Lone Wolf and Cub creator Kazuo Koike says being an otaku for life is his key to happiness in old age

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RocketNews 24:

Although he’s one of the most respected figures of all time in the manga industry, Kazuo Koike isn’t typically associated with the otaku subculture. When his most popular creation, Lone Wolf and Cub, was translated into English it attracted as many international fans from among Western comic readers as from those who favored Japanese manga, and in general his works have a gritty, somber tone to them, unlike the brightly colored daydreams and self-insert power fantasies that are often associated with otaku-pandering fare.

There’s also the fact that Koike was born in 1936, and being old enough and of the corresponding gender to fill two-thirds of a “grumpy old man” bingo card, you might expect him to have harsh words for Japan’s legions of hobby-obsessed individuals, like those that often sputter forth from Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki.

But it turns out that not only is Koike accepting of the otaku life, but he thinks that being an otaku from the cradle to the grave makes for a beautiful life.

In another twist, it turns out Koike is quite the social media master, with a massive Twitter following of over 140,000 fans. Recently he shared his thoughts on the otaku condition, and whether or not it’s something that people ever really grow out of.

“I’m 80 years old, so I’m just going to come out and tell you guys. People who are born as otaku are otaku for life. You can’t quit it! Natural Born OTAKU!!!” (Kazuo Koike)

“I’m always saying ‘I am the greatest otaku,’ but when you take a look around,senior citizens who are enjoying their lives are generally some sort of otaku. Truly, being an otaku until the end of your days is a wonderful thing. Live as an otaku, die as an otaku. It’s the greatest.” (Kazuo Koike)

The art of book stacking in stores of Japan

RocketNews 24:

With bookstores in Japan overflowing with manga, novels and non-fiction, it takes a lot to stand out and get noticed. However, with the advent of the three styles of book stacking we’re going to show, it’s impossible for passersby not to stop and take a gander at these literary works.

The first type of stacking is the Tower which involves arranging the books to resemble a building or castle. Although style is important, size and strength seem to be the goals of this style.

Flower Tower

▼  We can see the beginnings of the next two styles in this one.

By pushing the previous style to its limits we get the Spiral style of stacking. This appears to be the least stable but perhaps the most eye-catching of stacking styles.

And here we can see the early stages of the next style.

The Tornado style is a variation of the Spiral in that it’s actually two spirals intertwined. This style provides a nice balance of attractiveness and sturdiness.

While still an emerging art, the ultimate book stacking style would combine style and strength but also allow customers to actually pick a copy up so they can buy it.

Profile: Essayist Masako Shirasu helped define the tastes of postwar Japan in almost every aspect of aesthetics and design

Japan Times:

If you use beautiful things every day, you will naturally cultivate an eye for beautiful things without giving it a second thought. In the end, you will be repelled when you encounter the ugly and the fake. If only all Japan would come to see this, how much more joyous our lives would be and how genial and gentle people would be!”

Few Japanese lived a life in closer contact with everyday beauty than the woman who penned these words, Masako Shirasu, and I suspect that no Japanese has as much to tell us today about how to revitalize a culture caught in the cul-de-sac of value stagnation.

She published more than 50 books during her lifetime, although she did not start writing in earnest until she was in her early 30s. Her complete collected works, published by Shinchosha in 2001-02, include more than 60 books, not counting those she co-authored.

She defined the tastes of postwar Japan in almost every aspect of aesthetics and design. Yet despite the immense erudition underpinning her principles and the uncommon elegance of her style, she was totally lacking in pretense and affectation.

I believe, without a doubt, culture to be something that exists in the life of every single person as a part of their life from one day to another,” she wrote in a notebook in 1947. “Being faithful to yourself and becoming engrossed in your work, that’s culture.”

The evolution of this iconic figure from pampered little princess to Japan’s premier advocate of the simple, the austere and the unadorned in Japanese art brings to light a remarkable story.

Masako was born on Jan. 7, 1910, in a mansion at Nagatacho, Tokyo. Both of her grandfathers were admirals in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Just 2½ years before the death of Emperor Meiji, Japan was on the cusp of monumental change both domestically and internationally. Cultural and political democratization were to be the hallmarks of the new Taisho Era (1912-26), and the Japanese people aspired to be the equals, on the world stage, of the dominant European powers. And yet the society itself had only half-emerged out of the hard shell of the feudalism that had confined its progressive growth for centuries.

Masako had a foot in both camps from a very early age. At the age of 4, she began taking lessons in noh theater, the ritualistic performance art that had come to be the symbol of staid refinement during the Edo Period (1603-1867). When she was 14, she became the first female to perform on a noh stage. At the same age, she left Japan to enter school in the United States.

She studied at Hartridge School (now Wardlaw-Hartridge School) in New Jersey. Hartridge was known as a girls’ prep school for the exclusive Vassar College. Her experiences there, and at summer camp in Massachusetts among the privileged classes, turned her into a cultivated native speaker of English. But they weren’t to last long.

Her father, a man of stalwart morality and, apparently, unending generosity, lost his money in business, and Masako was forced to sail back to Japan in 1928. As fate would have it, another bankruptcy — that of the father of Jiro Shirasu — also saw the young son returning to Japan from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom the same year. Once back home in Japan, Masako and Jiro met and were married the next year, when she was 19.

Jiro, born on Feb. 17, 1902, was more than 6 feet (183 cm) tall, devastatingly handsome and a man of highly sophisticated westernized tastes. He had been sent to the United Kingdom after graduating middle school and had immediately taken to the lifestyle of the country gentleman, driving a Bentley around town and racing a Bugatti on weekends. Up to the end of his life in 1985, he drove a Porsche about the Japanese countryside.

When, shortly after the war, he was appointed by Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida as councillor of the Central Liaison Office and given the task of being go-between for Yoshida with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied powers, Masako called him “a straightforward obstinate samurai,” a fitting adversary to the pontifical general. A little later, Jiro played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for Japan’s postwar economic recovery as deputy head of the Economic Stabilization Agency. (Incidentally, Jiro worked, for a time, for The Japan Advertiser, an English-language newspaper that was absorbed by The Japan Times in 1940.)

