Highlights

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedIn

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time to share the remarkable stories from writers and speakers on topics as diverse as tech, politics, literature, heritage, immigration, and more. Contact us for more information about bringing one of these speakers to your school, library, business, or association.

Literary Voices

Ocean Vuong

Poet and author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong is a celebrated poet whose debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, was one of the most acclaimed novels of 2019. A dazzling coming-of-age story that touches on identity, immigration, and the power of language to both connect and divide, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous launched Vuong into the national spotlight. Vuong was named an “Essential Asian American Writer” by Buzzfeed Books, and he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the youngest recipient of the grant in the 2019 class. Whether speaking about the challenges and rewards of creating art from the margins of mainstream American society or revealing the process behind his award-winning writing, Vuong is a vital literary voice for audiences everywhere.


Celeste Ng

Author of the New York Times bestseller Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng is a New York Times bestselling novelist who writes profoundly moving stories of family, race, secrets, and longing. Her first book, Everything I Never Told You, was the winner of the 2014-2015 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Adult Fiction. Ng’s sophomore novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was recently adapted into a highly acclaimed television adaptation from Hulu and Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine. In her lectures, Ng addresses how Asian-Americans fit into conversations about race, how people identify, and her own path to becoming a writer.


Ha Jin

National Book Award-winning novelist, international bestseller, and two-time winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Ha Jin is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author of six novels and numerous collections of short stories and poetry, including the National Book Award-winning Waiting. Born in mainland China, Ha Jin grew up in a small rural town in Liaoning Province. From age fourteen to nineteen he volunteered to serve in the People’s Liberation Army, and began teaching himself middle and high school courses in his third year in the army. When the Tiananmen massacre changed China’s political landscape, Jin realized it would be impossible to write honestly in China, and chose to stay in the US, where he had been studying American Literature. He speaks to audiences about what it means to create freely, and urges them to never take creative freedom lightly.


Charles Yu

National Book Award-winning author of Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu is a screenwriter and the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Interior Chinatown, a genre-bending masterpiece that explores the confining stereotypes of Asian Americans in Hollywood and in American culture more broadly. Yu’s previous novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, was a New York Times Notable Book and a TIME Top 10 Fiction Book of 2010. In his entertaining and thought-provoking lectures, Yu speaks to audiences of all kinds about the Asian American experience, representation and stereotypes in film and television, and the unique power of science fiction to address the human condition.


Jean Kwok

Award-winning author of Girl in Translation

As a little girl, Girl in Translation author Jean Kwok emigrated from Hong Kong to New York, where—despite working long hours in a Chinatown factory—she excelled in the classroom, eventually graduating from Harvard and Columbia. With infectious energy and charm, she comments on the American immigrant experience and ballroom dance, the subject of her new novel Mambo in Chinatown.


Megha Majumdar

Editor at Catapult and author of A Burning

Megha Majumdar is an editor at Catapult whose novel, A Burning, is one of the most highly anticipated debuts of 2020. Set in a contemporary India spinning toward extremism, A Burning relentlessly traces the lives of three characters whose fates become irrevocably intertwined in the wake of a devastating act of domestic terrorism. With a fresh voice and insightful analysis, Majumdar speaks to audiences about her perspective as a writer from the diaspora, the troubling conditions in both her current home and her country of origin, and the project of writing politically-engaged fiction in a time of crisis.


Chang-rae Lee

New York Times-bestselling author of The Surrendered and Native Speaker