Tag Archives: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Original Retro APAHM Guest Hudson Lin on Diversity 201: We Are Not a Monolith

Hi friends! If you’re wondering about the title … well, Hudson originally sent me this post in 2019. I cringe even now thinking about it. I nearly (figuratively) died when I saw earlier this year I’d totally dropped the ball, so I contacted Hudson and was graciously given permission to post it now. (I will say … in May 2019 I was recovering and re-learning how to walk again so … it wasn’t as if I was totally just not doing anything…) But I still feel terrible. So – my apologies to the wonderful Hudson Lin, and thank you!

Diversity 201: We are not a monolith
By Hudson Lin

When I think of the words Asian American, I get a very specific picture in my mind. This person has yellow skin, grew up in North America, speaks English fluently and perhaps a second Asian language. This person fits most of the mainstream stereotypes of Asians in the West. This person looks like me. 

But my mental picture of an Asian American is wrong. Because not all Asians have yellow skin, not all grew up in North America, not all speak a second language. Not all Asians are good at math and excel in school. Not all are quiet keep our heads down hard workers. Not all Asians are good at badminton.  Continue reading

A List of API[A] Romance Authors

Hi friends! So I did this for Black History Month – created a list of Black Romance Authors which I hope you found helpful. So I wanted to do it for APAHM too.
With SAPAHM months I’ve had some international guests, so the lists might be slightly off – so apologizes if they are, please let me know what to change. (If I couldn’t find a webpage I linked to their Amazon profile page.) And … some of these authors write YA but YA romance, so I added you know – “(YA)” after their names.

Bella Andre
Grace Callaway
Jax Cassidy
S.A. Chakraborty
Gloria Chao (YA)
Mary H.K. Choi (YA)
Sylvia Day
Sara Desai
Sonali Dev
Piper J. Drake
Pintip Dunn (YA)
Vicki Essex
Hafsah Faizal (YA)
Eilis Flynn
Jen Frederick
Jeanette Grey
Jenny Han (YA)
Karen Harbaugh
Farah Heron
Helen Hoang
Mia Hopkins
Amalie Howard
Uzma Jalaluddin
Julie Kagawa (YA)
Soniah Kamal
Coleen Kwan
Thien-Kim Lam
Ruby Lang
Jackie Lau
Loan Le (YA)
Jade Lee aka Kathy Lyons
Jayci Lee
Hudson Lin
Jeannie Lin
Marjorie Liu
Gennita Low
Tif Marcelo
Sandhya Menon (YA)

Courtney Milan
Tara Pammi
Suzanne Park
Sajni Patel
Cindy Pon
Tara Quan
Alisha Rai
Amara Royce
Sophia Singh Sasson
Nisha Sharma
Royaline Sing
Suleikha Snyder
Jesse Q. Sutanto
Cecilia Tan
Sherry Thomas
Melanie Ting
Julie Tieu
Gita Trelease
Jen Trinh
Lillie Vale (YA)
[Grace Wen]
Ekaterine Xia
Cathy Yardley
Jennifer Yen (YA)

International Asian Pacific Islander Authors
H. Bentham
Halina Cabrera
Catherine Dellosa
Carla de Guzman
Six de los Reyes
Mina V. Esguerra
Elizabeth Galit
Georgette Gonzales
Agay Llanera
Arlene Manocot
Chris Mariano
Nicola Marsh
Bianca Mori
Farrah F. Polestico
Kate Sebastian
Nalini Singh
Camilla Sisco
Marian Tee
Jay E. Tria
Celestine Trinidad
Ines Bautista-Yao

Have you read these authors before? I know there are names I’ve missed – so do you have anyone I should add? (And thank you!)
And as always – if you want to be removed, please let me know.

*ETA: and unlike the other list, the italicized names are ones from crowdsourcing. So I switched it up. Just keeping y’all on your toes. 😉
*ETA² – Clarification after getting numerous comments – mostly on Twitter – Jackie Lau is not the only Asian Canadian author on the list. I included Canada in the “American” list because it’s in N. America, and is closer/much more similar than say someone who lives in Malaysia and has only ever lived in Malaysia. We’ll see how things change next year.

SAPAHM Guest Author Cathy Yardley on being Asian-ish

Hi friends! I’m so happy to welcome back Cathy Yardley. I really hope you read her post – I’m grateful for what she has to say, and that she was willing to share it with us. Thank you, Cathy. <3

Asian-ish

When Lime asked if I could write a guest post for APAHM, I was thrilled. And then I was sort of terrified. Because I have a very complicated relationship with my own Asian heritage.

