An Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Reading List

Asian Pacific American Lit

by Taylor Follett

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month! While the official website contains audio and visual resources, as well as selected digital exhibitions and collections, you can also honor Asian/Pacific American Heritage at home—or at the library. UC Berkeley’s library has a significant amount of fiction and non-fiction works by Asian and Pacific American authors. Where to start? These works come highly recommended! A few have had hugely popular adaptations, turned up in a lot of book clubs, or are well-known as Pulitzer Prize winners, and they might be a good starting place for readers starting fresh. If you’ve already read novels like Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogy or Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, the following works are just as compelling.

Get started with these novels, which vary in settings from a California hometown to a Maryland restaurant, and travel in time from a declining future America to 1979 India:

These short story collections are also excellent:

For the more lyrical among us, try these poetry collections:

Or keep it real by turning to essays and memoirs, including the memoir that inspired the hit TV series Fresh Off The Boat:

Happy reading!

Looking for a book by an Asian/Pacific American author and not finding it? You can request it here.