the unique challenges they face in their lives. Promoted by a variety of pressing questions from editor Vickie Nam and culled from hundreds of submissions from all over the country, these revelatory essays, poems, and stories tackle such complex issues as dual identities, culture clashes, family matters, body image, and the need to find one's voice. Yell-Oh Girls! is an inspiring and much-needed resource for young Asian American girls.

O Beautiful

Elinor Hanson, a forty-something former model, is struggling to reinvent herself as a freelance writer when she receives an unexpected assignment. Her mentor from grad school offers her a chance to write for a prestigious magazine about the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota. Elinor grew up near the Bakken, raised by an overbearing father and a distant Korean mother who met and married when he was stationed overseas. After decades away from home, Elinor returns to a landscape she hardly recognizes, overrun by tens of thousands of newcomers. Surrounded by roughnecks seeking their fortunes in oil and long-time residents worried about their changing community, Elinor experiences a profound sense of alienation and grief. She rages at the unrelenting male gaze, the locals who still see her as a foreigner, and the memories of her family's estrangement after her mother decided to escape her unhappy marriage, leaving Elinor and her sister behind. The longer she pursues this potentially career-altering assignment, the more her past intertwines with the story she's trying to tell, revealing disturbing new realities that will forever change her and the way she looks at the world.