But Masako and her obstinate samurai both realized as early as 1940 that Japan was destined to lose the war in Asia. Concluding in 1942 that Tokyo was bound to suffer mass destruction, they purchased a dilapidated thatched-roof farmhouse in what is now Machida, then a village located away from potential targets. There, at least, they could grow their own food while they waited for the war to end. They collected butterbur sprouts, myōga (Japanese ginger) and seri (Japanese parsley) from nearby fields, ate bamboo shoots from their backyard garden and baked bread from homemade flour. (This house, called Buaiso, is now a museum that is open to the public.)

Masako’s sharp eye on the mores of her people can be seen clearly in something she wrote in “Shirasu Masako Jiden” (“The Autobiography of Masako Shirasu”):

During the war there was a thing called the tonarigumi (neighborhood association). They would come to the aid of people in need. I didn’t take to this institution. The Japanese may be an honest people, but when they start helping you they also begin to tell you what to do. That’s fine up to a point, but it gradually escalates and they are soon telling you what you have to like and dislike and what you have to do in your daily life. All of a sudden, your clothes are too loud or your manicure too conspicuous. We are still a people like this even though the era has changed.

“The government and the military were overly optimistic and thought you could protect yourself against bombing by passing around buckets and waving broomsticks in the air. When we left the city, the word sokai (evacuation) was not yet in use, and anyone who escaped from Tokyo was labelled a traitor.”

It was the experience of living in the farmhouse, I believe, that transformed Masako, instilling in her the sense of what is absolutely necessary to survive in body and spirit. After all, the Japanese aesthetic is founded on the essence of all things.

Not long after the war she met brilliant men such as Hideo Kobayashi, Japan’s foremost literary critic; antiques’ guru Jiro Aoyama, about whom she subsequently wrote a book; and Hidemi Kon, author and, from 1968, the first director of the newly-created Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Masako blossomed as a fiercely original essayist on all subjects relating to culture. Late in life, Jiro wrote of her, “My old lady is amazing. Everyone else just reads about a place without going there, but she always sets out to wherever it is even just to write a few pages about the place. No one does that anymore.”

When Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games in 1964, she left the capital for Shikoku to walk the island on a pilgrimage to its many temples. She visited scores of out-of-the-way places in Japan to view old noh masks. These masks are primarily held in private collections, and owners are reluctant to send them away for display. In preparation for a ground-breaking study of the old temples and stone art in rural Nara described in a book titled “Kakurezato” (“Hidden Village”), she made monthly trips to the area over a period of years and trod every path there.

The key to understanding her passion for Japanese art can be found here, in the rough beaten paths leading to it.

As noh theater has its hashigakari (bridge to the stage) and kabuki its hanamichi (runway from the stage through the auditorium),” she wrote, “life’s charm is not a result but rather the journey toward a result.”

She saw Japanese art, in all its spare simplicity, as an unending process leading to natural imperfection.

He hates being called an auteur or a ceramic artist and never uses the word ‘a work of art’ when talking about his pots,” she wrote of the renowned Iga-ware potter Masatake Fukumori in her book “Nihon no Takumi” (“The Ingeniousness of Japan”). “The reason why he became so interested in food is because he wanted to create the plates to put it on.

Her entire life she was attracted to the act of creativity, focusing on the creators and their pure relationship to their materials. “What we need is not artists but artisans,” she wrote in 1947, referring to the craft of dyeing, but applying the statement to all the arts. “People attempt to create art and fail. If you create something with great skill, it may very well result in art.”

She went so far as to view nature through the lens of its fashioning at the hands of those artisans. She professed a love for things that displayed an ubuna (artless) art. She loved the phrase hana o ikeru (arrange flowers) because of its connotation of “bringing flowers to life.”

The fleeting nature of the flower,” she wrote, “is brought to life for the first time as the perfect harmony of stillness and movement, immutability and fluidity, thanks to the vase it’s in.”

And there you have it: It is the artificial container that gives life to nature as a medium to experience something spiritual and profound. The vessel is the message. Nature gives rise to art, and art illuminates it in return.

She spent more than half a century after the war probing the relationship between nature and art, concluding that “there is nothing in the world as all-encompassing as Japanese nature. Religion, art, history and literature are latent within it.”

She was a superb dresser drawn to the craft of fabric making, in her later years favoring clothes designed by Missoni. She traveled extensively around Iran, France, Spain and Hungary.

She was a lover of Japanese cuisine who said, “Eat what you feel like eating all the time. Those food connoisseurs and gourmets who glow with self-satisfaction give me the creeps.”

At Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture, she went straight back to the very roots of Japan’s culture, from the time before influences from China and Korea swayed it.

Nothing stirs the human imagination as the primeval natural landscape and faith as found in Katsuragi,” she wrote in “Kakurezato.” And yet her library of some 10,000 items — a collection that is still preserved at Buaiso — has a great many books relating to world culture, from texts in Latin to Proust and Gide, from Dostoevsky to Elle.

Masako died on Dec. 26, 1998, and is buried at Shingetsuin Temple in Mita City, Hyogo Prefecture, beside her husband, Jiro, who predeceased her by 13 years.

She stands as a prime and perfect symbol — I would even go as far as to say, a beacon of light — for the coming decades in Japan, where a renewal of the spirit is the sine qua non of social and economic regeneration. I think she should appeal to young Japanese, this fascinating and free-spirited woman who wrote:

Looking back, it seems that I’ve spent my whole life dawdling by the wayside, from one road to another. . . . I may have lost something on the way, but I think I have gained more.”

Best-selling author Haruki Murakami’s advice on how to be a great writer: Be born with talent

RocketNews 24:

Among contemporary writers, there’s no Japanese author with a bigger international following than Haruki Murakami. The novelist and translator is also highly respected within his home country, as Japan holds an especially deep respect for any of its citizens who succeed in making a name for themselves on the international stage.

