Two star-crossed lovers erase their parents' bitter rivalry in this audiobook performed by Natalie Naudus, Shawn K. Jain, and David Shih. Steeped in Chinese culture and mythology, this contemporary fantasy seamlessly weaves multiple points of view. Luna Chang and Hunter Yee are two of a kind; each possesses a magical ability and a damning family secret. In resolving the Yees'... Read More
Narrators Catherine Ho, Cindy Kay, and Elyse Dinh work together beautifully to portray three memorable Vietnamese American women in this immersive multigenerational saga. The story shifts from 1960s Vietnam to present-day Florida and Michigan as the point of view alternates among Huong; her daughter, Ann; and Huong's mother, Minh. Each narrator superbly creates a fully realized... Read More
With great energy, Soneela Nankani performs this audiobook so beautifully that the listener is transported to the Saleem home in Brooklyn. This is a family story filled with complex relationships; Nankani makes all these clear with her vocal flexibility. Each character has a strong voice: Matriarch Hashi is no-nonsense and sharp-tongued, daughter Charu is sassy and bold,... Read More
Narrator Ramón de Ocampo is a one-man teen cast in this fresh send-up of high school insiders and outsiders. Filipino-American skater Angelo Rivera is devastated when his family moves from San Diego to the middle of nowhere. De Ocampo is equally at ease with Angelo's constant jokes and his mother's emotional Tagalog outbursts. Enduring racist bullying and microaggressions,... Read More
Natalie Naudus narrates a reimagining of THE GREAT GATSBY that is magical and queer, while still wholly true to the spirit of the original. Jordan Baker may be an adopted orphan of the War in Vietnam, but she does not dwell on her past; she has status and money and connections, and she uses them to advance herself. Naudus perfectly captures Jordan's ambivalent feelings about... Read More
It is 1935. The fearsome Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa has erupted. And a prodigal son has just arrived home from the mainland in search of answers to family secrets. With tones of compassion and easy humor, Brian Nishii narrates the story of a hardworking, close-knit community of Japanese-American immigrants who came to Hawaii to work in the sugarcane fields. Narrator Natalie... Read More
Cambodian-American actor François Chau seems to inhabit the anonymous narrator of this novel--a young man of Vietnamese and French parentage who flees Vietnam at the fall of Saigon and heads to California and France. Chau's narration is so stellar that the listener sees the action through the narrator's eyes, yet Chau's soft voice remains unobtrusive. The writing in this novel... Read More
Narrator Catherine Ho delivers a stellar performance of this fast-paced caper audiobook. She perfectly inhabits Ava Wong, a frazzled wife and mother who is on hiatus from her law career, as well as Winnie Fang, Ava's former shy classmate from 20 years ago, who's now rich and full of confidence. Winnie's been running a global fake handbag scheme, in which Ava becomes entangled.... Read More
Narrator Brian Nishii showcases his versatility with a lively and entertaining performance of this contemporary retelling of THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. For 35 years, the Chao family has successfully run an Americanized Chinese restaurant in Haven, Wisconsin. Nonetheless, they are still viewed as outsiders and subjected to racism. Nishii nails his characterization of the abrasive... Read More
Cindy Kay shines in this heartfelt exploration of the immigrant experience. Ten-year-old Lina is ecstatic to reunite with her family in California after five years spent waiting in Beijing to come to America. However, the perfect life she pictured is not the reality of a family struggling in the wake of the Covid pandemic. Kay skillfully portrays Lina's thoughts, a messy... Read More
Narrator Catherine Ho deftly guides listeners through the complex web of events and legal actions surrounding the 1982 death of Vincent Chin. The young Chinese-American man was beaten with a baseball bat following an argument at a bar. After the defendants received probation and a fine, the case was taken up as a potential hate crime by a wide coalition of Asian-American... Read More
Narrator David Shih does a remarkable job with this audiobook about the contributions of Chinese immigrants in the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. His deep, gentle voice is inviting, and he urges us to keep listening by pacing himself well and enunciating clearly. Shih gives Chang's story depth and heft by accentuating the trials these workers were forced to... Read More
This is a funny, unsettling, touching, and energetically narrated audiobook about family, culture, and 21st-century America. Wajahat Ali, a playwright and Ted Talk speaker, among other things, knows about keeping an audience engaged, and he does it here. In this expansive performance he seems to be putting on a one-man play for the ears. Few listeners will leave the audio... Read More
