Gold House Book Club Launch 10/1/2020: Anchoring & Exploring Asian American Identity with Leading Writers and Scholars

The Gold House Book Club

Today, I am so excited to announce the launch of The Gold House Book Club, the first book club made with the intent of promoting the diversity and inclusion of Asian American literature in order to help Asian Americans better understand their identity and culture in today’s political and social climate. Its fantastic lineup has been carefully selected by top Asian American scholars and writers (including Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen and The Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan), and includes selections for not only adults and young adults, but also beginners, early readers, and middle grade readers.

I am so incredibly thrilled that Gold House reached out to me to promote this club, because it’s representative of why this blog means so much to me in the first place. My primary goal has always been to promote diverse stories and authors, but the topic of Asian American representation in literature in particular is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. As an Indian American myself, I haven’t seen too many characters who look like me in the books I’ve read (read: almost none), and I’ve talked about this in posts such as this one, where I tried to articulate how I felt the first time I read a book with an Indian American protagonist. Of course, I was even more excited about this book club when I learned that one of the books planned for this upcoming year is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, a book about bridging generations and biculturalism by an Indian American author, and that the advisory council for the book club includes multipleIndian Americans. Our community is one of the more underrepresented in the Asian American genre, so it is absolutely amazing to see so much diversity and inclusion even within a book club dedicated to Asian American inclusion. This is the first book club of its kind, and I am honored to be sharing it with you all.

Gold House, the non-profit collective of Asian and Pacific Islander cultural leaders behind movements like #GoldOpen, is launching its inaugural Book Club on October 1st to uncover and codify Asian identity through other artistic mediums. After a successful pilot event with The Joy Luck Club this summer – which featured author Amy Tan with every Joy Luck Club daughter from the feature film (Lauren Tom, Ming-Na Wen, Rosalind Chao, and Tamlyn Tomita) – Gold House is formalizing the Book Club as a series of curated book lists and virtual events to help Asian Americans better understand their identity and culture in today’s political and social climate. 

The inaugural Book Club List features six books selected through a rigorous process with the help of an Advisory Council of leading Asian American writers, activists, and academics, including Amy Tan, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, and many of the nation’s leading Asian American Studies professors.

One book will be featured each month beginning in October with Jose Antonio Vargas’ Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen in honor of Filipino American History Month. Each List will also feature a selection of Asian American children’s books to help families highlight diverse stories in the early stages of their children’s development. The live virtual events will expand on both to engage the community in identity-driven conversations, ranging from an interactive children’s story hour to panel discussions—featuring the selected authors as well as members of the Advisory Council.

“This has been a year of reckoning for race in America, and many APIs have re-examined what it means to be Asian American. We recognized this unique and galvanizing opportunity to create space for our community to explore the issues that inform our identity by leveraging the rich catalog of stories written by API authors. We’re excited to contribute these moments of discussion and introspection while highlighting our representation in the literary landscape,” Gold House Book Club Director Cindy Joung said. 

Gold House’s Book Club aims to continue important conversations around identity by exploring critical themes raised in each of the books, including immigration, intersectional identities, and generational and bi-cultural differences.

Find more information about Gold House’s Book Club and how you can participate at www.goldhouse.org/bookclub

Los Angeles, CA

You can check out more information about the book club, including who’s on the advisory council, the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 book lists, and much more on the book club website that is now officially launched here.

October Book of the Month

Are you as excited about this book club as I am? What book are you most looking forward to? Let me know down below in the comments! 🙂

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