As such, we imagine one young graduate student was hoping for some sage advice when she contacted Murakami and asked him for pointers on how to become a better writer. The response she got was as surprising, unique, and challenging as Murakami’s books themselves.

Despite the exalted status he enjoys both in his industry and Japanese society as a whole, Murakami is open to engaging with his audience and admirers. The award-winning writer regularly takes questions from visitors and personally answers them on his personal website.

▼ In a section where Murakami is represented by a juice-swilling cat

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Recently, a 23-year-old woman with the family name Sakurai wrote in with a special request.

“Hello, Mr. Murakami. I’ve always enjoyed reading your books. Currently I’m a graduate student, so I’ve got to deal with reports, presentation planning, and emails and letters to professors, and anyway I have to write a lot of compositions. But the fact is, I’m really not good at writing composition. But be that as it may, if I can’t write I can’t graduate and I’m in a tough position, so since it can’t be helped I do my writing while struggling and groaning. Is there nothing I can do to make writing easier? If you have any advice, like what you’d find in a composition primer, I would be most grateful for it.”

Considering that getting into graduate school in the first place is no mean feat, we’re going to give Ms. Sakurai the benefit of the doubt and assume she has a decent head on her shoulders, problems with the pen notwithstanding. Also, having shown the wherewithal to recognize her own academic shortcomings, plus the initiative in reaching out to someone who appears to be a more-than-qualified mentor, we’d also say she’s got the commitment and work ethic necessary to overcome her difficulties.

So how did the famous author respond?

“The act of writing is the same as sweet-talking a woman, in that you can get better, to an extent, with practice. Fundamentally, though, your abilities are determined by the talents you’ve been born with. Well, anyway, do your best.”

You could argue that the troubled graduate student should have seen this coming. Despite now having decades as a successful writer under his belt, Murakami doesn’t come from a particularly literary background. After studying theater in college, he ran a cafe and then a jazz club before suddenly getting it in his head that he could write a book. That idea became his debut work, Hear the Wind Sing, which met with immediate success upon being published when Murakami was already 30.

Hmm…you know, as we reread the author’s response, we’re not entirely sure whether or not the 66-year-old Murakami is subtly implying that he could charm the pants off the 23-year-old Sakurai, if he so chose. What we are certain of, though, is that his “advice” isn’t really any help at all.

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5 Asian authors who should be taught in every high school 


Audrey Magazine:

Hamlet. Gatsby. Odysseus.

If you’ve grown up in the American education system, these are all names that you’re probably very familiar with. After all, we spent our high school years  learning about characters and authors of European, American, and Greek roots. And while we are forever thankful for Morison, Twain and Fitzgerald, there are times when we wish there was more variety to what our minds soaked up during those pivotal four years of education.

For instance, for every 5 books read, there is an Asian writer who has a story of civil unrest, assimilation, modernity, or sacrifice that would only benefit a literature syllabus. Keep reading to discover 5 Asian writers who should be taught in every high school.



1. Haruki Murakami


John Updike described Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore as a “real page-turner, as well as an insistently metaphysical mind-bender.”

Murakami should be taught in school because he is accessible (in the sense that his mention of shamanism and classical music don’t feel foreign to the average reader), he’s funny, and he explores themes such as family versus independence and society versus solitude in a way that makes it easy to think about, write about, and talk about.



2. Jhumpa Lahiri


Indian-American author Juhmpa Lahiri wrote her first short story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies, in 2000 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Lahiri should be taught in school because her language is “plain” but powerful. She navigates fields such as immigration (a topic important to all students in schools, not just students who are children of immigrants) and immigrant psychology.



3. Gish Jen


In Gish Jen’s Mona in the Promised LandMona Chang moves with her newly prosperous family to Scarshill, New York in 1968, where the Chinese have become “the new Jews.” She attends temple “rap” sessions and falls in love (with a nice Jewish boy who lives in a tepee).

Jen should be introduced in school because her fiction is not what a high school student would expect to read, and yet it’s what one would relate to the most. Mona is charming, sassy, organized. This is not a quiet novel whose wisdom surfaces after much discussion (though that’s rewarding in its own right). It is, however, authentic in the experience it presents.



4. Aravind Adiga


The White Tiger won the Man Booker Prize in 2008, and is a sharp look at India’s class struggle.

Adiga should be taught in school because he has a dark humor that introduces the way money, class, education, and corruption is viewed after a culture has been colonized. The voice of the underclass is captured not in emotional images of disturbing occurrences, but in someone trying to be something they’re not, and succeeding.



5. Kazuo Ishiguro


Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day also won the Man Book Prize, and speaks to the post-World War I era.

Ishiguro should be taught in school because he examines three things that are so outrightly spelled out in pre-university education: dignity, memory, and perspective. He does not write in a way that glorifies the three, but speaks of the sharp parts of it: how dignity lets things go unnoticed and how memory and perspective can determine everything.


Tomoko Takeda’s cassic works of literature turned into beautiful book sculptures

Book Sculptures of Classic Literature by Tomoko Takeda
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

In her series Fragments of Story, Tokyo-based art director Tomoko Takeda creates sculptures inspired by classic works of literature using the actual books as her medium. She has created book sculptures for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Flowers for Algernon, and The Little Prince, among others.


Book Sculptures of Classic Literature by Tomoko Takeda
Two Years’ Vacation by Jules Verne

Book Sculptures of Classic Literature by Tomoko Takeda
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Book Sculptures of Classic Literature by Tomoko Takeda
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Book Sculptures of Classic Literature by Tomoko Takeda
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

photos via Tomoko Takeda


Yellow Peril! An Archive of anti-Asian fear


Angry Asian Man (blog):Got a new book that you might find interesting… Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats, is a fascinating, comprehensive new critical archive of one of the most pervasive racist tropes in Western culture: “yellow peril” — the fear of Asia as an existenstial threat to “the West.”

