• The cover of the book The Woman Warrior

    The Woman Warrior

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    The exemplar. The classic. Published in 1975, before memoirs were typically written by nonfamous, nonwhite people. Maxine Hong Kingston is defiant as she captures the history and mythology of her ancestors, the lives of her family of Chinese immigrants and first-generation Asian Americans—lives that were often overlooked—and casts them with a wondrous and profound visibility.

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  • The cover of the book Brother, I'm Dying

    Brother, I'm Dying

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    A heart-wrenching account of how the political is inherently personal. The story revolves around two brothers, one who moved to the United States and one who stayed in Haiti. Edwidge Danticat portrays the bond between her father and uncle with utmost love and dignity, while she is also able to recreate scenes of violent upheaval that took a huge toll on her remaining family with vivid and visceral detail. Read the book and weep.

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  • The cover of the book The Buddha in the Attic

    The Buddha in the Attic

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    Written in collective first-person, in exquisite prose, this book tells the story of a group of young women chosen by mail, by photographs, brides who traveled from Japan to San Francisco by boat. Most of them were virgins until the first night they met their husbands. Through a chorus of voices, Julie Otsuka evokes their experiences of fraught adjustment, isolation, estrangement, and eventual detainment at concentration camps during WWII. She demands attention and humility toward a shameful part of history that is necessary to confront.

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  • The cover of the book On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

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    The scope and depth of this book are remarkable. It brings the reader to so many places, through so many places, exterior and interior: Vietnam, Connecticut, the vast and perpetuating trauma of war, the intricate private wounds between a single mother and her only son, the raw turmoil of first sexual encounters. Ocean Vuong is masterful as he contains the elusive impact of these converging and conflicting places in a distinct and palpable moment, and every moment startles. Every sentence is breathtaking.

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  • The cover of the book The Line Becomes a River

    The Line Becomes a River

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    When history is disclosed as it is happening, as it is continually being skewed and misconstrued, that makes a book’s attempt at truth all the more urgent and essential. Even though his grandfather came from Mexico, even though his mother insisted on preserving his heritage by traveling to Mexico, by exposing him at a young age to the goodness and richness of the culture, Francisco Cantú decided to become a border patrol agent. He wanted to see for himself. He lives and writes to understand as he gracefully interweaves the otherwise suppressed sides of the border. The side that is complicated anguish, both of those who risk their lives to cross and those who compromise their values to protect. The side that is bureaucracy and desensitization. The side that is camaraderie and connection. The side that is magnificent and usurping desert landscape. And his compassion, insight, and keen eye for beauty reinforce the primordial, that the border existed long before it was a border, that it doesn’t belong to feuding nations or clashing political agendas. It belongs to itself.

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