news | Wednesday May 15, 2024

It's Asian Heritage Month!

May is Asian Heritage Month! To celebrate, we would love to share three amazing new titles written by authors of Asian heritage that will excite, inform, and inspire you.

Fresh from the spring 2024 collection comes the fabulous poetry and photography collection Wet by Leanne Dunic. In Wet, a transient Chinese American model working in Singapore thirsts for the unattainable: fair labour rights, the extinguishing of nearby forest fires, breathable air, healthy habitats for animals, human connection. In photographs and language shot through with empathy and desire, Wet unravels complexities of social stratification, sexual privation, and environmental catastrophe.

An excerpt:

“My cousin told me about Mao’s campaign during the Great Leap
Forward to kill the four pests: flies, rats, mosquitoes, sparrows. The
people banged pots incessantly to prevent sparrows from resting. Soft
stones dropped from the sky.

What other animals fell?

Fifty-five million people. My ancestors.

In this block, poisoned bread is left on the sidewalk for pigeons. For
cats. For dogs. The hungry.”

Pick up your copy of Wet here!

We are honoured to have recently had the opportunity to work on Gaman – Perseverance: Japanese Canadians’ Journey to Justice, the new memoir from community leader and activist Art Miki. Gaman – Perseverance describes the long journey towards resolution for the historic injustice that deprived Japanese Canadians of their basic human rights during and after World War II. This revealing memoir details the intense negotiations that took place in the 1980s between the Government of Canada and the NAJC – negotiations which finally resulted in the historic Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement of September 1988 and the acknowledgment by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney that Canada had wronged its own citizens.

An excerpt:

“For every Japanese Canadian who had experienced the wartime trauma of forced removal, internment, and the deprival of their basic rights, September 22, 1988, was a day to remember. … We were taken by taxis from Hull to the visitors’ gallery in the Parliament Buildings for the announcement scheduled at 11:00 a.m. Other Japanese Canadians from various cities who were aware of this momentous occasion met us to join in the celebration. We took our places in the gallery as we waited for the prime minister’s appearance.”

Order your copy of Gaman – Perseverance here!

Finally, a new play will be hitting the shelves near you very soon! we the same is a remarkable new play by Sangeeta Wylie. Inspired by a true story, we the same opens in 1979 Việt Nam, where six children and a mother become separated from their father and husband as they flee their homeland by boat. Against all odds, they survive pirate attacks, typhoons, and starvation, ending up shipwrecked on a desert island. Thirty-five years pass, and the mother at last shares heartfelt secrets and an unbelievable story with her daughter … allowing the past to be escorted into the present.

An excerpt:

BẢO: Mm-hmm. The Mekong has nine rivers, named for dragons. One
of Việt Nam’s ancient kings was named Lạc Long Quân. Lạc Long
ruled over the land near the sea. He wanted to live underwater, so he
turned into a dragon. When his people needed their king, they would
call upon him and he would come back to the land.

Lạc Long fell in love with a beautiful mountain fairy named Âu Cơ.
They married, and she gave birth to a pouch filled with one hundred
eggs. After seven days, each egg hatched into a child.

Though Lạc Long and Âu Cơ were deeply in love, they came from
different worlds. Lạc Long missed the sea, and Âu Cơ missed the
mountains. They separated, each taking fifty children, and promised
to help each other when needed. The children became the rulers
of the Hundred Việt, the tribes of Việt Nam, that still exist today.
No matter where you are, Vietnamese always keep this promise to
love and protect one another.

It’s time to rest, children. When you wake up, we’ll be in the Mekong.”

Pre-order your copy of we the same here!

We wish you a month of wonderful reading. Happy Asian Heritage Month!