A nonprofit collective of Asian cultural leaders has launched a book club to study works exploring the Asian identity.
Los Angeles-based Gold House started a book club this month after a pilot event over the summer with award-winning author Amy Tan discussing her best-known novel The Joy Luck Club. The Facebook event featured the author accompanied by actresses Lauren Tom, Ming-Na Wen, Rosalind Chao, and Tamlyn Tomita who all brought the daughters of the book to life in the 1993 motion picture.
“This has been a year of reckoning for race in America, and many APIs have re-examined what it means to be Asian American,” said Gold House Book Club director Cindy Joung in the book club’s announcement. “We recognized this unique and galvanizing opportunity to create space for our community to explore the issues that inform our identity by leveraging the rich catalog of stories written by API authors. We’re excited to contribute these moments of discussion and introspection while highlighting our representation in the literary landscape.”
The book club will offer a series of curated book lists and virtual events with a focus to “help Asian Americans better understand their identity and culture in today’s political and social climate,” according to the announcement. The inaugural list features six books selected by an advisory council of Asian American writers including Amy Tan, activists, and academics. The book club is also highlighting children’s books to help spark conversations with families.
For October, the book club is reading Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas in honor of Filipino American History Month. The monthly theme is immigrant journeys.
For November, the book selection is Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. The monthly theme is to unravel the definition of being Asian American.
For December, the book selection is How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee. The monthly theme is intersectional identities.
For January, the book selection is American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. The monthly theme is coming of age and coming of identity.
For February, the book selection is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. The monthly theme is historical fiction about motherlands.
For March, the book selection is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. The monthly theme is bridging generations and biculturalism.