With its stellar ensemble of narrators, this surreal short story collection creates an immersive listening experience. The narrators rotate with each story, making each one shine. The works feature a chorus of dead cousins, a woman who is trying to survive a catastrophic flood, and the delight of two girls who are falling in love. The stories revel in the unexpected,... Read More
Peter Ganim, Suehyla El-Attar Young, and Fajer Al-Kaisi perform this critically acclaimed National Book Award finalist. Using fantastical elements and touches of the absurd, the short story collection features Afghan and Afghan American characters who are all dealing with the long-lasting devastation of America's war on terror. Young narrates stories centered around women who... Read More
Narrator Lameece Issaq is the pithy, sarcastic, millennial Noora, who is passing time as a blogger while pursuing her dream of being a writer in New York City. This audiobook is a hilarious romp through the Upper East Side and the offices of "Vinyl," a hipster magazine that doesn't turn out to be the job Noora has always wanted. Issaq plays up the ingénue versus the bad boss... Read More
Narrator Eunice Wong delivers an emotionally absorbing performance of this poignant novella and five short stories. This fictional compilation explores complexities of the Asian-American experience, including issues such as assimilation and intergenerational trauma. In the titular novella, HUNGER, Wong magnificently renders the heartbreaking tone and presents authentic... Read More
Listening becomes almost visual in these accounts of Asian-Americans living in 1960s and ‘70s San Francisco. The 10 related novellas that comprise this work touch on art, politics, activism, and deep Asian familial bonds and traditions. Casting a variety of dynamic performers imbues each novella with a distinct essence and power, resulting in a listening experience that is... Read More
In narrating her own memoir, literary writer Kingston gives her words just the lyrical quality she intends. She speaks with emotion and passion about her life's journey, bestowing each word with significance. A professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, Kingston is known for her books about Chinese culture and immigration, and she has devoted much of her life to antiwar activism. The... Read More
Joel de la Fuente gives a spectacular performance filled with drama, theatrics, and razzle-dazzle that beautifully showcases Charles Yu's satire of Asians in America, told in a funky screenplay format. Willis Wu's life unfolds like a movie in which he is "Generic Asian Man." Each night he returns to his crowded Chinatown highrise hoping that the next day will bring him closer... Read More
Narrator Allison Hiroto brings joy and spunk to 8-year-old Jasmine's grand plans and adventures. Jasmine is tired of being too young to do anything and never getting to do anything first. As the New Year approaches, Jasmine is jealous that her older sister gets to help make mochi, so Jasmine comes up with a plan to be the first girl in her family to pound the mochi rice. Hiroto... Read More
Narrator Catherine Ho gives a superb performance of this audiobook by the award-winning author of CHEMISTRY. Ho perfectly inhabits Joan, a first-generation Chinese-American ICU physician who is grieving the loss of her father while struggling with the direction of her life. Ho's deliberate pace and nuanced intonation straddle the edges between intimacy and detachment. Joan is a... Read More
Near the end of WWII, Yuki and her family are released from the internment camps in Utah where they've been imprisoned. As they try to rebuild their lives, they also await the return of Yuki's brother, a U.S. soldier who was wounded in Europe. Emily Woo Zeller narrates with precise diction and a lilting tone. Her character voices are delightful, varying from that of the... Read More
Surf, Hawaiian music, and song provide an immersive backdrop for Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu's spellbinding performance. The resonance and musical quality in Wong-Kalu's voice add to this dual-language retelling of the legend of Kapaemahu. This is the story of four Tahitian healers who were "mahu," that is, without male or female gender, who traveled around the islands administering... Read More
Emily Woo Zeller's melodic narration transports listeners to 1950s San Francisco in this coming-of-age novel about family, first love, and a Chinese-American teenager discovering herself. When Lily sees an ad for a show featuring a male impersonator, she feels a prick of recognition she doesn't fully understand. Soon she's sneaking out for heady nights at the Telegraph Club and... Read More
Essayist T Kira Madden performs her memoir with the raw, brutal honesty no one else could give it. With little emotional modulation, she lets her stream-of-consciousness writing plunge listeners into her childhood in Boca Raton, Florida. It was marked by material wealth, neglect by parents who were struggling with addiction, and racism. Her calm, steady voice provides some... Read More
Narrator Sunil Malhotra evokes the pathos of a novel that explores "reverse racism," cyber violence, and cancel culture. Indian-American Raj Bhatt's life is turned upside down when he blurts out the N-word in front of a Black man at his tennis club. To make matters even worse, at the university where he teaches, a group of conservative students accuses him of hating Christians.... Read More
