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Asian American & Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Resources

Guide to Library and other online resources by and about Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders

AANAPISI Banner new materials

AANAPISI-funded AA & NH/PI Materials

The materials on this page were purchased with funds from the AANIPISI Grant (co-PIs Kim Geron and Meiling Wu). The suggestions for these materials came from Cal State East Bay's APIFSA members. We thank them for their recommendations and are excited to have new materials to increase our AA & NH/PI representation in the Library's collections. 


Asia's Unknown Uprisings Volume 1: South Korean Social Movements in the 20th Century

This illuminating volume provides a detailed analysis of the oft-hidden yet major uprisings that have patterned Korea's politics and society. An emphasis is placed upon social movements and grass-roots counter-elite dynamics rather than leaders, noting how the intelligence of ordinary people surpasses that of the leaders holding the reins of power. From the 1894 Tonghak Uprising to the 1980 Gwanju Uprising, Korean experiences act here as a baseboard for a greater exploration of global social movement in the 21st century.

Asia's Unknown Uprisings Volume 2: People power in the Philippines, Burma, Tibet, China, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, and Indonesia, 1947-2009

Provides a unique perspective on uprising in nine places in East Asia in the 1980s and 1990s. While the 2011 Arab Spring is well known, the wave of uprisings that swept East Asia in the 1980s is popularly almost unheard of. Beginning with an overview of late 20th century history; the context within which Asian uprisings arose. Katsiaficas relates Asian uprisings to predecessors in 1968 and shows their subsequent influence on the wave of uprisings that swept Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s. Richly illustrated, with tables, charts, chronologies, graphs, index and footnotes

Aspiring to Home: South Asians in America

Aspiring to Home explores South Asian immigrants as they create new ethnic identities through popular cultural works that bind together narratives of multicultural and postcolonial citizenship.

At Home in Exile: Meeting Jesus Among My Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors

Russell Jeung's spiritual memoir shares the difficult, often joyful, and sometimes harrowing account of his life in East Oakland's Murder Dubs neighborhood and of his Chinese-Hakka history. On a journey to discover how the poor and exiled are blessed, At Home in Exile is the story of his integration of social activism and a stubborn evangelical faith. Holding English classes in his apartment (which doubled as a food pantry for a local church) for undocumented Latino neighbors and Cambodian refugees, battling drug dealers who threatened him, exorcising a spirit possessing a teen, and winning a landmark housing settlement against slumlords with a gathering of his neighbors--Jeung's story is, by turns, moving and inspiring, traumatic and exuberant. As Jeung retraces the steps of his Chinese-Hakka family and his refugee neighbors, weaving the two narratives together, he asks difficult questions about longing and belonging, wealth and poverty, and how living in exile can transform your faith: "Not only did relocation into the inner city press me toward God, but it made God's words more distinct and clear to me...As I read Scriptures through the eyes of those around me--refugees and aliens--God spoke loudly to me his words of hope and truth." With humor, humility, and keen insight, he describes the suffering and the sturdiness of those around him and of his family. He relates the stories of forced relocation and institutional discrimination, of violence and resistance, and of the persistence of Christ's love for the poor.

Black Ice Matter

This collection of short stories explores connections between extremes of heat and cold. Sometimes this is spatial or geographical; sometimes it is metaphorical. Sometimes it involves juxtapositions of time; sometimes heat appears where only ice is expected.

In the stories, a woman is caught between traditional Fijian ways and the brutality of the military dictatorship; a glaciology researcher falls into a crevasse and confronts the unexpected; two women lose children in freak shooting accidents; a young child in a Barbie Doll sweatshop dreams of a different life; secondary school girls struggle with secrets about an addicted janitor; and two women take a deathly trip through a glacier melt stream. These are some of the unpredictable stories in this collection that follow themes of ice and glaciers in the heat of the South Pacific and take us into unusual lives and explorations.

