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Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Blog_May2024_AAPI-gamanMay is Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month. This celebration was established in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. During this month we honor the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s past, present, and future. This week we are featuring some of the artists highlighted in our ethnic studies resource: Voices.

Literary Luminaries: AAPI Writers

Fourandsixty/Wikimedia Commons

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen (born 1971) is a Vietnamese American novelist and educator. Born in Vietnam, Nguyen and his family came to the United States as refugees in 1975. His 2015 debut novel, The Sympathizer, won a Pulitzer Prize. The book is narrated by an unnamed undercover agent from North Vietnam during the Vietnam War era. It explores the Vietnam conflict from a Vietnamese American perspective.

Shawn Miller/Library of Congress Life

Amy Tan

Amy Tan (born 1952) is a Chinese American author best known for her 1989 book, The Joy Luck Club. Tan’s parents were immigrants from China, and her writing often focuses on the immigrant experience. Her life has been a challenging one. Tan’s brother and father both died from brain tumors, her mother struggled with mental illness, and her college roommate was murdered. The Joy Luck Club provides a bit of a reflection on Tan’s complicated relationship with her mother.


David Yoon

David Yoon (born 1973) is a best-selling young adult and children’s book writer. He has also written fiction for adults. Yoon’s experiences as an American of Korean descent are reflected in his works. His debut novel, Frankly in Love, tells the story of Frank Li, a Korean American teenager who develops a crush on a White girl,
despite his parents’ insistence that he only date Korean girls.


Voices SE_CoverVoices: An Ethnic Studies Survey

Voices is an ethnic studies resource that examines the experiences and contributions of Indigenous, Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, and Asian Americans. Students will learn the terms and tools they need to analyze the impacts of race and ethnicity in US history and the present day.