This anthology covering the diverse lived experiences of Asian-Americans is enhanced by a full cast of vocal performers. Composed of 30 essays and poems, the collection covers a wide range of experiences from different intersectionalities. The talented narrators deliver the vignettes in varying styles, creating a compelling aural smorgasbord. Similar themes of being othered,... Read More
Author and narrator Wilson Tang adds history and personality to New York's Chinatown with his heartfelt dive into the neighborhood. The current owner of Nom Wah, Tang gives listeners more than just tools, techniques, and recipes for classic dim sum. This cookbook offers a connection to a culture that is ever waning in America's melting pot. Tang was called from the financial... Read More
Greg Watanabe, Kurt Kanazawa, and Joy Osmanski give riveting, emotional performances in this L.A. Theatre Works adaptation of the 1957 novel by Japanese-American author John Okada. After spending years in internment camps and prison, a Japanese-American who had said no to both a loyalty oath and serving in the U.S. military during WWII (hence, the term “no-no boy”) finally... Read More
Love for the traditions and culture of the Hawaiian people is evident in this audiobook, which includes the voices of three narrators from the Aloha State. Traditional music, sound effects of laughter and lapping waves, and Hawaiian words transport listeners to the countryside as a family prepares the poi for a traditional farm-to-table luau. With a slow pace and quiet tone,... Read More
Catherine Ho delivers the voice of Ingrid Yung, a Chinese-American feminist for our times, whose story includes a twist on breaking the glass ceiling. Ingrid's minority identity becomes an integral part of her climb up the corporate ladder. Ho is a confident, easy-on-the-ears narrator. Her casual style makes the pithy chapters fly by. We sympathize with Ingrid, who is being... Read More
Narrators Deepti Gupta and Sunil Malhotra team up to bring listeners this family saga about immigration, tradition, and change. Together they present the dual perspectives of Rafiq and Layla, the mother and father of three very different children. Gupta establishes the complex emotional landscape of a family transplanted from India to the U.S. in the subtle, tender tones of... Read More
Emily Woo Zeller and Feodor Chin narrate an affecting story about balancing identity and family. In a moment of desperation, Chloe Wang hires a fake boyfriend to bring home over break; when Chloe and Drew start to develop real feelings for each other, things get complicated. Both Zeller and Chin show deep compassion for Chloe and Drew, and their complicated family situations.... Read More
A full cast of Asian-American narrators take listeners on a vibrant and thought-provoking journey through Asian-American pop cultural history. Journalist Yang, blogger Yu, and producer Wang's fun and poignant history is recounted through multilayered essays, playlists, and interviews. With deftness and conviction, the narrators alternate between playfully celebrating... Read More
Bushra Rehman performs her novel of a queer Pakistani American girl who is coming of age in the 1980s and '90s. Razia Mirza is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants in Corona, a neighborhood in Queens. Though her parents are very traditional, preparing her to one day marry a man and have children, Razia feels the stirrings of wanting something different. Rehman brings complexity... Read More
Dylan J. Locke captures inner and outer views of Evan Pao's family and friends. When a scandal threatens and Evan's father vanishes, the family moves from California to a small Virginia town. The only Chinese-American boy in his new sixth grade, Evan circumvents his fears to match the cheer of a welcoming new friend, Max. Locke depicts Evan's liveliness. He also reveals Evan's... Read More
Listen to this if you want to hear what should be one of the best reviewed memoirs of 2020. Tran’s story is an American immigration story, and so much more. His delivery is crisp and engaging, and maintains just the slightest element of whimsy. The memoir traces the Tran family’s remarkable journey from Vietnam to America. It also tells the author’s own journey from punk misfit... Read More
Natalie Naudus's skilled narration adds to the luminous and otherworldly qualities of Vo's historical fantasy. Luli Wei is determined to make it in Hollywood and will do whatever it takes to achieve stardom--on her terms. But in her world, that means making dangerous pacts, trading away years of her life, and fending off literal monsters. Naudus moves from character to... Read More
With poignant grace, Keiko Agena, June Angela, and Suzy Nakamura lead a stellar cast, playing three Japanese-American sisters who find hope, heartache, and hard-won humor when they return to their family farm in California after four long years locked away in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. They had planned to pick up where they left off, but their father and mother are... Read More
Eight narrators personalize the characters in this engaging debut. The varied performances capture the diverse experiences of Korean-Americans over eight long stories. Exploring the challenges within families, generations, and cultures, the collection has something for every listener. Among the standouts is "The Art of Losing," narrated by Sue Jean Kim and Intae Kim. They... Read More