Tchen and Yeats have assembled a vast array of images, essays and ephemera outlining a history of “yellow peril” anxieties tracing back to the 13th century and persisting into the present day. From Fu Manchu fantasies to modern representations of China’s economic ascendancy Yellow Peril! is a lively and astute illustrated compendium of anti-Asian racism. This book drops some knowledge.

Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear
by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan YeatsBeautifully illustrated archive of “yellow peril” images, writing and ephemera

The “yellow peril” is one of the oldest and most pervasive racist ideas in Western culture—dating back to the birth of European colonialism during the Enlightenment. Yet while Fu Manchu looks almost quaint today, the prejudices that gave him life persist in modern culture. Yellow Peril! is the first comprehensive repository of anti-Asian images and writing, and it surveys the extent of this iniquitous form of paranoia.

Written by two dedicated scholars and replete with paintings, photographs, and images drawn from pulp novels, posters, comics, theatrical productions, movies, propagandistic and pseudo-scholarly literature, and a varied world of pop culture ephemera, this is both a unique and fascinating archive and a modern analysis of this crucial historical formation.

Here are a few of our “favorite” images from the book:

The Master Detective (January, 1930)

Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu, The Mast of Fu Manchu (1930)

Unknown Vol. 1, No. 1 (1939)

Lon Chaney as “Ching Ching Chinaman” in Shadows (1922)

12 Chinamen and a Woman (1950)

Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear is available now from Verso Books.

7 Essential books that capture the young Asian American experience


7, essential, books, that, capture, the, young, asian, american, experience, ,

The literary world has been exploding with talk about writers of color. Roxane Gay’s 2012 article “We Are Many. We Are Everywhere.” reignited the conversation surrounding their under-recognized voices, and was followed by an exciting Nation column aiming to improve coverage of these writers. In June, NPR criticized the publishing industry for staying “stubbornly white.” And just this week at the literAsian festival, Asian-Canadian novelist Madeleine Thein bemoaned the under-representation of writers of color in Canadian literary awards.

As a reader of color, I appreciate the attention given to this issue. One of the greatest rewards of reading is seeing yourself — your unarticulated hopes, dreams, and fears — rendered on the page in a way that is at once recognizable and enlightening. Though I loved to read growing up, for years I stayed away from writing by or about Asian Americans  — partly because it was scarce, and partly because I feared I would find just more versions of Disney Mulans, Lucy Lius, and Amy Tans. I was suspicious that a book would turn out to be a literary fortune cookie — something that Americans recognize as Chinese, but that is absolutely foreign to actual people. I didn’t know what I was missing.

Let’s take a moment to thank the books that not only established my faith in the power of Asian American literature, but that also helped me finally see myself in literature as a young Chinese-American. Today, these books point to a robust tradition that is clamoring for new voices.

1. ‘Waiting’ by Ha Jin

Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.” So starts Waiting, Ha Jin‘s National Book Award-winning novel about love, loyalty, and a changing China under the Cultural Revolution. Lin Kong is a young doctor who waits 18 years for his peasant wife Shuyu to divorce him so that he may marry the love of his life, the educated and fashionable Manna. More than simply a stunning piece of writing, Waiting presents portraits of Chinese people so true that they may incite uncontrollable sobbing. Here are the secret heartbreaks and unfulfilled dreams of parents and grandparents, brutally and beautifully exposed.

Waiting was the first book I ever read by a Chinese-American writer, and it fulfilled an urge I didn’t know I had: to read books about people like myself and my family.

2. ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers’ by Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li‘s short stories are marvels. They are sometimes strange and twisted, but always deeply compassionate, illuminating the dark sides of history and the human soul with an almost impossible level of elegance. The stories are about China and Chinese America, but there is no air of exoticism or literary tourism. “Immortality,” a story in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers about the rise and fall of a Mao look-alike, is one of the most astounding stories you will ever read.

A MacArthur fellow, Li was included in he New Yorker‘s list of 20 best writers under 40, and has received various other accolades. She is “the real deal” when it comes to Chinese-American fiction.

3. ‘A Gesture Life’ by Chang-Rae Lee

East Asian men are dealt a shoddy hand in American racial stereotyping; they are portrayed as quiet, passive, and unassertive at best. Doc Hata, the Japanese-American protagonist of A Gesture Lifeseems at first to fit this profile snugly. But Chang-Rae Lee‘s strange, dark story of love, honor, and family makes these qualities feel as heroic and deeply human as the anti-sociability of Dostoyevky’s Underground Man.

Though Lee is better known for his breakout Korean-American novel, Native Speaker,his prose in A Gesture Life is his best, carrying the quiet seeping wonder of Marilynne Robinson or Kazuo Ishiguro. Its accumulative force is staggering.

4. ‘Mona in the Promised Land’ by Gish Jen

Asians can be funny! In fact, Asians can be hilarious. So proves Gish Jen in the laugh-so-hard-your-abs-hurt Mona in the Promised Land. The book centers on Mona, a Chinese-American high schooler who falls in love with a Japanese boy who can barely speak English, decides to convert to Judaism after he flips her (literally and metaphorically), starts to date a Communist “authentic inauthentic Jew,” helps her best friend harbor a homeless pancake flipper in her basement, and so forth. Mona goes beyond being a bizarre and incredibly witty tale. Through humor, it unapologetically presents the sorest and most politically incorrect issues of identity, race, and class.

5. ‘Coming of Age in Mississippi’ by Anne Moody

Now wait. This isn’t a book by an Asian American at all. This is an autobiography of a young African American woman who grows up in Mississippi at the start of the Civil Rights Movement!

That’s right. This book has absolutely nothing to do with me, a Chinese-American woman who has never lived in Mississippi, except for the fact that I picked it up at a garage sale when I was a kid and reread it well over a hundred times during the course of my adolescence. Why was I drawn to this book? And why is it on this list? Because as a young reader, I identified fiercely with stories of slavery and the Civil War as told in African American literature. For whatever reason, Asian American literature was not as abundant or available as these books when I was a child, and so this was what I picked up. Moody’s inspiring story of real-life adversity, though quite foreign to me, was the closest I could get in literature to understanding my own struggles and sense of alienation as a minority living in the United States.

