Asian Pacific America is the story of a vibrant, diverse, and resilient set of communities that have been a part of the American experience for more than two hundred years. The story of two continents and a constellation of islands are joined by the migration, exchange and competition of people and ideas. With more than 17 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States, in less than 50 years, nearly one of every ten people in America will trace his or her heritage to Asia and the Pacific – a region that covers more than one third of the earth, including the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Pacific. This region is also home to nearly half of the world’s population, natural life, nations, economies, major faiths and languages. This month, we recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.
Source: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. (2021, February 26). About Us.
The Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate movement is the overarching name that encompasses several anti-Asian violence rallies that have been held across the United States in 2021. This movement was initiated in response to racism against Asian Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Stop Asian Hate. (2021, April 12). Wikipedia.
HIGHLIGHTING ASIAN AMERICAN STORIES AT HYVE
Learn about the perspective of fellow Hyve employees as they share their journey, experience and identity as an Asian American in the United States.
“My Grandpa arrived in 1921 at age 13, penniless and speaking not a word of English. He found various job opportunities sweeping floors, washing dishes, cooking (working multiple jobs daily), eventually saving enough money to bring my grandmother over 17 years later in 1938,” says Justin Quon, Sales Manager. Read more.
“Being an Asian, there’s a stereotype: smart and have good technical skills. For me, however, those are just the result of how we are: being resilient,” says Alice Hong, Supervisor, Program Management. Read more about her journey.
“My parents sacrificial love for me took the form of bringing me to the U.S. to flee the economic hardships and repressive regime in the Philippines in 1983. My parents, like many AAPI immigrants, bought into the ‘American Dream’ – which for them represented a better life and future for their children,” says Jess Delegencia’s, DEI Manager, SYNNEX and Hyve. Read his story here.
BUILDING AWARENESS THROUGH EDUCATION AND CONVERSATION
Your support can make a difference. Show your solidarity with the AAPI community through education and by contributing proactively to combat anti-AAPI racism.
Read Today’s How to be an Ally to AAPI Community and Combat anti-Asian Racism and leverage resources to show support for the AAPI community amid the recent increase in anti-Asian violence across the country.
A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities – Sign a petition against Asian Violence focusing on the recent tragedy in North Georgia.
Tune in to NPR’s When Xenophobia Spreads Like a Virus or read about the recent surge in racism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch KQED’s five-hour film (free) series, Asian Americans, to gain a fresh perspective of Asian American affairs today.
ASIAN AMERICAN AUTHORS
Explore Asian American authors with a diverse cultural heritage who share their stories.
Source: OZY Daily Dose, by Kate Bartlett, Senior Editor
A former OZY editor, Sathian once rented an entourage to stalk her like a Hollywood star for a story. We are admittedly biased, but Sathian no longer needs to fake it. Having joined the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2017, she just released her debut novel, Gold Diggers, to critical acclaim. The coming-of-age tale peppered with magical realism has been snapped up for TV by comedian Mindy Kaling. Beginning in Sathian’s hometown of Atlanta, the novel centers around the Indian American writer’s idea of belonging — a theme Sathian has been grappling with after the shooting of six Asian American women in Atlanta last month.
This Brooklyn resident’s debut novel, New Waves, was named one of NPR’s best books of 2020. It also garnered high praise from fellow Vietnamese American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and Little Fires Everywhere author Celeste Ng. An editor at The Verge, Nguyen sets his story at a tech startup and explores topics of both race and discrimination. The book “captures beautifully the subtle strains of being disenfranchised, poor and lonely in New York,” The New York Times says, teasing the plot as if Jay Gatsby had worked at a startup.
With his 2020 debut novel, Nights When Nothing Happened, Han examines the Chinese immigrant experience through a story about a family living in Texas — one he can relate to, having been born in Tianjin, China, before settling in Carrollton, Texas. TIME called it a “haunting” novel that asks “whether immigrants in America can ever feel truly safe.” Despite the Cheng family’s achievements in their adopted country and safe suburban life, each of the main characters suffers from terrible insomnia, allowing a sense of unease to permeate the novel.
