#AsianLitBingo 2019

Happy May Day, all! I’m super excited to reveal that I will be a host for LitCelebrAsian’s #AsianLitBingo this month. This is a month-long reading challenge that encourages readers to support Asian authors, especially #ownvoices books.

For those who may not be aware, May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. Here is some background on the challenge from LitCelebrAsian:

In publishing, there are power dynamics in play that marginalize Asian authors, especially those who write Asian characters and draw from their heritage for their writing. In the context of publishing in countries where white people are the majority/dominant group, diaspora Asians in those countries have a hard time breaking into publishing.

In a more global context, Asian writers in Asia have a hard to reaching a wider market beyond regional publishing due to their perceived foreignness, plus a general lack of infrastructure for translations for those that don’t write in English (and many do write in English). There are also double standards in the industry that facilitate publication for white authors writing Asian[-inspired] characters/settings/stories while Asian writers who write from the place of a cultural insider are often told their stories are “too Asian” or “not Asian enough.” For this reason, we feel it is especially important to highlight #ownvoices Asian stories, where the authors share the heritage of the characters they write about.

Here is the bingo board, I will be completing the middle row 🙂

Now for the good stuff: the books I will be reading. You can see my sad attempt at a bookstagram at the top of this post and here are some more deets:

Science Fiction/Fantasy with Asian Main Character: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Historical Fiction with Asian Main Character: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Bombay, 1921: Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women’s rights. 

Free Space: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt. But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Retelling with Asian Main Character: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. 

Contemporary with Asian Main Character: A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.” But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.

Early EdZooCation with the Minnesota Zoo and Wild Rumpus Bookstore

Hi all! Today I’m super excited to be talking THE NOCTURNALS: THE CHESTNUT CHALLENGE, the latest children’s book from Tracey Hecht. She will be visiting Minnesota next week and leading a featured activity at the Early EdZooCation Event at the Minnesota Zoo and will have a reading and book discussion event at the Wild Rumpus Bookstore that evening.

Excerpt from The Nocturnals: The Chestnut Challenge

THE NOCTURNALS: THE CHESTNUT CHALLENGE, written by Tracey Hecht and illustrated by Josie Yee (on-sale: April 23, 2019), is part of a series for children aged 5-7 that teaches compassion and understanding through the silly adventures of lovable nocturnal creatures. The Nocturnals series features three unlikely animal friends and has teamwork, friendship, and humor in every adventure.  The American Booksellers Association chose the first book in this middle grade series, The Mysterious Abductions, as a Kids’ Indie Next List pick.

Author Tracey Hecht

About the Author: Tracey Hecht, founder of Fabled Films, is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed, and produced for film. Fabled Films brings together her passions and interests: writing, creativity, teamwork, and entrepreneurship. When she isn’t writing and managing a business, she can be found hiking, reading, or spending time with her family. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine, with her husband, four children and puppy, Penny.

Event Details!

Early EdZooCation Day at the Minnesota Zoo: May 21, 2019 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Non-Members $9.00/child*
Members $3.00/child*
One free adult with each five paid students
Additional adults $12.00 each
Parking $10/bus, $7/car
Register here

Nocturnals Pajama Party at Wild Rumpus Bookstore: May 21, 2019 at 6 p.m. Put on your PJ’s and head to Wild Rumpus for a pajama party with Tracey Hecht, author of The Nocturnals middle grade and early readers series! Get to know Dawn, (fox and leader of The Nocturnals trio), Bismark (sugar glider), and Tobin (pangolin) from their first adventure to their newest stories, The Hidden Kingdom and The Chestnut Challenge.