Kazuo Ishiguro and 6 More Works by Asian Writers

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There is a growing demand for talented writers in the workplace. The BookTrib Writer-In-Residence Program is an exciting paid opportunity for new writers to hone their skills and prepare for a career in journalism, publishing, marketing, public relations or any other profession that values good writing. Jessica (Jo) Chang is one our two 2017 Writers-in-Residence. Read this exciting piece on the works of contemporary Asian authors by Ms. Chang.


Kazuo Ishiguro, recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is hailed for his grasp on prose that addresses the ideas of past and present, reality and fantasy, and what it means to be on the side of each dichotomy. Though his more well-known works include Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, his debut novel, A Pale View of Hills, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and continues to resonate with readers worldwide. It is a novel that explores the idea of generational gaps defined by traditionalism and modernism, as well as the relationship between Eastern and Western identities. Although his writing does not explicitly resemble traditional Japanese literary styles, Ishiguro maintains that his Japanese upbringing has allowed him to write through different perspectives than his British peers. Along with A Pale View of Hills, here are 6 more recent works written by authors of Asian descent that also explore similar themes of Asian and American identities.


Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere Celeste NgCeleste Ng is no stranger to literary success; her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, shattered Amazon’s Best Books of the Year List for 2014. Her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, revolves around the custody battle regarding a Chinese-American baby abandoned at a fire station, and discusses the issues of race and class.


The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneLisa See dazzled with world with her novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan in 2005; she wields similar power with her most recent novel The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. This novel centers on the experiences of a Chinese mother-daughter pair when they are adopted by an American couple.


The Sympathizer: A Novel, Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer Nguyen

This novel won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, adding to Viet Thanh Ngyuen’s collection of awards of similar merit. The Sympathizer is about a biracial Vietnamese spy who arrives in Los Angeles after the Fall of Saigon and struggles with his dual identity as a Vietnamese and American citizen.


The Leavers, Lisa Ko

The leavers Lisa KoThe Leavers is set both in New York and in China, unfolding the story of Deming Guo, a son of an undocumented immigrant mother who abandons him one morning without explanation, leaving him to become adopted by an American family and stripped of his Chinese name. This novel won the PEN/ Bellwether Prize for Fiction.


Night Sky With Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong

Night Sky With Exit Wounds Ocean VuongOcean Vuong’s poetry is a complex interplay of beauty and tragedy, reflecting his dual identities as a homosexual man and as a Vietnamese immigrant in America. This collection draws from historical events of war and homeland, and the violence of everyday life, drawn together in a rich tapestry of lyrical poetry.


Too Much and Not the Mood, Durga Chew-Bose

Too Much and Not the Mood Durga Chew-BoseToo Much and Not the Mood is a collection of nonfiction essays about what it means to be a young creative woman in the world. Chew-Bose outlines her experiences with the intersection of identity and art through the lens of her own experiences of being a first-generation Indian-Canadian residing in Brooklyn.


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Jo Chang is a freshman studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. She is the Managing Editor at Sooth Swarm Journal, and a past participant in the Winter Tangerine Writer’s Workshop (Summer 2017). Currently, she is also a paid blogger for the university-affiliated arts and culture blog, art[seen]. Jo can be reached via email at [email protected]

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