Brown Skin, White Minds

Filipino Americans have a long and rich history with and within the United States, and they are currently the second largest Asian group in the country. However, very little is known about how their historical and contemporary relationship with America may shape their psychological experiences. The most insidious psychological consequence of their historical and contemporary experiences is colonial mentality or internalized oppression. This book is intended for the entire community - teachers, researchers, students, and service providers interested in or who are working with Filipinos and Filipino Americans, or those who are interested in the psychological consequences of colonialism and oppression. This book may serve as a tool for remembering the past and as a tool for awakening to address the present.

Island of Shattered Dreams

Finally in English, Island of Shattered Dreams is the first ever novel by an indigenous Tahitian writer. In a lyrical and immensely moving style, this book combines a family saga and a doomed love story, set against the background of French Polynesia in the period leading up to the first nuclear tests. The text is highly critical of the French government, and as a result its publication in Tahiti was polarising.

Queer Kinship and Family Change in Taiwan

Winner of the 2019 Ruth Benedict Prize for Outstanding Single-Authored Monograph Interweaving the narratives of multiple family members, including parents and siblings of her queer and trans informants,  In Queer Kinship and Family Change in Taiwan, Brainer looks across generational cohorts for clues about how larger social, cultural, and political shifts have materialized in people's everyday lives. Her findings bring light to new parenting and family discourses and enduring inequalities that shape the experiences of queer and heterosexual kin alike.  Brainer's research takes her from political marches and support group meetings to family dinner tables in cities and small towns across Taiwan. Across these diverse life stories, Brainer uses a feminist materialist framework to illuminate struggles for personal and sexual autonomy in the intimate context of family and home.

Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation

David L. Eng and Shinhee Han draw on psychoanalytic case histories from the mid-1990s to the present to explore how first- and second-generation Asian American young adults deal with difficulties such as depression, suicide, and coming out within the larger social context of race, immigration, and sexuality.

Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.

Shark Dialogues

"An epic saga of seven generations of one family encompasses the tumultuous history of Hawaii as a Hawaiian woman gathers her four granddaughters together in an erotic tale of villains and dreamers, queens and revolutionaries, lepers and healers" (Publishers Weekly).

The future conditional : building an English-speaking society in northeast China

In The Future Conditional, Eric S. Henry brings twelve-years of expertise and research to offer a nuanced discussion of the globalization of the English language and the widespread effects it has had on Shenyang, the capital and largest city of China's northeast Liaoning Province. Adopting an ethnographic and linguistic perspective, Henry considers the personal connotations that English, has for Chinese people, beyond its role in the education system. Through research on how English is spoken, taught, and studied in China, Henry considers what the language itself means to Chinese speakers. How and why, he asks, has English become so deeply fascinating in contemporary China, simultaneously existing as a source of desire and anxiety? The answer, he suggests, is that English-speaking Chinese consider themselves distinctly separate from those who do not speak the language, the result of a cultural assumption that speaking English makes a person modern.

The Good Immigrant

By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, troubling and uplifting, these "electric" essays come together to create a provocative, conversation-sparking, multivocal portrait of modern America (The Washington Post). From Trump's proposed border wall and travel ban to the marching of white supremacists in Charlottesville, America is consumed by tensions over immigration and the question of which bodies are welcome. In this much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling UK edition, hailed by Zadie Smith as "lively and vital," editors Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman hand the microphone to an incredible range of writers whose humanity and right to be here is under attack. Chigozie Obioma unpacks an Igbo proverb that helped him navigate his journey to America from Nigeria. Jenny Zhang analyzes cultural appropriation in 90s fashion, recalling her own pain and confusion as a teenager trying to fit in. Fatimah Asghar describes the flood of memory and emotion triggered by an encounter with an Uber driver from Kashmir. Alexander Chee writes of a visit to Korea that changed his relationship to his heritage. These writers, and the many others in this urgent collection, share powerful personal stories of living between cultures and languages while struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong.

