Chalk this up to AAPIs yet again using cyberspace in new and creative ways to foster greater community engagement and consciousness-building.
Frustrated by the relative inattention that AAPI authors and books receive in the larger literary and literary review community, two major AAPI blogs — HapaMama (@hapamamagrace) and Smithsonian Book Dragon — have teamed up to use Twitter and blogs as a forum for hosting a brand new digital AAPI book club; one that will hopefully cross geographic boundaries to unite book-lovers of all backgrounds around the rich and dynamic world of AAPI literature.
And yes, that means that you can join the book club, too!
Here’s how it will work:
- The first Tuesday of every month, a book will be announced.
- The last Tuesday of every month, a real-time conversation will be held to discuss the book that you can participate in.
- All the in-between days, the book club will publish guest blogs, commentaries and reactions as people read the book.
- Throughout the month (so basically all the time), you can participate in discussion through Twitter using the hashtag #APABookClub
Sound like a book-lover’s dream? Definitely! So here’s this month’s book!
For the month of August, the book club will be reading Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen. From Amazon:
From an award-winning author, a novel about a Vietnamese American family’s ties to The Little House on the Prairie
Jobless with a PhD, Lee Lien returns home to her Chicago suburb from grad school, only to find herself contending with issues she’s evaded since college. But when her brother disappears, he leaves behind an object from their mother’s Vietnam past that stirs up a forgotten childhood dream: a gold-leaf brooch, abandoned by an American reporter in Saigon back in 1965, that might be an heirloom belonging to Laura Ingalls Wilder. As Lee explores the tenuous facts of this connection, she unearths more than expected—a trail of clues and enticements that lead her from the dusty stacks of library archives to hilarious prairie life reenactments and ultimately to San Francisco, where her findings will transform strangers’ lives as well as her own.
A dazzling literary mystery about the true origins of a time-tested classic, Pioneer Girl is also the deeply moving tale of a second-generation Vietnamese daughter, the parents she struggles to honor, the missing brother she is expected to bring home—even as her discoveries yield dramatic insights that will free her to live her own life to its full potential.
You can purchase Pioneer Girl from Amazon here and get started reading! Be sure to stay tuned to #APABookClub as you read, and also follow this new book club on Facebook and Twitter (@SIBookDragon). Also be sure to follow book club co-organizer Grace Hwang Lynch at her blog and on Twitter (@hapamamagrace).