In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and in support of #Bookstagrammers who have been speaking out against the ERASURE of Pacific Islanders when celebrating AAPI month, I decided to focus on Pacific Island identities in my May Reading Challenge and one of my May Book Club titles.
The AAPI stories that we predominantly see are East and South Asian--Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian. But Asia is the LARGEST continent with about 50 countries! Each with multitudes of identities and experiences that deserve to be told.
I challenge all of us to find stories about LESSER represented nations and learn what we can.
To get you started:
1. Frangipani by Célestine Vaite (2006): 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.
2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara - A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma.
3. Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young - An island of secrets. A girl on fire. An epic battle of the elements. Can love truly conquer all? A thrilling love story inspired by Pacific mythology, featuring a sinister sisterhood with an environmental agenda and a fiery yet vulnerable young woman who must master her gifts - before they destroy her and all those she cares about.
4. Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan - Marisa gets to help make dumplings this year to celebrate the New Year. But she worries if anyone will eat her funny-looking dumplings. Set in the Hawaiian islands, this story celebrates the joyful mix of food, customs, and languages from many cultures.
What other Pacific Islander stories/authors should we add to our TBR?
P.S. Purchase Frangipani as your May Book Club pick and you can get the other titles for 25% off. Use code: MaySale25