Traces of Trauma

How do the people of a morally shattered culture and nation find ways to go on living? Cambodians confronted this challenge following the collective disasters of the American bombing, the civil war, and the Khmer Rouge genocide. The magnitude of violence and human loss, the execution of artists and intellectuals, the erasure of individual and institutional cultural memory all caused great damage to Cambodian arts, culture, and society. Author Boreth Ly explores the "traces" of this haunting past in order to understand how Cambodians at home and in the diasporas deal with trauma on such a vast scale. Ly maintains that the production of visual culture by contemporary Cambodian artists and writers--photographers, filmmakers, court dancers, and poets--embodies traces of trauma, scars leaving an indelible mark on the body and the psyche. Her book considers artists of different generations and family experiences: a Cambodian-American woman whose father sent her as a baby to the United States to be adopted; the Cambodian-French filmmaker, Rithy Panh, himself a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, whose film The Missing Picture was nominated for an Oscar in 2014; a young Cambodian artist born in 1988--part of the "post-memory" generation. The works discussed include a variety of materials and remnants from the historical past: the broken pieces of a shattered clay pot, the scarred landscape of bomb craters, the traditional symbolism of the checkered scarf called krama, as well as the absence of a visual archive. Boreth Ly's poignant book explores obdurate traces that are fragmented and partial, like the acts of remembering and forgetting. Her interdisciplinary approach, combining art history, visual studies, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, religion, and philosophy, is particularly attuned to the diverse body of material discussed, including photographs, video installations, performance art, poetry, and mixed media. By analyzing these works through the lens of trauma, she shows how expressions of a national trauma can contribute to healing and the reclamation of national identity.

Way of the ancient healer : sacred teachings from the Philippine ancestral traditions

Way of the Ancient Healer provides an overview of the rich tradition of Filipino healing practices, discussing their origins, world influences, and role in daily life. Enhanced with over 300 photographs and illustrations, the book combines years of historical research with detailed descriptions of the spiritual belief system that forms the foundation of these practices. Giving readers a rare look at modern-day Filipino healing rituals, the book also includes personal examples from author Virgil Mayor Apostol's own experiences with shamanic healing and dream interpretation.


Black Water Sister

One of BookPage's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2021 One of Reviewers' Choice Best Books of 2021 One of Book Riot's Best SFF Standalones of 2021 "Ghosts. Gods. Gangsters. Black Water Sister has it all...a wildly entertaining coming-of-age story for the twentysomething set, with a protagonist who is almost painfully relatable at times."--Vulture "A twisty, feminist, and enthralling page-turner."--BuzzFeed "A sharp and bittersweet story of past and future, ghosts and gods and family."--Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of A Deadly Education A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.   

Crying in H Mart

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR * NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER * From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, one of TIME's Most Influential People of 2022, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. 

Iep Jaltok

As the seas rise, the fight intensifies to save the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands from being devoured by the waters around them. At the same time, activists are raising their poetic voices against decades of colonialism, environmental destruction, and social injustice. Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's writing highlights the traumas of colonialism, racism, forced migration, the legacy of American nuclear testing, and the impending threats of climate change.

Interior Chinatown

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play. Infinitely inventive and deeply personal, exploring the themes of pop culture, assimilation, and immigration--Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu's most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet.

Apsara in New York

"The apsara is the mythical deity that decorates most Khmer temples, and it represents the ideal woman in Cambodia. In fact, even the classical dancers are modeled after them. My APSARA IN NEW YORK image meant a meeting of my heritage/culture being dropped into the madness, urban temples (not necessarily religious, but sacred spaces personal and whatnot). I feel like my work and who I am embodies the jarring combination of old world Cambodian tradition and culture with the adjustment of US, the Bronx, NYC in general."--Sokunthary Svay

Leaves of the Banyan Tree

An epic spanning three generations, Leaves of the Banyan Tree tells the story of a family and community in Western Samoa, exploring on a grand scale such universal themes as greed, corruption, colonialism, exploitation, and revenge. Winner of the 1980 New Zealand Wattie Book of the Year Award, it is considered a classic work of Pacific literature.