Kathleen Li warmly, effectively, and efficiently narrates Hoang's well-researched glimpse behind the proverbial curtain of the shadow economy that offers global elites opportunities to invest in risky frontier markets. While the content is revealing, at times shocking, Li's narration remains deliberate, measured, and unadorned. Those who have wondered about the use and purpose... Read More
Narrator Greta Jung's exuberant voice captures the honesty, humor, and conflict in Kim's poignant narrative. Yumi's hardworking immigrant parents want her to attend Hogwan on a prestigious scholarship, but when she stumbles into a comedy camp led by her favorite YouTuber, she can't stop herself from joining. Jung's pacing captures Yumi's stress and exhilaration as she struggles... Read More
Vikas Adam embodies the mixed feelings of Ashish Patel, the younger brother of Rishi, a character also portrayed by Adam. Ashish, a handsome high school basketball star at his elite school, has been dumped by his college girlfriend. Adam enacts the fading of Ashish’s haughty attitude as his mojo is replaced by severe self-questioning that has him ready to accept his parents’... Read More
Samy Figaredo and Lameece Issaq give deeply resonant performances in this lyrical novel about three generations of Syrian-Americans who are searching for a sense of belonging. Years after the death of his mother, an ornithologist, a closeted trans man finds the journal of a famous bird artist she loved named Laila Z. The artist disappeared 60 years before the boy was born. He... Read More
Narrator Joy Osmanski delivers the sarcasm of 17-year-old CJ Katsuyama. Her demeanor thinly veils her pain at the lack of love she feels from her mother, a driven business executive. CJ believes she will always fail to meet her mother's expectations. On the other hand, Osmanski makes clear the love and support this teen has from her best friend, Em; her Aunt Hannah; and Owen a... Read More
Narrator Feodor Chin beautifully performs this revenge story set in the postCivil War American West. Ming Tsu, born in America and orphaned at birth, was raised by a California crime boss who taught him how to survive in a violent world. After Ming is forcibly recruited by the Union Pacific Railroad as a manual laborer, he escapes, determined to track down every man who tore... Read More
Kim Mai Guest narrates the story of an emotionally complex mother-daughter road trip. When Grace's mother, Loralynn, asks for a trip to Graceland for her 70th birthday, guilt makes Grace say yes--and the journey turns into the trip of a lifetime. Guest's portrayal of Grace is that of a woman on the verge of a midlife crisis. She's dissatisfied with her career and personal life,... Read More
Narrators Jennifer Lim, Suehyla El-Attar, and Adina Verson peel back the layers of three characters and one tumultuous year at an elite art school in the 1980s. Hormones, insecurity, and indiscretion abound as Sarah, David, and Karen navigate fraught, intense relationships while they are students of an unorthodox, demanding drama teacher. Each narrator provides a different... Read More
Ringing school bells and squeaking sneakers augment a full cast as they dramatize the events of the author's seventh-grade year in small-town Texas. It's dominated by the cheer-squad tryout, but typical middle-school concerns--changing bodies and changing friendships--emerge, as well as issues particular to Christina's identity as the only Thai American student in her school.... Read More
Eunice Wong performs this rightly praised debut novel with appropriate intensity and delicate humor; she is perfectly matched to the dry wit of Pek's writing and her utterly charming heroine, Claudia Lin. Unbeknownst to her interfering family, Claudia has quit her boring finance gig and taken a position with a start-up investigating bad behavior in the online matchmaking... Read More
This vivid comedic production set in 1975, after the fall of Saigon, is about two Vietnamese refugees living in America who fall in love. Paul Yen, who portrays Quang, begins the play by blaring rap lyrics to set the tone of the story. Jeena Yi, playing Tong, unmasks her feelings through her sharp, short-tempered tone. Will Dao, Desiree Jung, and Greg Watanabe, who portray an... Read More
Japanese American actor Carie Kawa and Khmer/Chinese/American actor/musician Joe Ngo bring authenticity and a smart conversational style to this heartrending story. A Cambodian brother and sister brought up in the United States struggle with their mother's bouts of depression and anger. The mother, portrayed with defiant warmth and dark humor by Philippine American actor Tess... Read More
New lives, new towns, new worlds revolve around the character of Hattie Kong, a retired high school biology teacher who has moved to a New England town. Janet Song performs Gish Jen's absorbing novel with tones that evoke the heroine’s Asian heritage and inner knowledge. Song moves through three vocal sensibilities with precision and clarity—an American accent, an Asian accent,... Read More
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