6. ‘The Woman Warrior’ by Maxine Hong Kingston

Chinese-Americans, when you try to understand what things in you are Chinese, how do you separate what is peculiar to childhood, to poverty, insanities, one family, your mother who marked your growing with stories, from what is Chinese?

This sentence embodies the crux of Kingston‘s imaginative, genre-bending memoir of growing up as a Chinese-American. It is also wisdom that, unfortunately, many critics did not take from her work. The reception of The Woman Warrior was wildly positive, but Western audiences assumed that Kingston spoke for all Chinese-Americans, rather than with her own incredibly “peculiar” voice. The result was backlash from writers such as Frank Chinwho criticized Kingston for her inaccurate portrayals of certain myths. But Kingston’s writing is bold, exhilarating, and cannot be pigeonholed into the binary of fact and fiction. If anything, The Woman Warrior is a book that calls for even more deeply individual and strange works of Asian American writing.

7. ‘Dogeaters’ by Jessica Hagedorn

Hagedorn is Filipino, American, and hip. “I don’t care if he’s a little gordito, or pangit, or smells like dead goat. That’s Boomboom Alacran, stupid. He’s cute enough for me.” Here was Junot Diaz’s electric urban language before Junot Diaz had arrived. Finding Dogeaters excited me about the possibilities of the Asian American novel, and the diversity of the Asian American literary voice. It is a novel as much about finding a voice after imperialism as finding a voice after immigration.

Check out this link:

7 Essential books that capture the young Asian American experience


Asian and Asian-American fiction book written by authors of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent (in no particular order)


Ciel Rouge:


1. Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok – 22-year old Charlie Wong is the daughter of a Beijing ballerina and noodlemaker from Chinatown. When Charlie begins work as a receptionist in one of New York’s finest dance studios, she starts to follow in the footsteps of her late ballerina mother, and quickly discovers her talent to teach ballroom dancing. But her new found happiness is soon to fall apart as the two worlds are in danger of colliding. When her younger sister Lisa falls ill, Charlie ultimately has to make a decision where her heart belongs.

2. The Partner Track by Helen Wan – Chinese-American lawyer, Ingrid Yung, must choose between the prestige of partnership and  the American Dream that she—and her immigrant parents—have come so close to achieving.

3. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok – Emigrating with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, Kimberly Chang begins a double life as a schoolgirl by day and sweatshop worker at night, an existence also marked by her first crush and the pressure to save her family from poverty.

4. Wrack and Ruin by Don Lee – Lyndon Song is a renowned sculptor who fled New York City to become a Brussels sprouts farmer in the small California town of Rosarita Bay. Lyndon has a brother, Woody, an indicted financier turned movie producer, and Woody has a plan involving a golf course on Lyndon’s land and an aging kung-fu diva from Hong Kong with a mean kick and an even meaner drinking problem. Over one madcap Labor Day weekend, this plan wreaks havoc on Lyndon’s bucolic and carefully managed life—leading to various crises, adventures, and literature’s first-ever windsurfing chase scene.

5. The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim – In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother—but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country.

6. Drifting House by Krys Lee – Set in Korea and the United States, from the postwar era to contemporary times, Krys Lee’s stunning fiction debut illuminates a people struggling to reconcile the turmoil of their collective past with the rewards and challenges of their present.

7. The Ghost Bride by Yangze Choo – Part 19th century novel, part magical journey to the Chinese world of the dead set in colonial Malaysia, Yangsze Choo’s debut novel is a startlingly original historical fantasy infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists.

8. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford – Confined to Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage during the Great Depression, Chinese-American boy William Eng becomes convinced that a certain movie actress is actually the mother he has not seen since he was seven years old, a belief that compels a determined search for answers.

9. Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap – Set in contemporary Thailand, these are generous, radiant tales of family bonds, youthful romance, generational conflicts and cultural shiftings beneath the glossy surface of a warm, Edenic setting.

10. Moon Cakes by Andrea Louie – The second daughter of successful Chinese parents, Maya Li grew up in Ohio  raised on equal measures of steamed rice and sliced white bread. Now, working in New York City in a series of dead-end jobs, she finds herself heartbroken and in search of the sense of self. Then, almost accidentally, she is drawn to the country of her parents’ youth and embarks on a trip to China.

11. Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee – Henry Park has spent his entire life trying to become a true American—a native speaker. But the very attributes that help him to excel in his profession as a spy put a strain on his marriage to his American wife and stand in the way of his coming to terms with his young son’s death. When he is assigned to spy on a rising Korean-American politician, his very identity is tested, and he must figure out who he is amid not only the conflicts within himself but also within the ethnic and political tensions of the New York City streets.

12. I, Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita – Dazzling and ambitious, this hip, multi-voiced fusion of prose, playwriting, graphic art, and philosophy spins an epic tale of America’s struggle for civil rights as it played out in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Divided into ten novellas, one for each year, I Hotel begins in 1968, when Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, students took to the streets, the Vietnam War raged, and cities burned, and features a motley cast of students, laborers, artists, revolutionaries, and provocateurs. And by the time the survivors unite to save the International Hotel—epicenter of the Yellow Power Movement—their stories have come to define the very heart of the American experience.

13. China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston – the author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here’s a storyteller’s tale of what they endured in a strange new land.

14. Miles From Nowhere by Nami Mun – Teenage Joon is a Korean immigrant living in the Bronx of the 1980s. Her parents have crumbled under the weight of her father’s infidelity and mental illness has rendered her mother nearly catatonic. So Joon, at the age of 13, decides she would be better off on her own. Joon’s adolescent years take her from a homeless shelter to an escort club, through struggles with addiction, to jobs selling newspapers and cosmetics, committing petty crimes, and finally toward something resembling hope.

15. Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo – Newly arrived in the States from Korea in the early 1980s, Dae Joon, 12, does not know his dad and does not want to.  Father left five years ago to make a home for his family in New Jersey. Now Dae Joon (“David” in America) and his older sister must adapt to a new world, working after school in Dad’s Asian gift store in the shabby Peddlers Town mall, attending ESL classes with their embarrassing parents, and discovering secrets and betrayal. 

16. Free Food For Millionaires by Min Jin Lee –  Casey Han’s four years at Princeton have given her many things, but no job and a number of bad habits. As Casey navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives of those around her: her sheltered mother, scarred father, her friend Ella who’s always been the good Korean girl, Ella’s ambitious Korean husband and his white mistress, Casey’s white fiancé, and then her Korean boyfriend, all culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots.

17. Typical American by Gish Jen – The Chang family first come to the United States with no intention of staying. Though, when the Communists assume control of China in 1949, Ralph Chang, his sister Theresa, and his wife Helen, find themselves in a crisis. At first, they cling to their old-world ideas of themselves.  But as they begin to dream the American dream of self-invention, they move poignantly and ironically from people who disparage all that is “typical American” to people who might be seen as typically American themselves.

18. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan – In 1949, four Chinese women—drawn together by the shadow of their past—begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and “say” stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club—and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades.

19. The Collective by Don Lee – In 1988, Eric Cho, an aspiring writer, arrives at Macalester College. On his first day he meets a beautiful fledgling painter, Jessica Tsai, and another would-be novelist, the larger-than-life Joshua Yoon. Brilliant, bawdy, generous, and manipulative, Joshua alters the course of their lives. As adults in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the three friends reunite as the 3AC, the Asian American Artists Collective, together negotiating the demands of art, love, commerce, and idealism. Long after the 3AC has disbanded, Eric reflects on these events as he tries to make sense of Joshua’s recent suicide.

20. Yokohama, California by Toshio Mori – Originally published in 1949, Yokohama, California, is the first published collection of short stories by a Japanese American. Set in the fictional community of Yokahama, California, Mori’s work is alive with the people, gossip, humor, and legends of Japanese America in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

21. Scent of Apples by Bienvenido Santos – This collection of sixteen short stories brings the work of a distinguished Filipino writer to the attention of an American audience. Bienvenido N. Santos first came to the United States in 1941, and since then, he has lived intermittently here and in the Philippines, writing in English about his experiences.

22. The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama – Set in Japan just before WWII, Tsukiyama’s novel tells of a young Chinese man’s encounters with four locals while he recuperates from tuberculosis.

23. Dream Jungle by Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn – Set in a Philippines of desperate beauty and rank corruption, Dream Jungle feverishly traces the consequences of two seemingly unrelated events: the discovery of an alleged lost tribe and the arrival of a celebrity-studded American film crew filming an epic Vietnam War movie. Caught in the turmoil unleashed by these two incidents are four unforgettable characters, a wealthy, iconoclastic playboy, a woman ensnared in the sex industry, a Filipino-American writer, and a jaded actor who find themselves drawn irrevocably together in this lavish, sensual portrait of a nation in crisis.

24. Empress Orchid by Anchee Min – Empress Orchid sweeps readers into the heart of the Forbidden City to tell the fascinating story of a young concubine who becomes China’s last empress. Min introduces the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid, and weaves an epic of a country girl who seized power through seduction, murder, and endless intrigue. When China is threatened by enemies, she alone seems capable of holding the country together.

25. Secondhand World by Katherine Min – Isadora Myung Hee Sohn, Isa, has just spent 95 days in a pediatric burn unit in Albany, New York, recovering from the fire that burned her house and killed her parents. Moving back in time,Secondhand World casts a devastating spell, revealing the circumstances that led to the fire.

26. Long For This World by Sonya Chung – n 1953, on a small island in Korea, a young boy stows away on the ferry that is carrying his older brother and his wife to the mainland. Fifty-two years later, Han Hyun-kyu is on a plane flying back to Korea, leaving behind his own wife in America. It is his daughter, Jane a war photographer, who journeys to find him. Here, father and daughter take refuge from their demons, flirt with passion, and, in the wake of tragedy, discover something deeper and more enduring than they could have imagined .

27. Adventures of the Karaoke King by Harold Taw – Guy Watanabe is a thirty-something man who is marginally in touch with his Asian heritage and completely out of touch with his own needs and desires. Recovering from a divorce, Watanabe is unsure of himself and the course his future might take. When he wins a local karaoke contest, he discovers not only a newfound confidence, but the courage to take risks.  From the western states and on to Asia, with a return trip in a shipping container, we follow his wild ride. Will a Korean barmaid be his downfall…or his redemption? Will Billy, a closeted gay man, or Milt, a heavily-armed dwarf, help Guy on his journey? And what about the patricidal Chinese businessman who will stop at nothing to create a global karaoke empire? And at the heart of their internal wars is Guy Watanabe’s quest for truth, hope, and self-discovery.

28. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng – Set during the tumult of World War II, on the lush Malayan island of Penang, in1939, 16-year-old Philip Hutton-the half-Chinese, half-English youngest child of the head of one of Penang’s great trading families-feels alienated from both the Chinese and British communities. He at last discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. But when the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, Philip realizes that his mentor is a Japanese spy. Young Philip has been an unwitting traitor, and must now work in secret to save as many lives as possible, even as his own family is brought to its knees.

29. A Person of Interest by Susan Choi – Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician near retirement age would seem the last person to attract the attention of FBI agents. Yet after a colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee must endure the undermining power of suspicion and face the ghosts of his past.

30.  Steer Toward Rock by Fae Myenme Ng – A solitary bachelor butcher in San Francisco’s McCarthy-era Chinatown, Jack Szeto serves the left-behind housewives of Central Valley farm laborers, falls in love with the daughter of a shunned mortician, and triggers a heartbreaking retaliatory act.