My Urohs

The first collection of poetry by a Pohnpeian poet, Emelihter Kihlengs My Urohs is described by distinguished Samoan writer and artist Albert Wendt as "refreshingly innovative and compelling, a new way of seeing ourselves in our islands, an important and influential addition to our Pacific] literature."

Tales of the Tikongs

In this lively satire of contemporary South Pacific life, we meet a familiar cast of characters: multinational experts, religious fanatics, con men, "simple" villagers, corrupt politicians. In writing about this tiny world of flawed personalities, Hau'ofa displays his wit and range of comic resource, amply exercising what one reviewer called his "gift of seeing absurdity clearly."

The Cinema of Rithy Panh

Rithy Panh, a survivor of Cambodia's civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime, has earned a world-wide reputation for his innovative work in both fiction and documentary film. The Cinema of Rithy Panh begins with a timeline weaving Panh's life and career with Cambodia's tumultuous history. Bringing together a wide range of renowned interdisciplinary scholars, the book explores the scope of Panh's career, including well-known films such as The Missing Picture and S-21 as well as less frequently studied works. 

The Films of Bong Joon Ho

The Films of Bong Joon-ho is the first single-authored, book-length study of the world-renowned Korean director who is known for his unique construction of genre films. Although his films enjoy tremendous transnational appeal globally, they cannot be fully appreciated without contextualizing them within the concrete local realities from which they were conceived and produced. Lee provides a detailed account of Korean contemporary cultural and political history that is critical to a full appreciation of Bong's oeuvre. 

The Films of Denys Arcand

Denys Arcand is best known outside Canada for three films that were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Film: The Decline of the American Empire (1986), Jesus of Montreal (1989), and The Barbarian Invasions (2003), the last of which won the Award. Yet Arcand has been making films since the early 1960s. The Films of Denys Arcand sheds light on how Arcand addressed the impact of these changes from the 1960s, when the long-drawn-out debate on Quebec's possible separation from the rest of Canada began, to the present, in which the traditional cultural heritage has been further fragmented by the increasing presence of diasporic communities. 

The Girl in the Moon Circle

Often fiction allows authors to tell truths that otherwise would be too painful. Sia Figiel is uninhibited in The Girl in the Moon Circle, an observation of life in Samoa for perceptive and inquisitive 10-year old Samoana. Samoana describes the detail of her life so well that we are both outraged and charmed by it. She talks about school, church, friends, family violence, having refrigerators and television for the first time, crushes on boys, and legends.

The Mute's Soliloquy

From the author of the Buru Quartet and one of the greatest writers of our time comes a remarkable memoir of imprisonment and survival. In 1965, Pramoedya Ananta Toer was detained by Indonesian authorities and eventually exiled to the penal island of Buru. Without a formal accusation or trial, the onetime national hero was imprisoned on Buru for eleven years. He survived under brutal conditions, somehow managing to produce his masterwork, the four novels of the Buru Quartet, as well as the remarkable journal entries, essays, and letters that comprise this moving memoir. 

The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic

Nick Joaquin is widely considered one of the greatest Filipino writers, but he has remained little-known outside his home country despite writing in English. With the post-colonial sensibilities of Junot Diaz, Teju Cole, and Jhumpa Lahiri and an ironic perspective of colonial history resonant with Marques and Llosa, Joaquin is a long-neglected writer ready to join the ranks of the world classics. His work meditates on the questions and challenges of the Filipino individual's new freedom after a long history of colonialism, exploring folklore, centuries-old Catholic rites, the Spanish colonial past, magical realism, and baroque splendour and excess.

This Earth of Mankind

Minke is a young Javanese student of great intelligence and ambition. Living equally among the colonists and colonized of 19th-century Java, he battles against the confines of colonial strictures. It is his love for Annelies that enables him to find the strength to embrace his world.

This Is Paradise

Elegant, brutal, and profound--this magnificent debut captures the grit and glory of modern Hawai'i with breathtaking force and accuracy. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it's truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua'i and the Big Island.