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AAWW Radio: New Asian American Writers

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Pachinko (ft. Min Jin Lee & Ken Chen)

We're featuring audio from a 2017 event collaboration with the Tenement Museum. We celebrated the launch of author Min Jin Lee’s second novel Pachinko, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2017 and National Book Award Finalist. Pachinko follows one Korean family through generations. The story begins in Korea in the early 1900s and then moves to Japan. The family endures harsh discrimination, catastrophe, and poverty. They also encounter joy as they rise to meet the challenges their new...


Insurrecto & Filipinx Resistance ft. Gina Apostol & Sabina Murray

Gina Apostol’s latest work of fiction, Insurrecto, is a tour de force about about the Philippines’ past and present told through rivaling scripts from an American filmmaker and her Filipino translator. The book was one of the New York Times’ Editor’s Choices for 2018 and won comparisons to Nabokov and Borges for its kaleidoscopic structure. With her trademark wit, uncommon humor, layering of forgotten histories and dueling narratives, Gina tells the story of the atrocities that faced...


Subjects of Interest (ft. Kamila Shamsie, Hirsh Sawhney, & Rozina Ali)

In 2017, we hosted novelists Kamila Shamsie and Hirsh Sawhney, both writers who released new novels about South Asian families fractured in the diaspora. Kamila Shamsie’s novel Home Fire takes Sophocles’s classic tragedy Antigone as the starting point for her novel about political tensions in the War on Terror and the way it impacts Muslim families in the West. Hirsh Sawhney’s debut novel South Haven illustrates how grief complicates and splinters intimacy in an Indian-American family. The...


Queer South Asian Literature (ft. SJ Sindu, Rahul Mehta, & Sreshtha Sen)

We're featuring writers Rahul Mehta and SJ Sindu who read from debut novels No Other World and Marriage of a Thousand Lies featuring complex queer South Asian characters. They have a conversation with writer and Shoreline Review editor Sreshtha Sen about writing transnational narratives, how cultural trauma affects what we write, and resisting the common coming out story. How do you come out to family members whose language you don’t speak?


You Don't Say No To Yuri Kochiyama (ft. Fred Ho, Diane C. Fujino, Baba Herman Ferguson, Esperanza Martell, Laura Whitehorn)

We’re reaching back over a decade into our archives to 2005, when Diane C. Fujino released Yuri Kochiyama's biography Heartbeat of Struggle. To celebrate the book's release, activist and saxophonist Fred Ho invited Yuri's friends & contemporaries Baba Herman Ferguson, Esperanza Martell, & Laura Whitehorn to our space to speak on Yuri Kochiyama's legacy as a radical Asian American political activist. Afterwards Diane C. Fujino talks about Yuri Kochiyama's political awakening from her early...


Speaking Truth to Power (ft. Raissa Robles, Raad Rahman, Tenzin Dickie & Jeremy Tiang)

How is resistance possible when reality itself is obscured? In an era of "fake news" and more facts than anyone could hope to grasp, authoritarians rely on this uncertainty to consolidate their hold on power. This episode we're featuring audio from our 2017 event Speaking Truth to Power. Legendary journalist Raissa Robles joins us from the Philippines to share her work, Marcos Martial Law: Never Again, which reappraises the era of Marcos and applies it lessons to what is unfolding today....


Jackson Heights to Bay Ridge : Open City Fellows Read

We hear from Open City Neighborhood Fellows Roshan Abraham, Pearl Bhatnagar, and Huiying Bernice Chan, who have been documenting the pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it's being lived on the streets of New York right now, and our Muslim Communities fellows, Aber Kawas, Humera Afridi, and Sarah Moawad, who have been writing on the city's Muslim American communities over the past six months. They read from their recently published pieces about a donation-based sufi in Brooklyn,...


Disability Justice (ft. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha & Cyrée Jarelle Johnson)

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice outlines what it means to create spaces by and for sick and disabled queer people of color. In this episode of AAWW Radio, Leah reads from her essay collection and then has a conversation with Cyrée Jarelle Johnson about meaningful inclusion of disability justice, Intersectional disability, the nuances and multitudes of the disability experiences, and “crip wealth.”


Poetry Potluck III (ft. Emily Yoon, Wo Chan, Sueyen Juliette Lee, & Kristin Chang)

We’re bringing you another episode of Poetry Potluck featuring audio from our favorite AAWW poetry events and showcasing exciting poets of the moment. In Poetry Potluck 3, we celebrate Emily Jungmin Yoon’s debut collection of poetry, A Cruelty Special to our Species. As the Poetry editor for The Margins, Emily has cultivated a special home for Asian American poetry in all its richness, and we’re thrilled to celebrate her collection. Emily Jungmin Yoon collects testimony and confronts...


Poetry Potluck II (ft. Fatimah Asghar & Vivek Shraya)

In Poetry Potluck 2, we have Vivek Shraya and Fatimah Asghar, who read from their poetry books I’m Afraid of Men and If They Come For Us. In Vivek Shraya’s I’m Afraid of Men, she explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl, and contemplates how we might reimagine gender for the twenty-first century. Vanity Fair writes, “Vivek Shraya transforms her long-festering fears of men into cultural rocket fuel … Shraya’s dispatches from the frontlines of...


