The last few years have been a real heyday for Asian American literature. There have been blockbuster film adaptations of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Celeste Ng’s unstoppable suburban drama Little Fires Everywhere, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer win for The Sympathizer, and critically lauded novels from Susan Choi (Trust Exercise) and Ling Ma (Severance), just to name a few.
Posts by Tyler F
I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but dang, the artwork for Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel My Sister, the Serial Killer is a stunner. Especially when paired with its gag-worthy title.
The good news is that Braithwaite’s satirical thriller exceeds expectations.
What a time to be alive. What a time for poetry that gives life. Rupi Kaur, Nayyirah Waheed, Danez Smith, Ada Limón, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, Chen Chen, Kaveh Akbar, Ocean Vuong, Solman Sharif, Mai Der Vang, Yesika Salgado. There is no shortage of new school poets with distinctive viewpoints and a moving way with words. Add Hieu Minh Nguyen, the Minnesotan son of Vietnamese immigrants, to that list.
“The baby is dead.”
That’s the first sentence.
Here’s a suspense thriller that puts it all out there from the get-go. Generally unconcerned with twists or secret motives, The Perfect Nanny really isn’t for you if you’re craving an old-fashioned who-done-it. But if you want a psychological horror show that is as literary as it is tawdry, Slimani serves it up on a platinum platter.
Sayaka Murata’s slim novel Convenience Store Woman is the Tokyo-set tale of self-described “foreign object” Keiko Furukura, a loner in her mid-30s who does not quite fit in with or understand the society around her, yet excels in her role as a konbini employee.
I’m a total Carrie.
How about you?
If you’re fan enough to get my meaning, especially if you dig behind-the-scenes showbiz nonfiction, you will probably love entertainment journalist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s fresh look at the enduring zeitgeistiness of HBO’s landmark sitcom Sex and the City.
Morgan Parker, poet author of the explosive collection There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, leaves the title open to interpretation, but with one exception: She isn’t suggesting that Beyoncé isn’t beautiful, because Beyoncé is beautiful. Like the rest of us, Parker is clearly a fan. She is however suggesting that her muse -- the “flawless” Queen Bey -- might not actually be the be-all, end-all for American popular culture or Black womanhood.
The library owns about two billion gardening books. I’m pretty sure that is hardly an exaggeration. It can be a bit overwhelming.
So let me recommend one as a librarian and a gardener: Emily Murphy’s Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life. It isn’t the only gardening book you’ll ever need, but it’s a darn good start.
The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s melancholic and metaphor-laden Himalayan travelogue, a true story, is an essential, definitional work of 1970s American literature. It is also one of my favorite books of all time.
Even if you haven’t heard of trap music, you’ve heard it. A hip hop subgenre born out of the American south, with fast and hard drums and lyrics about the drug underworld, trap music has taken the world by storm — dominating all of hip hop, America’s most consumed music, and infiltrating pop music in general.