So I was talking with my (white) father last month, and I mentioned something – don’t remember what exactly– that my brother and I had been talking about. I think it was being Asian parents. How funny it was that, now that we had kids of our own, a lot of Mom’s habits had stuck despite out best efforts. Hovering about grades, especially.

And my father said, “It’s not like you’re really Asian, though.” Continue reading

Happy APAHM + An Ending

Hi friends! It’s May 1, which means APAHM has rolled around again! What is APAHM you might ask? It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Sometimes you might see AAPI – especially more recently in articles, or being said, and that’s Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

It seems fitting for me to say this during APAHM – I have slightly mixed feelings about it – I’m not happy about it but … I’m pulling the plugs on Smithsonian Heritage Month (SHM) posts in 2022. If people want to guest post they’d be more than welcome to. In fact, I hope they do. But I’m not going to keep trying for nothing. Putting out calls, seeing all the people who see it and just don’t care.

The attitude “oh Lime is just doing this to pander and we aren’t welcome any other time” which is patently untruePretty much anyone is welcome to guest at ALBTALBS at any time – it’s just for the SHMs we really tried to find highlight and celebrate people who fit under the umbrella of that particular month. It’s become more of a burden than a recognition – depressing and discouraging, and that’s … just not good. So I’m calling it quits on that. We’ll see where and how  everything else goes.

So uh – on that downer, especially looking at all the hate Asian Americans have gotten for the past year+ … whoo?

😐

SAPAHM Post: Amara Royce Discusses Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient

Hi friends, so it’s a guest review, I suppose is the best way to describe it. I’m thrilled that Amara Royce contributed this post, and as you might know, Hoang’s next book The Bride Test is now out! (Amara sent me this post on the 4th.)

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Contemporary romance released by Berkley on June 8, 2018

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang book cover

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

I generally don’t write reviews of the books I read, not even on Amazon or Goodreads. So I’m not going to try to be clever, and  I can’t guarantee I will be entirely coherent. But I cannot help gushing about this book effusively! I can’t adequately express how much I adore this book—and its author, Helen Hoang, for writing it! I’m also squee-ing because her next book is due out for release on May 7th!!
Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient truly wrecked me in all the best ways. I loved the main characters and many of the supporting characters. I adored the depiction of the female main character Stella’s subjective autistic perspective, as well as the male main character Michael’s handling of the heroine without realizing she’s on the autism spectrum. I adored the depictions of Michael’s family life, especially his mother. I adored the integral issues of consent, and I want everyone to read this book! That’s what the tl;dr boils down to, but for more details, keep reading.

Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Ekaterine Xia On the Portrayal of Mothers … and then Confucius!

Hi friends! I’m glad to welcome back Ekaterine Xia to ALBTALBS! She’s going to be out APAHM hero this year, and has written other really thoughtful posts before, which  I hope you’ll check out of you missed them. (Lime, WTF are all those letters and what do they mean? SAPAHM = Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!) So without further ado… another incredible post by Ekaterine!

On the Portrayal of Mothers … and Confucius!

I have mommy issues.

Specifically, I have issues with how mothers are portrayed in fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy.

Even within Romancelandia, SFFR has a lot of mommy issues. Contemporary does much better, and I have to ask if it’s because contemporary wasn’t influenced by men and their favorite tropes in the same way science fiction and fantasy romance was.

It took me a long time to put that niggling unease into concrete examples, but once you start the list, things start to look pretty bad really quickly. Continue reading

SAPAHM Encore Guest Eilis Flynn Celebrates a Festival of Stars in a Year of Diversity

Hi friends! I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Eilis Flynn to ALBTALBS!! For once I didn’t include any of her other book covers because I think the focus is as it should be – on Festival of Stars and I hope you’ll find a new book to love. (I’m also super excited to have this little visit back to APAHM.) I love fairy tales and twisted fairy tales! <3 

Celebrating a festival of stars in a year of diversity

By Eilis Flynn

Like the fairy tales that kids in Western culture grow up reading and hearing about, the story of the festival of stars is one that kids all over Asia know. The annual meeting of the Weaver Princess and the Cowherder—that’s the version I knew when I was a kid growing up in Japan; you’ll find it under several different names—is a wonderful, tragic, yet hopeful love story, and I always wanted to adapt it to modern, American times. It goes like this: The princess and the cowherder meet one day, and fall in love. But because they neglect their duties in their devotion to each other, the Celestial King rules that they must be separated, with only one chance a year to get together. This is the “romance of the Milky Way,” the Tanabata, as the ancient Japanese poems refer to it, the Festival of Stars.

