On this episode of Books & Boba, we sit down with author Kyla Zhao to chat about her debut novel The Fraud Squad, a story about one woman’s quest to charm her way into Singaporean high society to chase her dreams of writing for Asias most glamorous fashion magazine.
It’s our first mid-month episode of 2023, just in time for the Lunar New Year! Join us as we ring in the Year of the Rabbit by going through the latest Asian American book and publishing news, including an update on the HarperCollins Union Strike and the emergence of AI audiobook narrators.New books and authors mentioned in our publishing news: Mind Your Manners: A Guide to Social Fluency by Sara Jane Ho Just Another Meet Cute by Jenn P.Nguyen Until We Meet Again by Lily Kim Qian Untitled Memoir by Jane Chen Swimming into Trouble by Angela Ahn; illust by Julie Kim Bite Me, Royce Taslim by Lauren Ho Dead Things Are Closer Than They Appear by Robin Wasley The Last Rhee Witch by Jenna Lee-Yun The Sugar Plum Bakers: And the 12 Holiday Treats by Patricia Tanumihardja; illust by Bonnie Lui Off the Cuff by Supriya Kelkar;Illust by Ani BushryDon’t forget show support to the ongoing HarperCollins Union Strike by supporting their hardship fund at https://givebutter.com/HCPstrike*Support the podcast by purchasing books at our bookshop *
On our first author chat of the new year, we sit down with Iris Yamashita, the academy award nominated screenwriter of Letters From Iwo Jima, to chat about her debut novel City Under One Roof, a mystery set in a remote town in Alaska where the entire population lives in one building. We chat with Iris about the real life inspirations for her story and setting, as well as ask about her career as an Asian American screenwriter and novelist.
Happy New Year! On this episode, we discuss the first 2 acts (or “books”) of Babel by R.F. Kuang, a epic dark academia fantasy taking place in an alternate universe version of Oxford during the early Victorian era about a Chinese boy named Robin Swift who is whisked away from his home in Canton and set on a path to become a translator for the Royal Institute of Translation (aka Babel). However, as he and his cohort learn more about their chosen field, the contradictions of empire, and their roles in it, become harder and harder to ignore.
Note that Babel is published by a Harper Collins imprint which is in the middle of a strike with the HCP Union seeking fair pay for workers. Books & Boba supports the HCP Union, as does the author R.F. Kuang, and invite you to support the union by amplifying their message on social media (Twitter / Instagram) and donating to their strike fund.
For the last time this year, we highlight the latest book and publishing news in Asian American literature for our December 2022 mid-month check-in, including checking in on the ongoing strike at Harper Collins
New books and authors mentioned in our publishing news:
Shell Song by Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson
Untitled picture book by Sanae Ishid
Untitled YA horror novels by Judy I. Lin
Terminal Hope by Michelle Wong
Outside Mom, Inside Mom by Jane Park; illust by Lenny Wen
To Gaze upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang
It’s Only a Game by Kelsea Yu
Little Sisters by Tomo Miura; translated by Nanette McGuinness
The Girl with No Reflection by Keshe Chow
Tagging Freedom by Rhonda Roumani
Little Bird Laila by Kelly Yan; illust by Xindi Yan
What Lolo Wants by Cristina Oxtra; Jamie Bauza
Noodles on a Bicycle by Kyo Maclear; illust by Gracey Zhang
On this episode, we discuss our Books & Boba November 2022 book club pick, Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong, a memoir by the founder and director of Disability Visibility Project, about her life growing up as a person living with disability as well as a Chinese American in the mid-west, her work in activism and advocacy, and all the food and geeky pop cultural things that she loves. The book is also as a great resource for those looking for ways to be a better ally to the disabled community.