Seattle Picks: Asian American Fiction
Annotation:At thirty-one, Meena Shenoy has a fulfilling career at a New Jersey high-tech firm. Not that it impresses her mother and aunts, who make dire predictions about her ticking biological clock. Men are drawn to Meena’s dainty looks and she dates regularly, but hasn’t met someone who really intrigues her. Someone professional, ambitious, confident, caring. Someone like her new boss, Prajay Nayak. (from publisher)
Annotation:Learning on the night of her sister's birth that a daughter has been lost in every generation of her Korean family, Janie assumes a protective role over her sister while learning more cautionary stories from her optimistic father and mythology-minded mother.
Annotation:Enjoying a sheltered childhood with adoring grandparents but troubled by the silence surrounding her parents' deaths, 17-year-old Korobi is prompted by a love note among her mother's possessions and a fiance's shattering revelation to travel from India to post-September 11 America in search of her true identity.
Annotation:It's 1979, and Aviva Rossner and Seung Jung are notorious at Auburn Academy. They're an unlikely pair at an elite East Coast boarding school (she's Jewish; he's Korean American) and hardly shy when it comes to their sexuality... In the minds of their titillated classmates the couple lives in a realm of pure, indulgent pleasure. But, as is often the case, their fabled relationship is more complicated than it seems ... and as they struggle to understand each other, the relationship spirals into disaster.
Annotation:With his friend Charlotte, twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese-American boy, escapes from a Seattle orphanage determined to find his mother Willow and discover his connection to the exotic film star.
Annotation:Psychiatry resident Maya Das has a white American boyfriend she knows her Indian family will never accept. Living in New York, Maya spends every Thursday night out with her best friend and advocate, Heidi, a glamorous fashion industry insider, and feels the pull of her two worlds that intersect unexpectedly when her beloved grandmother in India dies and a property squabble leads the grandmother's long-term caregiver to put a curse on Maya's family. (Publishers Weekly review)
Annotation:A tale set on a gorgeous Indian Ocean island in a large family compound presided over by a stalwart matriarch imparts the stories of a marriage ceremony that ends with a pregnant widowed bride, cousins who follow family gossip to puzzle out an aunt's story and a newly in-love woman who struggles with cultural and family identities. (NoveList)
Annotation:Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son's relationship with an American girl.
Annotation:San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie recently inherited a stake in his father's Tokyo-based private investigation firm, which means the single father of six-year-old Jenny is living a busy intercontinental life, traveling to Japan to acquire art and artifacts for his store and con-sulting on Brodie Security's caseload at home and abroad. One night, an entire family is gunned down in San Francisco's bustling Japantown neighbor-hood, and Brodie is called on by the SFPD to decipher the lone clue left at the crime scene: a unique Japanese character printed on a slip of paper drenched in blood.
Annotation:Spanning Korea and the United States, from the postwar era to contemporary times, these stories illuminate a people torn between the traumas of their collective past and the indignities and sorrows of their present.
Annotation:After her dad's killed fighting at Pearl Harbor, Satomi and her mother are sent to a Japanese internment camp where--despite the harsh conditions and complete lack of privacy--she finds a community for the first time.
Annotation:"After thirteen years of living in the U.S., Vince returns to his birthplace, the Philippines. As he ventures into the heat and chaos of the city, he encounters a motley cast of characters, including a renegade nun, a political film director, arrogant hustlers, and the country's spotlight-driven First Daughter."--Back cover.
Annotation:In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice. Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, taken to the Manzanar prison camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako's final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever--and spur her to sins of her own.
Annotation:Pulled back into the world of their Indian immigrant parents when their mother is taken ill, Mala sets about learning her mother's art of Indian cooking, while her brother Ronak tries to sell their experience as a book and a TV documentary. (NoveList)
Annotation:From the gifted, award-winning author of "Letters from Home" comes a poignant novel of love and courage, set against one of the most controversial episodes in American history: the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Annotation:In this groundbreaking collection of stories, openly gay Indian men, wrestling with issues of social acceptance and the right to pursue happiness, struggle to maintain relationships with their families as they find themselves estranged from their culture. (NoveList)
Annotation:When Rakhee Singh is ten years old, her mother takes her from their Minnesota home to visit relatives in India. There she discovers a family secret that will haunt her. Only as a woman on the verge of marriage does Rakhee find the strength to confront the events of that summer and face the price of secrets.
Annotation:Presents the stories of six Japanese mail-order brides whose new lives in early twentieth-century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage, and the prospect of wartime internment.
Annotation:Cherry Truong's parents have exiled her wayward older brother from their Southern California home, sending him to Vietnam to live with distant relatives. Determined to bring him back, twenty-one-year-old Cherry travels to their homeland and finds herself on a journey to uncover her family's decades-old secrets--hidden loves, desperate choices, and lives ripped apart by the march of war and currents of history.
Annotation:Struggling to move on after her husband's death, thirty-five-year-old Anna receives an unexpected phone call from her estranged grandmother, Goldie, summoning her to New York. A demanding woman with a sharp tongue and a devotion to fashion and etiquette, Goldie has not softened in the five years since she and her granddaughter last spoke. Now she wants Anna to drive her to San Francisco to return a collection of exquisite Japanese art to a long-lost friend.
Annotation:This heartrending, funny and utterly original collection of stories, exploring the clash and meld of American and Filipino culture, centers around the sometimes suffocating ties of family, the melancholy of isolation and the need to find connections. (NoveList)
Annotation:A young attorney must choose between the prestige of partnership and the American Dream that she--and her immigrant parents--have come so close to achieving. As a Chinese-American woman about to be ushered into the elite rank of partner, Ingrid Yung's the face of Parsons Valentine & Hunt LLP's recruiting brochures--their treasured "Golden Girl." But behind the firm's welcoming facade lies the scotch-sipping, cigar-smoking old-boy network that shuts out lawyers like Ingrid.
Annotation:1882. Northern Pacific Railroad Camp, Idaho Territory. The body of Sheriff Roger Langston is found beneath the Sand Creek Bridge. Chinese railroad worker Wong Hok-Ling is charged with murder days after the unexpected arrival of his fiancee, Mei-Yin, who has escaped her unscrupulous father and stowed away aboard a ship bound for America. Jason McQuade, the territory's newest lawyer, must defend the accused, but after encountering the beautiful Mei-Yin how far is he willing to go to save his client's life?