Lola, Asian Grandmas (ft. Kate Gavino, Angela Chen, Vivian Lee, Matt Ortile & Rakesh Satyal)

Has your superstitious grandma ever told you myths that you haven’t been able to forget? In this episode of AAWW Radio, we have critically acclaimed cartoonist and Last Night’s Reading creator Kate Gavino, who has invited some of her favorite writers to read short stories about Asian grandmas. Kate Gavino’s new graphic novel Sanpaku explores the Japanese myth through the eyes of Marcine, an impressionable Filipina preteen who lives for her grandmother’s eccentric stories. She is joined by...


Losing Faith in The Incendiaries (ft. R.O. Kwon & Alexander Chee)

The Incendiaries is a dark, glittering, and obsessive new novel from R.O. Kwon. It’s a fractured love story, a inside look at a campus cult, and a literary thriller. It’s also already a bestseller. The Incendiaries follows the journey of a Korean American college student who falls under the spell of grief. As she finds new love, she’s also lured to violence in a Christian cult tied to North Korea. R.O. Kwon spoke with Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh, The Queen of the Night, and the new...


Adoption & Identity (ft. Lee Herrick, Tracy O’Neill, Matthew Salesses, Sung J. Woo, Shinhee Han)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, join us as four authors—Lee Herrick, Tracy O’Neill, Matthew Salesses, and Sung J. Woo-read from new books that grapple with the realities of adoption, broken families, and the journeys we take to find out where we belong. The authors discuss the identity politics that go hand-in-hand with having a white name and a Korean self, small victories when it comes to adoptee visibility in everyday life, and the importance of seeing your own reflection. This...


Filipino American Music (ft. Christine Balance, Jessica Hagedorn, Patrick Rosal)

In 2016, we hosted the New York launch of Scholar Christine Bacareza Balance’s book Tropical Renditions: Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America, a vital exploration of post-WWII Filipinx literary and musical culture. In this episode of AAWW Radio, we’ll hear Christine read from her book as she asks, “How do Filipinos make music? And what else do these acts of music making do?” Opening for Christine is former AAWW Literary Award winner and Guggenheim Fellowship-winning poet Patrick Rosal,...


Words on Terror (ft. Solmaz Sharif, Mariam Ghani, Cathy Park Hong, & Rickey Laurentiis)

Two years ago on this month, we celebrated the release of Solmaz Sharif's award-winning debut poetry collection Look. Her poetry bears witness to, in the words of NPR, “war in the Middle East, the war on terror, the devastation ravaged upon families in the name of freedom.” Featuring poets and artists Mariam Ghani, Cathy Park Hong, Rickey Laurentiis, and Solmaz Sharif herself, they read from their work analyze state sponsored violence through language, form poems from redacted letters to...


Flying & Trying (ft. Bushra Rehman, Quincy Scott Jones, Sadia Shepard, & Jai Dulani)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we’re celebrating the launch of Marianna’s Beauty Salon, Bushra Rehman’s debut poetry collection that captures the nuances and magic of growing up as a South Asian American femme in Queens. Bushra Rehman reads alongside writers Quincy Scott Jones, Sadia Shepard, and Jai Dulani. You’ll hear a hilarious story about a plane full of Pakistanis marooned in Charles De Gaulle airport, police brutality interpolated into James Brown lyrics, poetic reflections on...


Writing Asian American Food (ft. Lillian Li, Ligaya Mishan, Naben Ruthnum, & Rohan Kamicheril)

On this episode of AAWW Radio we hear from New York Times Hungry City columnist Ligaya Mishan, Number One Chinese Restaurant author Lilian Li, and Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race author Naben Ruthnum. They read from their work and have a conversation with writer and chef Rohan Kamicheril about "authentic" food, the power dynamics of cultural appropriation, and the role of food as a cultural gateway. Shout out to MSG.


Dear Life (ft. Yiyun Li, Porochista Khakpour, & Elif Batuman)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, authors Yiyun Li and Porochista Khakpour discuss how depression and chronic illness have transformed their existence not only as writers, but as people. Author Elif Batuman guides us in a conversation exploring the relationship between trauma and physical illness, the authors’ influences, and for who they tell their stories. Link to the video of this event on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Epj7kP7gWKA


Breaking Caste (ft. Sujatha Gidla, Neel Mukherjee & Gaiutra Bahadur)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we host a reading on India and caste with writers Neel Mukherjee and Sujatha Gidla. Neel Mukherjee's latest novel, A State of Freedom, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2014, follows the lives of five characters born to different circumstances in India navigating deeply entrenched class and caste divisions. Dalit-author Sujatha Gidla wrote the critically-acclaimed debut memoir Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India....


Open City Presents: Writing About Muslim Women

AAWW’s online magazine Open City documents the pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it's being lived on the streets of New York City right now. For this episode of AAWW Radio, we listen to AAWW Muslim Community Fellows Roja Heydarpour, Raad Rahman, Sumaya Awad and Humera Afridi read their stories published in Open City about their own experiences as Muslim American women, and the unique experiences Muslim Americans face in the current xenophobic political climate. Sarah Khan's...