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Voices from Asian Pacific American Literature

Sonoma State University is celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage throughout this month with presentations, discussions and performances. Heritage Month celebrations seek to highlight the diverse voices, histories and experiences that make up American culture. Discover some of these voices for yourself in these selections from our library catalog: On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee In a future vision of America in decline, a member of the lowest social class of laborers ventures out from her regimented life as a fish-tank diver to search for a lost love who mysteriously vanished. Her journey leads her across unfamiliar landscapes and wildly different communities, all recognizably stemming from today's issues and conflicts. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki Ozeki plays with narrative conventions and structure to tell a story that spans both cultures and generations, linking frustrated memoir-writer Ruth with unhappy teenager Nao, who feels compelled towards death but is determined to first write her great-grandmother's biography and discover the secrets of Zen Meditation. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan Violet Minturn, a half-Chinese/half-American courtesan who deals in seduction and illusion in Shanghai, struggles to find her place in the world, while her mother, Lucia, struggles to make sense of the choices she has made and the men who have shaped her. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives - Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America - until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds. Vietnamerica: a Family's Journey by G.B. Tran A memoir in graphic novel format about the author's experiences as the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled to America during the fall of Saigon describes how he learned his tragic ancestral history and the impact of the Vietnam War on his family while visiting their homeland years later. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang This award-winning graphic novel alternates between stories of the mythical Monkey King, teenager Jin Wang who longs to lose his outsider status at his mostly white school, and a popular boy whose mysterious cousin Chin-Kee embodies all the worst and most offensive Asian stereotypes ever dreamed up by Hollywood. The stories collide in unexpected ways, shaking up classic and modern stereotypes. More about Asian-Pacific Heritage Month Events at SSU