#WhyAPIALit

In the tradition of its iconic Talk Story series held monthly in DC Chinatown, the 1882 Foundation encourages all to explore and discuss the stories of our AAPI community that have been and are continuing to be told in literature.

The Foundation is compiling lists of books and authors that speak to the AAPI narrative through historical documentation, biographies, memoirs, novels, poetry, drama, etc. Our list will be updated regularly on this website through written reviews on our new blog! We hope that these reviews lead you to storytelling that compels you, inspires you, or simply entertain you.

Most importantly, we invite you to think about the implications of Asian American literature and question #WhyAPIAlit.

Recent Reads

China Dolls

Not all China dolls are bound to break. 

Grace, a fugitive from her father’s abuse; Helen, a proper child of an esteemed Chinatown family; and Ruby Tom, a Japanese American  in seek of stardom at the onslaught of World War Two, are an unlikely ensemble. The three girls converge at San Francisco’s Forbidden City Nightclub against their parents’ wishes, in seek of employment as dancers. While the girls find uncanny success in the performing arts scene, war against Japan erupts on the Pacific Front…

Water Tossing Boulders

I am also an American Born Chinese (ABC) who grew up in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era when racial segregation was rampant in the South. Consequently, the book, Water Tossing Boulders, written by Adrienne Berard, became a “must-read” book for me. This is a documentation of the story of Chinese immigrants leading a fight to desegregate a school in Mississippi in the 1920s…

America Is in the Heart

During the time I was reading this book, I was coming back home to the United States after a week-long trip that left a very lasting impact on me. As my plane landed, I pondered heartily on the page I left off on, mid-quote about Carlos Bulosan’s arrival by ship in the United States. I questioned the process of arriving to a place that will someday be “home,”whether that transformation happens by desire or by necessity…

Paper Son

When I became aware of this novel, it became a “must-read” for me.  It certainly met my first prerequisite for my reading tastes, i.e. it was an Asian American story.  But I learned that the story is set in the Mississippi Delta region – the place where I was born and raised, the place that impacted my life so profoundly, the place for which…

Literature Corner
Blog Submissions!

We welcome you to help us shape this initiative. If you recently read a novel or short story that moved you to consider aspects of the Asian American experience or saw a film that captured an emotion or attended a play in which the character and performance portrayed an essential truth in being ethnic Chinese or Asian in a predominately white society, let us know! Write a review, add a photo or image if you have one, and send it to us. The submission box is at the bottom of this page. Try to stay within 750 words. 

Join the 1882 Foundation’s reading and discussion groups, every Thursday 10:30AM – 5:00PM at our 508 I Street NW, Washington, DC office! No prior knowledge needed to attend. Stay for as long as you would like.

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