That kind of love is universal, and it speaks to us all, I figured. Right? So I wrote it.

When this book was originally published in 2007, it was the book of my heart, allowing me to retell the story of what I had always regarded as the ultimate romance, but set in the United States of contemporary times, taken from the Japanese folktales with which I had grown up. But I ran into a road block when I was told, and told again, that the majority of readers wouldn’t be able to relate to it because of its theme of biracialism and bigotry. Editors to whom I submitted it literally told me that Asians didn’t read (which surprised the heck out of me and possibly to the billion literate Asians out there) and thus would have no interest. In any case, when I did sell it, despite decent reviews the book sold poorly, so when I eventually got the rights to it back, I laid the book to rest, assuming it would never see the light of day again. Continue reading

SHM APAHM: Empresses in the Palace

This is my attempt to get you all to WATCH. THIS. SERIES!!!!!!!!! (Also for the Amazon/series image they decided to use … I kinda feel like someone there doesn’t like Susan Sun because that is like … the least flattering image I’ve ever seen of her ever. So. Empresses in the Palace. 後宮·甄嬛傳.

Empresses in the Palace PosterSet in 1722 during the Qing Dynasty, sweeping drama Empresses in the Palace is an epic tale of love, betrayal and scandal told from inside the Imperial Harem – the story of one emperor and his countless women. In a world filled with treachery and corruption, who will truly win the Emperor’s heart and reign supreme? In Mandarin with English subtitles.*

So. Empresses in the Palace. While not as big in the Western world (at least not in the states), this period drama exploded in Asia. It started out as what I’d say is original fanfic. (Remember that section of ff.net back in the day and the like?) It became a television series that first aired in November of 2011. I want to say it showed up on Amazon some time in 2016. There had been word that HBO bought the American rights and was going to distribute it in 2014, and was set to air in December of 2015. I have no idea what happened with studio drama but … here we are. You can either buy the episodes or “series” on Amazon, or watch it free if you have a Prime membership.

First of all, it’s an amazing series. The costuming, the acting, the set … it’s all gorgeous. As you can see.

SAPAHM Guest: Hudson Lin’s “Rambling Treatise on Identity, Diversity, and Why I Write East Asian Characters”

My friends. This post. Please read it – and … I don’t usually say this, but please share it. Hudson Lin is a first time guest at ALBTALBS, and (definitely) hopefully will be willing to guest again. I have nothing to say other than … please read and share

Rambling Treatise on Identity, Diversity, and Why I Write East Asian Characters

By Hudson Lin

Inside Darkness by Hudson Lin CoverI am Canadian. I am Taiwanese. I am Chinese. That’s typically the order in which I would identify myself, but that can change depending on the situation. Sometimes I’m all of them, sometimes I’m a particular combination of two to the exclusion of the third. It’s always complicated and never easy to explain.

My racial and cultural identity is something I’ve wrestled with my entire life, but it had never inserted itself into my writing. All the stories floating around in my head were about white people and I never thought there was anything wrong with that.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled my way into the writing community and realized that diversity was a thing, and not only a thing but something that was being championed. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon stories with characters who looked like me, written by authors who looked like me. Huh. That’s new.

Until recently, 100% of the romances I read were about white people, written by white people. I didn’t know romances existed that featured people of color, or that there were authors of color writing them. I didn’t know that was allowed. Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Nicole Flockton Discussses the Haka

Hi friends! This year’s APAHM celebration has been pretty heavily focused in the Pacific, and I’m loving it! I’m also really pleased to welcome back ALBTALBS friend Nicole Flockton – many kudos to her for stepping in on a Heritage Month post, and with this little slice of [close to] home. <3

The Haka in Sport

When you’re the youngest of four children, and with only one brother, your family tends to follow the sports said brother plays. Even though my brother never played Rugby, it’s a sport and if it was on the television, we watched it as a family. I’m going to show my age here, but this was back in the day when in Perth, Western Australia you had a choice of three television channels. Plus when what your parents wanted to watch—that’s what you watched too. No cable or second television in another room to escape into and watch what you want.

The rivalry between Australia and our cross Tasman foes New Zealand, is legendary. Google “Underarm Bowling Incident 1981” and you’ll understand. Actually, if you want to start a good argument between the Aussies and the Kiwis that’s a sure fire way to get one started. Even after all these years! Continue reading