31. Mambo Peligroso by Patricia Chau – When Catalina Ortiz Midori walks into a shabby New York dance studio for her first mambo class, she has no idea her life is about to change. A Japanese-Cuban immigrant who has lost touch with her Cuban roots, Catalina is mesmerized by the one-eyed teacher, El Tuerto, and drawn to the dazzling technique of Wendy Cardoza, a Bronx mambera who is one of its reigning queens. Catalina’s growing obsession with the world of mambo will bring her back to her origins with a passion she didn’t know she possessed, and inadvertently draw her into a sinister Miami exile scheme through her disreputable cousin Guillermo.

32. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, this debut novel tells the heartwarming story of widower Henry Lee, his father, and his first love Keiko Okabe.

33. Troublemaker and Other Saints by Christina Chiu – Meet the Wongs, Shengs and Tsuis. Each of these families has its own troubles and secretsand something the other two want. But the three clanswhose members include a matriarch who talks to dead relatives; her nymphomaniac granddaughter; an old man who reads only decades-old newspapers; and a street punkshare a past and face a common future.

34. Eating Chinese Food Naked by Mei Ng – Ruby Lee, the heroine of Eating Chinese Food Naked, has just graduated from college and come back home to live with her parents over the family’s laundry business. Her parents, Bell and Franklin, are hardly a match made in heaven, and for all of her life Ruby has been her mother’s defender—a role she can’t give up even as she longs to be free of it. During the course of her summer at home, Ruby must navigate the choppy waters of familial relations—her mother and father’s estrangement, her irresponsible older brother’s volatile relationship with everyone, her sister’s recent marriage to a non-Chinese—as well as sort out her own feelings about Nick, a young man whom she loves but cannot seem to remain faithful to.

35. This Is A Bust by Ed Lin – Circa 1976 Chinatown, Vietnam vet and an alcoholic, Robert Chow’s troubles are compounded by the fact that he’s basically community-relations window-dressing for the NYPD: he’s the only Chinese American on the Chinatown beat, and the only police officer who can speak Cantonese, but he’s never assigned anything more challenging than appearances at store openings or community events. But when his superiors remain indifferent to an old Chinese woman’s death, Chow is forced to take matters into his own hands.

36. Love Made of Heart by Theresa Leyung Ryan – 27-year-old Ruby Lin has finally gotten her life together, working as a manager of special events at San Francisco’s upscale St. Mark Hotel and finishing her B.A. at night. Just as she is settling into a gorgeous new apartment, her mother shows up, having left Ruby’s abusive father. In putting together the pieces of her mother’s life, Ruby finds herself exploring the wounds of her own past.

37. Brothers by Yu Hua – Here is China as we’ve never seen it before, in a sweeping, Rabelaisian panorama of forty years of rough-and-rumble Chinese history, from the madness of the Cultural Revolution to the equally rabid madness of extreme materialism. Yu Hua gives us a surreal tale of two comically mismatched stepbrothers, Baldy Li, a sex-obsessed ne’er-do-well, and the bookish, sensitive Song Gang, who vow that they will always be brothers—a bond they will struggle to maintain over the years as they weather the ups and downs of rivalry in love and making and losing millions in the new China.

38. Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip – When Precious Orchid’s father is falsely accused of a crime and found guilty, he is executed, leaving his family a legacy of dishonour. Her mother’s only option is to enter a Buddhist nunnery, so she gives her daughter over to the care of her sister in Shanghai. And even as she commands the devotion of China’s most powerful men, Precious Orchid never gives up on her dream to escape the Pavilion, be reunited with her mother, avenge her father’s death, and find true love.

39. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng – Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages.

40. The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh – Unable to forget Dolly, the girl befriended during the British invasion of 1885 when soldiers forced the royal family of Burma into exile, Rajkumar, a poor boy, is lifted on the tides of political and social chaos to create an empire in the Burmese teak forests. Still Rajkumar cannot forget Dolly, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

41. The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw – 1940, Lim Seng Chin, 20-year-old descendant of poor, illiterate southern Chinese laborers transported as mine workers to British Malaysia in the late 19th century, renames himself Johnny Lim. Johnny’s factory is the most impressive structure in the region, and to the inhabitants of the Kinta Valley Johnny is a hero—a Communist who fought the Japanese when they invaded. But to his son Jasper, Johnny is a crook and a collaborator who betrayed the very people he pretended to serve, and the Harmony Silk Factory is merely a front for his father’s illegal businesses.

42. The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka – At the age of 14, Lakshmi leaves behind her childhood among the mango trees of Ceylon for married life across the ocean in Malaysia, and soon finds herself struggling to raise a family in a country that is, by turns, unyielding and amazing, brutal and beautiful. Giving birth to a child every year until she is 19, Lakshmi becomes a formidable matriarch. From the Japanese occupation during World War II to the torture of watching some of her children succumb to life’s most terrible temptations, she rises to face every new challenge with almost mythic strength.

43. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie – Two hapless city boys are exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

44. Angel De La Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery by Eveline Galang -Angel has just lost her father. She’s got a sister and a grandmother to look out for, and a burgeoning consciousness of the unfairness in the world—in her family, her community, and her country. Set against the backdrop of the second Philippine People Power Revolution in 2001, the contemporary struggles of surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WWII, and a cold winter’s season in the city of Chicago is the story of a daughter coming of age, coming to forgiveness, and learning to move past the chaos of grief to survive.

45. The Book of Salt by Monique Truong – A wholly original take on Paris in the 1930s through the eyes of Binh, the Vietnamese cook employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Viewing his famous mesdames and their entourage from the kitchen of their rue de Fleurus home, Binh observes their domestic entanglements while seeking his own place in the world. Truong takes us back to Binh’s youthful servitude in Saigon under colonial rule, to his life as a galley hand at sea, to his brief, fateful encounters in Paris with Paul Robeson and the young Ho Chi Minh.

46. Fake House: Stories by Linh Dinh – the first collection of short stories by poet Linh Dinh, explores the weird, atrocious, fond, and ongoing intimacies between Vietnam and the United States. Linked by a complicated past, the characters are driven by an intense and angry energy. The politics of race and sex anchor Dinh’s work as his men and women negotiate their way in a post-Vietnam War world.

