Years ago, Asian American literature may have conjured images of haikus and little else. Until the mid-1900s,
most Americans' knowledge of it was limited to works set in Asia written by American authors, such as
"The Good Earth" and other books by Pearl S. Buck. However, Asian American authors have gradually won
over more and more readers. The phenomenal popularity of Amy Tan's works is testament to the genre's success.
Asian American literature encompasses a diverse array of cultures, from Chinese and Japanese to Indian,
Korean and Filipino. Explore the following sites to sample a taste of Asian American literature.
Gish Jen's "Birthmates" was included in the anthology "Best American Short Stories of the Century."
Read an interview with the author of "Typical American" and "Mona in the Promised Land" at
Powell's. This site includes a short biography and an interview.
The daughter of Indian parents, Jhumpa Lahiri won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for her collection of
short stories, "The Interpreter of Maladies." Read a short biography at
A selection of interviews and reviews are available
According to this brief bio from Powell's, Ha Jin and his
wife decided not to return to their native China after watching the crisis in Tiananmen Square on
television. He has continued to write in English, and his novel "Waiting"
won the National Book Award in 1999.
Probably the best-known Asian American author, Amy Tan's novel "The Joy Luck Club" was made into a
major motion picture. Among her other successful books are "The Hundred Secret Senses" and
"The Bonesetter's Daughter." This fan site offers a
great collection of reviews, interviews and upcoming appearance dates.
Born in San Francisco to Chinese parents, Gus Lee is the author of the novels "China Boy" and "Tiger's Tail."
Read a review of his book "No Physical Evidence" and a brief