In May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month! Many incredible AAPI books have graced our bookshelves in the past few years, and 2022 is no different. With over one hundred books being released by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders this year, we’ve decided to narrow down nine works on our TBR list and the writers behind them!
9. Ocean Vuong
Ocean Vuong was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1988 and raised in Connecticut. After dropping out of business school, he pursued a 19th-century American Literature degree at Brooklyn College. Vuong first received acclaim when he debuted his poetry collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds. In 2019, Vuong released his first novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, which is currently being adapted into an A24 film. With the recent release of his poetry collection, Time is a Mother, Vuong writes about family, loss, and humanity.
8. K-Ming Chang
Novelist and poet K-Ming Chang was born in 1998 and grew up in California. She has already achieved much success in the literary world at such a young age. In 2020, Chang released her debut work, Bestiary, and was selected as the New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. The novel earned her a spot as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” By 2021, she released her queer Taiwanese-American chapbook, Bone House. Chang is slated to release her new novel, Gods of Want, on July 12, 2022.
7. Hanya Yanagihara
Hanya Yanagihara was born in September of 1974 in Los Angeles and grew up in Hawaii. Along with being a novelist and having a degree at Smith College, she is also a fashion and travel writer. In 2013, she published her debut work, The People in the Trees, which is regarded as one of the year’s best releases. Two years later, Yanagihara’s A Little Life became an instant hit and won her the Kirkus Prize. It also earned her a place as a National Book Award finalist. Earlier this year, Yanagihara returned to the literary world with To Paradise, a novel that depicts alternate versions of America.
6. Jessamine Chan
Jessamine Chan, a Chicago resident, has already made a name for herself this year. Along with being a New York Times bestselling author, Chan holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Brown University. Her short stories are featured in Epoch and Tin House and she also has essays on Bon Appetite, Elle.com, and The Millions. In January of 2022, Chan released her debut novel, The School for Good Mothers, which became an instant bestseller.
5. David Yoon
New York Times bestselling author, David Yoon, grew up in Orange County, California. He is a co-publisher of Joy Revolution and co-founder of Yooniverse Media. Yoon reached acclaim with his debut YA novel, Frankly in Love, in 2019. A year later, he published Super Fake Love Song. Yoon also received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature Honor for his work. In 2020, he made his adult novel debut with Version Zero. On May 24, 2022, Yoon is releasing City of Orange; a story set around a man trying to make sense of the apocalyptic world he has woken up in.
4. Grace D. Li
Born in Pearland, Texas, Grace D. Li is a graduate of Duke University and currently attends Stanford University School of Medicine. This past April, Li made her literary debut with her novel, Portrait of a Thief. Inspired by a true story, this work centers around a museum heist and explores the Chinese diaspora. The book is currently being adapted into a series at Netflix, with Li serving as an executive producer.
3. Mia P. Manansala
Mia P. Manansala was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is a writer, book coach, and baker. In 2021, she debuted her novel Arsenic and Adobo, the first installment in her Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. Manansala’s many accomplishments include being shortlisted for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery/Thriller and the 2021 CHIRBy Award for Fiction by the Chicago Review of Books. This past February, she released the sequel, Homicide and Halo-Halo, and is expected to release Blackmail and Bibingka, the third installment of the series, on October 4, 2022.
2. Axie Oh
First-generation Korean-American, Axie Oh, was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey. She studied at the University of California, San Diego, and has an MFA from Lesley University in Writing for Young People. In 2017, Oh made her literary debut with the first installment of her duology, Rebel Seoul, which was later followed up by its sequel, Rogue Heart, in 2019. Last year, she released her YA romance novel, XOXO, about a young cello prodigy. This past February, Oh returned with The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, a New York Times bestseller.
1. Vaishnavi Patel
Vaishnavi Patel was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently a law student studying constitutional law and civil rights. Patel is also a short story writer whose works can be seen in The Dark and 87 Bedford’s Historical Fantasy Anthology. In late April of 2022, Patel made her debut with Kaikeyi, a historical fiction novel centered around a princess determined to make space for the women around her.
Let’s keep the celebrations going! Click here to read up on Asian American female authors.