Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UBCO Library Intern 2021-2022
Do you have more book suggestions you would like to add to the list?
Email me at email@example.com
The Joy Luck Club by
Call Number: PS3570.A48 J6 1989
Four mothers, four daughters, four families, whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's telling the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.
The Last Exiles by
An unforgettable saga inspired by true events, The Last Exiles is a searing portrait of a young couple in Pyongyang and their fight for love and freedom. Jin and Suja meet and fall in love while studying at university in Pyongyang. She is a young journalist from a prominent family, while he is from a small village of little means. Outside the school, North Korea has fallen under great political upheaval, plunged into chaos and famine. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, their food rations all but gone, he makes a rash decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Call Number: PL865.O7138 K5813 1993a
An enchantingly original and deeply affecting book about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine of Kitchen, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, she is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who was once his father), Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale that recalls early Marguerite Duras.
Call Number: PL865.O7138 T6513 1995
In these six stories, the author of Goodbye Tsugumi and N.P. explores themes of time, healing and fate, and how her urban, sophisticated, independent young men and women come to terms with them. The stories are a blend of traditional Japanese and contemporary popular culture.
The Magical Language of Others by
Call Number: PS3611.O3659 Z46 2020
The Magical Language of Others is a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh’s parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself abandoned and adrift in a world made strange by her mother’s absence. Her mother writes letters, in Korean, over the years seeking forgiveness and love—letters Eun Ji cannot fully understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box.
Killing Commendatore by
Call Number: PL856.U673 K5713 2018a
A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art--as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby--Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.
Call Number: PL856.U673 A61213 2013
A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.
Kafka on the Shore by
Call Number: PL856.U673 U4813 2006
a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky.
Norwegian Wood by
Call Number: PL856.U673 N6713 2000a
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
Farewell My Concubine by
Call Number: PN1997.2.F364 L48 2010
Beginning amid the decadent glamour of China in the 1930s and ending in the 1980s in Hong Kong, this brilliant novel, which formed the basis for the award-winning movie, is the passionate story of an opera student who falls in love with his best friend, and the beautiful woman who comes between them.
The Wangs vs. The World by
A hilarious debut novel about a wealthy but fractured Chinese immigrant family that had it all, only to lose every last cent - and about the road trip they take across America that binds them back together.
Racial ambiguity in Asian American Culture by
Call Number: PS153.A84 H585 2015
In Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture, Jennifer Ann Ho shines a light on the hybrid and indeterminate aspects of race, revealing ambiguity to be paramount to a more nuanced understanding both of race and of what it means to be Asian American.
Klara and the Sun by
From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant — and that her lover is married — she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
The Poppy War by
A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.
Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by
Call Number: PL858.G37 K3613 2013
An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband. Years later, the writer’s stepson reflects upon his stepmother and the strange stories she used to tell him. Meanwhile, a surgeon’s lover vows to kill him if he does not leave his wife. Before she can follow-through on her crime of passion, though, the surgeon will cross paths with another remarkable woman, a cabaret singer whose heart beats delicately outside of her body. But when the surgeon promises to repair her condition, he sparks the jealousy of another man who would like to preserve the heart in a custom tailored bag. Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders—their fates converge in a darkly beautiful web that they are each powerless to escape.
Travels in Manchuria and Mongolia : a feminist poet from Japan encounters prewar China by
Call Number: PL819.O8 M3613 2001
Yosano Akiko (1878-1942) was one of Japan's greatest poets and translators from classical Japanese. Her output was extraordinary, including twenty volumes of poetry and the most popular translation of the ancient classic "The Tale of Genji" into modern Japanese. The mother of eleven children, she was a prominent feminist and frequent contributor to Japan's first feminist journal of creative writing, "Seito" (Blue stocking).
The dead lake by
A haunting Russian tale about the environmental legacy of the Cold War. Yerzhan grows up in a remote part of Kazakhstan where the Soviets tests atomic weapons. As a young boy he falls in love with the neighbour's daughter and one evening, to impress her, he dives into a forbidden lake. The radio-active water changes Yerzhan. He will never grow into a man. While the girl he loves becomes a beautiful woman.