47. Short Girls by Bich Minh Nguyen – Two estranged Vietnamese sisters, Van Luong and Linny Luong, each wrestling with her own life, career, and romance, are reunited at their father’s American citizenship party, and forge a new relationship.

48. When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka – On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family’s possessions, like thousands of others Japanese-Americans. In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism.

49. The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Thi Diem Thuy Le – In 1978 six refugees—a girl, her father, and four “uncles”—are pulled from the sea to begin a new life in San Diego. In the child’s imagination, the world is transmuted into an unearthly realm: she sees everything intensely, hears the distress calls of inanimate objects, and waits for her mother to join her. But life loses none of its strangeness when the family is reunited. As the girl grows, her matter-of-fact innocence eddies increasingly around opaque and ghostly traumas: the cataclysm that engulfed her homeland, the memory of a brother who drowned and, most inescapable, her father’s hopeless rage.

50. Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong – Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong’s story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author’s first twenty-four years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but they are rich in the details that light up a world within the world of America.

51. The Silent Girl by Tess Geritsen – Discovering primate hair at the scene of a grisly murder in Chinatown, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles discover clues linked to the fable of the Monkey King.

52. Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories by Hisaye Yamamoto – Hisaye Yamamoto’s tale of a naive American daughter and her Japanese mother captures the essence of the cultural and generational conflicts so common among immigrants and their American-born children.

53. The Gangster of Love by Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn – Rocky Rivera arrives in the U.S. from the Philippines the day that Jimi Hendrix dies. So begins a blazing coming-of-age story suffused with the tensions of immigration which finds Rocky moving from the counter-culture in 1960s San Francisco to the extravagant music scene in Manhattan of the 1980s.

54. Waiting by Ha Jin – Ha Jin portrays the life of Lin Kong, a dedicated doctor torn by his love for two women: one who belongs to the New China of the Cultural Revolution, the other to the ancient traditions of his family’s village.

55. The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen – This epic tale of romance and revenge immerses us in the world of a spirited young boy in turn-of-the-century Vietnam: Dan Nguyen, who is thrust into an arranged marriage at age seven, who secretly witnesses his father’s beheading, who escapes certain death by being sold into servitude, and who, ultimately, must choose between passion and family honor when he falls in love with the one woman he can never have

56. Evening Is The Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan – When Chellam, the Rajasekharan family’s rubber-plantation servant girl is dismissed for unnamed crimes, it is only the latest in a series of precipitous losses that have shaken 6-old Aasha’s life. In the space of several weeks her grandmother passed away under mysterious circumstances, and Uma, her older sister, left for Columbia University, forever. Aasha is left stranded in a family, and a country, slowly going to pieces.

57. Fade to Clear by Leonard Chang – Korean-American P.I., Allen Choice, now a full partner at Baxter & Choice Investigations, finds his life in upheaval by the reappearance of his ex-lover Linda. Over the objections of his current girlfriend Serena, Allen reluctantly takes on the case of finding Linda’s niece, who was abducted by her father in a bitter divorce battle.

58. Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao – Monkey Bridge tells two parallel, interlocked stories: one left in a secret journal by a Vietnamese mother who cannot make the transition between the land whose ghosts still haunt her and her home in the United States; the other is told by her teenaged daughter, who is caught in her own right of passage, coming of age in America after leaving Saigon in 1975.

59. The Barbarians Are Coming by David Wong Louie – In a tale that alternates between black comedy and out-and-out slapstick, Louie explores the painful alienation between a Chinese-American man and his immigrant father – a conflict that is deepened by the son’s decision to become a chef instead of a doctor.

60. Soy Sauce For Beginners by Kristin Chen – Gretchen Lin leaves behind a floundering marriage to return to her Singapore home, where she confronts the challenges of her mother’s alcoholism and her father’s artisanal soy sauce business before being pulled into a family controversy.

61. A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee – The secret life of a Japanese-American pharmacist, Franklin Hata, in a small town in New York. On the surface a model of propriety and serenity, he is torn by memories of his service in the Japanese army in World War II and the comfort woman he loved and could not save.

62. A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li –  In this rich, astonishing collection, Yiyun Li illuminates how mythology, politics, history, and culture intersect with personality to create fate. From the bustling heart of Beijing, to a fast-food restaurant in Chicago, to the barren expanse of Inner Mongolia, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers reveals worlds both foreign and familiar, with heartbreaking honesty and in beautiful prose.

63. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl: Stories by Yiyun Li – Yiyun Li gives us exquisite stories in which politics and folklore magnificently illuminate the human condition. A professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student’s true affections. A lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. Six women establish a private investigating agency to battle extramarital affairs in Beijing. Written in lyrical prose and with stunning honesty, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl introduces us to worlds strange and familiar, creating a mesmerizing and vibrant landscape of life.

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Asian and Asian-American fiction book written by authors of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent



STUSSY Livin’ “Books and Store” bookstore at Tsutaya Daikanyama (Tokyo)

Image of STUSSY Livin' GENERAL STORE "BOOKS & STORE" @ Tsutaya Daikanyama

The STUSSY Livin’ GENERAL STORE has been quickly gaining momentum across Japan, as it looks to push and develop a full lifestyle approach to the Stussy brand. Spanning everything from food to books and household items, the concept will kick off a pop-up shop at dubbed “BOOKS & STORE,” at Tsutaya Daikanyama on January 11, 2014. Several marquee personalities from the Japanese publishing world will be on hand to give their insights including Nakahara Shinichiro (LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS), Nomura Kun-shi (TRIPSTER) and Shibata Takahiro (editor / EATer).

The talk will be only open to the first 50 people that RSVP and make a purchase at the pop-up.

Tsutaya Bookstore
150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya-ku
Sarugakucho 17-5

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STUSSY Livin’ “Books and Store” bookstore at Tsutaya Daikanyama