In the wake of the Atlanta shootings that left eight people dead (six of whom were Asian women), we at Bookstr wanted to take the time to express our condolences to everyone who has been affected by this horrific violence. We wanted to show our support for the Asian community by highlighting five new releases written by Asian-American and Asian immigrant authors.
1. My year abroad by chang-rae lee
Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart, but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese-American entrepreneur who see something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.
2. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god – and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.
Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.
3. How much of these hills is gold by c pam zhang
An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape, trying not just to survive but also to find a home.
Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their Western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape, as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.
4. We Ride upon sticks by quan Barry
Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts (which, in 1692, was Salem Village, site of the origins of the Salem Witch Trials), the story follows the Danvers High field hockey team as they discover that the dark impulses of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season.
The 1989 Danvers Falcons are on an unaccountable winning streak. Quan Barry weaves together the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team as they storm their way to the state championship. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flaunting society’s notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport.
5. lurkers by sandi tan
The residents of Santa Claus Land do their best to stay out of each other’s way, but desire, fury and mischief too often propel these suburban neighbors to collide. Precocious Korean-American sisters Mira and Rosemary find their world rocked by a suicide, and they must fight to keep their home; a charismatic and creepy drama teacher grooms his students; a sardonic gay horror novelist finds that aging is more terrifying that any monster; and a white hippie mom and her adopted Vietnamese daughter realize that their anger binds them rather than pushes them apart. Lurkers is an homage to the rangy beauty of Los Angeles and the surprising power that we have to change the lives of those around us.
featured image via amazon and Canva