May is AAPI Month : Virtual Book Display

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   Join the Irene duPont Library in celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May with our curated virtual book display (the display will change throughout the month). This month is dedicated to celebrating the culture, traditions and history of this group. 

Within our display, readers will discover a treasure trove of literature spanning various genres. Each book featured reflects the experiences and cultural heritage of its author, offering readers a glimpse into the AAPI landscape.

Among the authors featured are Ocean Vuong, Kirstin Chen, Jessamine Chan, Lan Samantha Chang, and Jia Tolentino.

Ocean Vuong, prize winning-author of the novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous and  the poetry collection, Time is a Mother, fled from Vietnam with his parents at the age of two and landed in Hartford, CT.  Vuong says, "The great male writers of the European tradition, be it Proust, Tolstoy, Turgenev, deemed that those most inspiring to them existed in a white aristocracy. But I wanted to say: these lives, of women, and even of porr white people - these lives are worthy of literature." Kirstin Chen was born and raised in Singapore and attended boarding school in New Hampshire and now currently lives in San Francisco, CA.  She has written three prize-winning novels; her third novel, Counterfeit is becoming a tv show. Chen says "my culture never seems to be in danger of slipping away from me. It's right there in Singapore with my parents and grandmother and uncles and cousins. I can go back to whenever I want. in a New York Times article, was speaking about how early in her career her own uncertainties made her to want to share her good fortune with her peers. "I know something about what it's like to be an Asian-American woman who's trying to get her voice out there with a debut novel. It can be a hard sell."

International Man Booker Prize Winner for her book, The Vegetarian, Han Kang speaks about survivor guilt and the Gwangju Uprising, (Kang was 12 years old at the time) in her book Human Acts.  Jean Chen Ho, author of Fiona and Jane, said in an LA Times article, that she felt compelled "to write about friendship between Asian American women," partly as the result of her own upbringing "in a predominantly Asian L.A. suburb - the kind of place that complicates simplistic media definitions of diversity of an element of difference to the white majority."

Deepti Kapoor's debut novel A Bad Character, explores the excess of India's young and wealthy lifestyle, something that was quite familiar to her. She said: "I had to figure out how to integrate my life into this wider political/social/economic life of the country." 

Let us not only celebrate these authors but also commit ourselves to promoting greater inclusivity in literature and beyond. Together, let's celebrate the power of storytelling to inspire positive change. 

Happy AAPI Heritage Month!