ANTHONY VEASNA SO
Many Khmer Americans feel torn between two worlds, as I discovered while working as a journalist in Cambodia. Tragically, the author of this short story collection — who once described himself as “a grotesque parody of the model minority” — died last year at 28. His collection focuses on intergenerational relationships between traumatized refugee parents who escaped the Khmer Rouge and their American children.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is this Seoul-based writer’s debut novel. While it’s centered around an “extremely ordinary” housewife living a humdrum existence, don’t be fooled: It caused such a sensation in South Korea that it has been made into a movie. One national assembly member bought a copy for each of his fellow 298 legislators because he was so taken by its biting social commentary on gender inequality in South Korea. Published domestically in 2016, the book came out in English last year and has been the most talked about South Korean novel since Han Kang’s haunting feminist treatise The Vegetarian.
If you’ve seen the Olympics-linked stories of sexism in Tokyo, you won’t be surprised to learn the patriarchy is alive and kicking in Japan. That could explain why Breasts and Eggs, a book about a woman who loathes sex but wants to have a child “without a man,” shocked the nation when it came out in 2019 (with the English translation published last year). Shintaro Ishihara, a former Tokyo governor, deemed it “unpleasant and intolerable,” but readers disagreed: The novel became a runaway bestseller. It even won praise from Murakami, despite Kawakami having earlier criticized the septuagenarian’s books for sexism.
Malaysian-born, Singapore-based Ho traded in a soaring career in law for life as a writer. Her 2020 debut novel, Last Tang Standing, generated comparisons to the hit book and movie Crazy Rich Asians. This chick-lit gem centers around a Bridget Jones-esque character named Andrea Tang, a 33-and-fabulous singleton, who, to her family’s chagrin, doesn’t need a man to feel complete.
Her debut novel Burnt Sugar, nominated for last year’s Booker Prize, shocked India with its fraught mother-daughter relationship and main character’s postpartum depression. The book uses dark humor to examine family ties and expectations of motherhood, with the Booker judges calling it “utterly compelling … sometimes emotionally wrenching but also cathartic.” Doshi was born in New Jersey but moved to Mumbai and says the idea for the book stemmed from her own uncertainty about whether to have children.
This Karachi-born writer deals with confusion around identity in her stunning 2017 novel, Home Fire, in which a British Pakistani youth runs off to join the Islamic State group in Syria, to the horror of his two thoroughly modern sisters. The contemporary take on the ancient Greek play Antigone is a globe-trotting read, one that spans London, Massachusetts, Istanbul and Raqqa. A thought-provoking examination of belonging, it’s a must-read for anyone trying to understand the post-9/11 world.
NGUYEN PHAN QUE ME
Her first novel published in English, The Mountains Sing, is a generational epic recounting the effects of war through the lens of a single family. Unlike many recent novels about Vietnam, the author focuses on the nationalists who built a communist state after fighting off the French, Japanese and Americans. Nguyen was born in Vietnam, studied in Australia and currently lives in Jakarta.
This debut novelist lives in Ithaca and used to write about tech for Wired magazine, which helps explain the tech journalist protagonist Jing Jing in Chang’s Days of Distraction. The novel tackles complicated situations around race that others may gloss over. One such example? While a promised salary bump never comes and microaggressions abound in the newsroom, Jing Jing longs for the confidence of her white boyfriend. Chang’s secret power is making the seemingly banal gripping, much to the pleasure of her readers.
The New Yorker compared this young Indian writer to William Faulkner. In A Burning, the New York-based Harvard graduate tells the fictional story of a Muslim woman jailed for terrorism after posting a Facebook comment in the wake of a Kolkata bombing. “It’s a book that encourages a reader to think about injustice,” she told the Guardian, adding that the work stemmed from her alarm at politics in India and her fears about the erosion of secular values.