What is now Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month began as one week of celebration. It was initially celebrated the first ten days in May in honor of two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the United States on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869. Observance was then expanded into a month-long celebration by Congress in 1992.
What to Read
Looking for your next good read? Penguin Random House put together a list of must-read books in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Just to name a few…
Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick
(Fiction) This is a story of a Korean adoptee who is extremely aware of the fact that she does not look like anyone in her family. By the age of 25, she has finally accepted it all – or so she thinks. After her father suddenly dies, a comment made at his funeral sparks an identity crisis that leads her to Seoul in search of her roots. When she goes to Korea in search of answers, what she finds is a forbidden love that will either welcome her home or destroy her chance of finding one.
(Memoir) After failing to find a job after graduating, David Chang convinced his father to loan him money so he could open a noodle restaurant called Momofuku. As the restaurant’s popularity continued to grow, he opened new locations across the United States and beyond. By 2009, Momofuku had been awarded two Michelin stars, and Chang opened a bakery called Milk Bar. Fast forward to 2018, and the son of Korean immigrant parents was the owner and chef of his own restaurant empire, the star of his own hit Netflix show and podcast, was named one of the most influential people of the 21st century, and had a following of over 1.2 million. His memoir is honest and heartfelt, and you will find yourself inspired as you read.
(Stories) This debut is a collection of stories that is said to capture the grit and glory of modern Hawai’i with breathtaking force and accuracy. Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai’i and provides a true depiction of life on Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island. In reading her stories, you will feel the powerful desire to truly belong and have a place to call home.
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