Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Reading List book covers

The recent rise of anti-Asian hate crimes has brought to the fore a complex American conversation about Asian Pacific American histories, storytelling, and identity. As we mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we at PEN America bring you a list of books that expand upon and amplify Asian Pacific American stories, histories, and authors. Reflecting upon how these acts of anti-Asian violence and racism have roots in the history of American racism and exclusion at large, we wanted to select a range of books that acknowledge how these histories connect to our present and uplift the authors and stories that are at times neglected or seen as being outside of mainstream conceptions of Asian Pacific American consciousness.

The books on this list explore issues such as grief, immigration, mental health, and more; they are grounded in the harsh realities of the world that we live in, and also plot a space for wonder, for dreaming toward better futures. These books remind us of storytelling’s universal reach, as well as the urgency and necessity to uplift and amplify voices in communities that are facing direct violence.