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AAWW Radio: New Asian American Writers

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New Filipinx Literature (ft. Elaine Castillo, Luis H. Francia, Joseph O. Legaspi & Gina Apostol)

Elaine Castillo's debut novel America is Not the Heart is a vibrant and starkly hilarious novel about the De Vera family who flees Marcos-era Philippines in stages for the immigrant suburbs of the Bay Area. Elaine Castillo joins poets Luis H. Francia and Joseph O. Legaspi for a special reading about Filipinx-American history, migration, queerness, and the elusive goal of cracking the American Dream for working-class immigrants. After reading they join author Gina Apostol, author of the Gun...


I Can't Go On...I'll Go On ft. Patty Yumi Cottrell, Anelise Chen, Eugene Lim, & Lisa Chen

Do you ever feel like your life is in a constant state of crisis? Do you feel like, nevertheless, you persist? On this episode of AAWW Radio, we're featuring three thrilling experimental novelists whose books are about pushing forward against life-killing forces, whether it’s capitalism, the political status quo, or more existential threats like grief and suicide. Novelists Patty Yumi Cottrell, Eugene Lim, and Anelise Chen all navigate the universe of crisis--all with a touch of bleak...


Remixing Guantanamo Bay (ft. Phil Metres & Ken Chen)

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Iraq War, so for this episode of AAWW Radio we’re bringing you an interview that AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen hosted with experimental poet Philip Metres back in 2016. Phil Metres is the author of the poetry collection Sand Opera. Solmaz Sharif writes, “Philip Metres’s poetry collection Sand Opera is complex, an untamable polyvocal array of clipped narratives in post-9/11 (if we are to believe such historical markers) America.” It’s a...


Go Home! Pt. 2

As an Asian American, what is your Wakanda? Did you ever consider it being the obscure 2005 Xbox game Jade Empire? On this episode, we're continuing to highlight the recent launch Go Home!, our anthology of Asian diasporic writers published in collaboration with the Feminist Press. Contributing writers Alexander Chee, Karissa Chen, Chaya Babu, Wendy Xu, Gina Apostol, & the anthology’s editor, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan had a hilarious and heartwarming conversation and Q&A in the final act of...


Go Home! Pt. 1

We’re highlighting the recent launch of Go Home!, our anthology published in collaboration with the Feminist Press, featuring Asian diasporic writers who imagine “home” in the twenty-first century through an array of fiction, memoir, and poetry. On March 12th, we hosted a release party at our event space in Manhattan with contributing writers Alexander Chee, Karissa Chen, Chaya Babu, Wendy Xu, Gina Apostol, & the anthology’s editor, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan who read to a packed house. It was...


Poetry Potluck I with Ocean Vuong, Janine Joseph, Wendy Xu, and Jennifer Hayashida

We’re starting a new series called Poetry Potluck featuring audio from our favorite AAWW poetry events and showcasing exciting poets of the moment. In Poetry Potluck 1, we have poets Ocean Vuong, Janine Joseph, and Wendy Xu reading from their work and having a conversation about writing process, family, and the body. Jennifer Hayashida introduces and moderates the conversation.


Love and Korean Democracy (ft. Jimin Han, Grace Yoojin Wuertz, & E. Tammy Kim)

We're featuring two Korean American novelists, Jimin Han and Yoojin Grace Wuertz, who read from their debut novels that interrogate 1970s and 1980s Korean politics. Both books follow university students in the US and in Seoul as they fall in love, build friendships, and understand how they relate to the turbulent changes in South Korean society. Wuertz’s novel, Everything Belongs to Us, centers around two Seoul National University students under President Park Chung-hee’s 1970s...


Archive Seance (ft. M. NourbeSe Philip & Phinder Dulai)

We had Canadian experimental poets M. NourbeSe Philip and Phinder Dulai in our space for a reading and conversation on working between poetry and the archive. Phinder Dulai's dream / arteries remixes archival photos, ships manifests, passenger records, and interviews from the traumatic Komagata Maru event. M. NourbeSe Philip explodes genre boundaries with Zong!, Philip's response to the Zong slave ship massacre through legal poetry. Zong! is generally regarded as one of the most...


AAWW Radio Episode 13. Speculative Visions (ft. Ted Chiang & Alice Sola Kim)

We're featuring one of the country’s most prominent science fiction writers, Ted Chiang, the winner of four Locus awards, four Nebula awards, four Hugo Awards, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Junot Díaz wrote, “Ted Chiang is so exhilarating, so original, so stylish, he just leaves you speechless.” Chiang’s short story collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, includes the Nebula Award-winning story “Story of Your Life,” of which the 2016 Academy Award-nominated film...


White Tears, Michael Jackson, Cultural Appropriation (ft. Hari Kunzru, Margo Jefferson & Kevin Nguyen)

A special discussion about music and the ghosts of America’s racial past featuring two highly acclaimed authors. A murder mystery, a ghost story, and two cultural tourists collide in Hari Kunzru’s spellbinding novel White Tears, which connects contemporary cultural appropriation and white hawkers of black music with the history of racism and the forgotten geniuses of American music and Delta Mississippi Blues. Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Margo Jefferson’s classic work of cultural...


