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2020 Observances: Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2020

Asian Pacific Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month and is defined by the Law Library of Congress as "a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions generations of Asian/Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture." For legislation, Presidential Proclamations, and Executive Orders pertaining to this commemoration, visit the Law Library of Congress' Asian Pacific Heritage Month page.


Asian Pacific American Heritage in the Collections of the Smithsonian

Asian American Portraits of Encounter  This exhibition displays the diversity of contemporary Asian American identity through the groundbreaking work of seven visual artists.

SJR State's May 2020 Spotlight: Kevin Kwan

Books at the SJR State Library about Asian American Heritage

The Race Card

"The Race Card" explores gaming technologies and the concept of a "model minority."

An Examination of Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT Populations Across the United States

This book utilizes personal narratives and survey data from over 500 respondents to explore the diversity of experiences across Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT communities within the United States. Additionally, the authors document and celebrate many of the everyday strengths and strategies employed by this extraordinary population to navigate and negotiate their daily lives.

The Making of Asian America

"The definitive history of Asian Americans by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject. In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States: sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s; indentured "coolies" who worked alongside African slaves in the Caribbean; and Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States only to face massive racial discrimination, Asian exclusion laws, and for Japanese Americans, incarceration during World War II. Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a "despised minority," Asian Americans are now held up as America’s "model minorities" in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States. Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that has remade our "nation of immigrants," this is a new and definitive history of Asian Americans. But more than that, it is a new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today"-- Provided by publisher.

Books at SJR State about the History of Chinese Americans

Spotlight: Kevin Kwan

Kevin Kwan"Before author Kevin Kwan moved to Texas from Singapore, he grew up in a wealthy neighborhood. He was used to seeing luxurious gated homes with fountains and security guards. Years later, Kwan turned his memories of Asia into a poem, "Singapore Bible Study," which he wrote for a college course. The poem detailed the luxurious lifestyle of the Singapore he knew, and it won him a local poetry award. In 2013 Kwan turned the poem into a best-selling trilogy of books, starting with Crazy Rich Asians. The film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians was released in August of 2018." Read Kwan's full biography from Gale.

Online Event: A Conversation with "Crazy Rich Asians" Author Kevin Kwan

May 22, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

The Library of Congress will present a conversation with Singaporean American novelist and changemaker Kevin Kwan, known for his satirical novels “Crazy Rich Asians,” “China Rich Girlfriend” and “Rich People Problems,” that seeks to introduce contemporary Asian culture to an American audience. This event will be livestreamed from both the Library of Congress' Facebook page at and the Library's YouTube site (with captions) at

Works by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians

Overview: Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season. When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should-and should not-marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

China Rich Girlfriend

"Kevin Kwan, ... author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back with a ... new novel of social climbing, secret e-mails, art-world scandal, lovesick billionaires, and the outrageous story of what happens when Rachel Chu, engaged to marry Asia’s most eligible bachelor, discovers her birthfather"-- Provided by publisher.

Rich People Problems

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he’s not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage. As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband--a man hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, billionaire Jack Bing, still feels second best next to her new step-daughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan’s hilarious, gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems.

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