Celebrating Nick Joaquin (ft. Gina Apostol, Ninotchka Rosca, Alex Gilvarry, & Melissa R. Sipin)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we’re celebrating the new edition of works by Nick Joaquin titled The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic. Nick Joaquin is one of the most important writers of the Philippines who is only recently being published in the United States for the first time by Penguin Classics. Born in 1917, Joaquin wrote a surreal, anguished sentence that cast an ironic eye at colonialism’s longue durée and Catholic rites, both of which he depicted through...


Family Vs Migration (ft. Shanthi Sekaran, Rinku Sen, & Kavita Das)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we’re featuring writers and activists confronting our immigration system that threatens families of people of color in this age of xenophobic resurgence. In early 2017, Shanthi Sekaran released her newest novel Lucky Boy which follows an undocumented eighteen-year-old Chicano mother who winds up in immigration detention--causing her son to be adopted by an upper class Desi foster mother. To write the book, Shanthi relied partly on the "Shattered Families"...


Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion

In late 2016 we celebrated the launch of Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion. This is the first anthology to examine the multiple facets of daughterhood in South Asian American families. The title, Good Girls Marry Doctors, is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the things Asian American mothers sometimes say. These first person essays are intimate, heart-breaking, political, and hilarious; and examine what it means to be the perfect Asian daughter....


The Woman Warrior (feat. Maxine Hong Kingston & Monique Truong)

In 1976, Maxine Hong Kingston published The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. A searing and subtly funny book about who gets to tell our stories, this feminist classic established themes and controversies central to Asian American literature today: what we carry from our homelands and pasts, the role of myths and family secrets, and what narratives are silenced. For the 40th anniversary of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, we brought her together with Monique...


Short Story Invention (ft. Akhil Sharma, Kanishk Tharoor, & Meera Nair)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we're exploring the craft of the short story with two authors who released short story collections in 2017. The quotidian stories in Akhil Sharma’s new book simmer with a barely hidden, devastatingly emotional undercurrent―and have earned him comparisons to Chekov. Reminiscent of Calvino and Borges, Kanishk Tharoor’s lush and inventive collection ranges from science fiction to historical pastiche, delving into what is lost from environmental collapse and...


Roxane Gay & Alexander Chee

In 2014, just after the publication of her landmark essay collection Bad Feminist we hosted Roxane Gay in conversation with writer Alexander Chee at our event, The Popular is Political. They spoke about the representation of people of color in pop culture and publishing, their favorite problematic TV shows, and Roxane's obsession with Ina Garten. Music by Robert Rusli and Lu Yang


Migrant Father Fragment (ft. QM Zhang, lê thị diễm thúy, & Hua Hsu)

Q.M. Zhang and lê thị diễm thúy, writers of fragmented, hybridic, family narratives explore themes of immigration, grief, and the father with The New Yorker’s Hua Hsu. A hybrid memoir/novel that’s part espionage, part historical documentary, Q.M. Zhang’s Accomplice to Memory tells the story of her father’s mysterious exodus from China during the country’s Civil War and WWII: all the silence and love that you’ve come to know from your Asian immigrant family, but with added subterfuge and...


Searching for Home (ft. Alia Malek, Dina Nayeri, Rami Karim, and Roja Heydarpour)

Novelist Dina Nayeri, journalist Alia Malek, and poet Rami Karim's work surrounds Middle East politics, revolution, and the refugee experience. You may have read Iranian-American novelist Dina Nayeri’s viral story in The Guardian, “The Ungrateful Refugee: We Have No Debt to Pay.” She reads from her book Refuge, a powerful story of a daughter who leaves Iran, but leaves her father behind. Syrian-American journalist Alia Malek returned to Damascus to live in her grandfather’s home–just as...


Refugee Requiem (ft. Bao Phi, Patrick Rosal, Sokunthary Svay)

Poets Patrick Rosal, Bao Phi, and Sokunthary Svay confront nationalist mythology with lyrical odes to the America we struggle against, and the one being built through struggle. Patrick Rosal—who the Academy of American Poets honored for writing the best book of poetry of the year—uncovers forgotten multi-racial histories through his family’s journey from the Phillipines to Brooklyn. Bao Phi and Sokunthary Svay trace their arrival into Minneapolis and the Bronx as refugees. They speak into...


The Face (ft. Ruth Ozeki and Tash Aw)

Authors Ruth Ozeki and Tash Aw read from their contributions to an innovative new series from Restless books titled THE FACE, which asks writers to offer a guided tour of that most intimate terrain: their own faces. Afterwards they have a conversation with AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen. In Ruth Ozeki’s piece A Time Code, she provides a Buddhist meditation of the second-by-second experience of the author watching her own face. Tash Aw’s Strangers on a Pier gives the reader--in the...


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