The shaping of Persian art : collections and interpretations of the art of Islamic Iran and Central Asia by
Call Number: N7280 .S53 2013
While the impact of the Persian style is undeniably reflected in most aspects of the art and architecture of Islamic Central Asia, this Perso-Central Asian connection was chiefly formed and articulated by the Euro-American movement of collecting and interpreting the art and material culture of the Persian Islamic world in modern times. This had an enormous impact on the formation of scholarship and connoisseurship in Persian art, for instance, with an attempt to define the characteristics of how the Islamic art of Iran and Central Asia should be viewed and displayed at museums, and how these subjects should be researched in academia.
Call Number: DS12 .S24 2003a
More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic.
Call Number: PS3619.H328 H66 2013
Internationally bestselling Turkish author Elif Shafak’s new novel is a dramatic tale of families, love, and misunderstandings that follows the destinies of twin sisters born in a Kurdish village. While Jamila stays to become a midwife, Pembe follows her Turkish husband, Adem, to London, where they hope to make new lives for themselves and their children.
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by
For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life - friends who are now desperately trying to find her.
The Kite Runner by
Call Number: PS3608.O525 K58 2003b
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by
Call Number: PS3608.O832 T56 2007
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years - from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding - that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives - the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness - are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
Call Number: PJ7820.A822 J5313 2017
Mahmoud Darwish was the Palestinian national poet. One of the greatest poets of the last half-century, his work evokes the loss of his homeland and is suffused with the pain of dispossession, exile and loss. His poems also display a brilliant acuity, a passion for and openness to the world and, above all, a deep and abiding humanity.
A River Dies of Thirst: Journals by
Call Number: PJ7820.A7 A8713 2009
As always, Darwish’s musings on unrest and loss dwell on love and humanity; myth and dream are inseparable from truth. “Truth is plain as day.” Throughout the book, Darwish returns frequently to his ongoing and often lighthearted conversation with death.
A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution by
Call Number: DS98.72.Y39 A3 2012
A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the beginning four months of the uprising first-hand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept a diary of personal reflections on, and observations of, this historic time. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and the Alawite community to which she belongs. The lyrical narrative describes her struggle to protect herself and her young daughter, even as her activism propels her into a horrifying labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced into living on the run and detained multiple times, excluded from the Alawite community and renounced by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends.
Sea of Poppies by
Call Number: PR9796.5.G5883 S43 2008a
At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Her destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean shortly before the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners on board, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of Canton.
Selection Day by
Call Number: PR9796.5.A3274 S45 2017
Manjunath Kumar is fourteen and living in a slum in Mumbai. He knows he is good at cricket--if not as good as his older brother Radha. But there are many other things about himself and the world that he doesn't know. Sometimes it even seems as though everyone has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself. And when Manju meets Radha's great rival, a mysterious Muslim boy privileged and confident in all the ways Manju is not, he is forced to come to terms with who he really is.
The God of Small Things by
Call Number: PR9499.3.R59 G62 1997
The God of Small Things takes on the Big Themes—Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite Joy. Here is a writer who dares to break the rules. To dislocate received rhythms and create the language she requires, a language that is at once classical and unprecedented. Arundhati Roy has given us a book that is anchored to anguish, but fueled by wit and magic.
When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India in 2016, she thinks that she''s going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches story, but the mystery of his four wives, missing from the family lore. She ends up excavating much more than she had imagined.
Aurat Durbar: Writings by Women of South Asian Origin by
Call Number: PS8235.W7 A97 1995
In this compelling collection of prose and poetry, thirty-one women of South Asian origin examine their own traditions as well as their lives in their new homes; they speak of racism, immigration, sexuality and more.
In Other Words by
Call Number: PS3562.A316 Z46 2016
In Other Words is at heart a love story—of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. And although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery had always eluded her. So in 2012, seeking full immersion, she decided to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. Presented in a dual-language format, it is a book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Nabokov. A startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.
The Inheritance of Loss by
Call Number: PS3554.E82 I54 2006a
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another.
Anil's Ghost by
Call Number: PS8529.N38 A84 2000
Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island.
Story-Wallah!: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers by
Call Number: PR9415 .S76 2004
Story-Wallah gathers the finest South Asian voices in fiction for the first time in a single volume. These stories explore universal themes of identity, culture, and home, and Story-Wallah includes a rich array of experiences: a honeymoon in Sri Lanka, the trials of a Bangladeshi refugee in England, life on a sugar plantation in Trinidad, the attempts of an Indian family to arrange a marriage for their rebellious daughter. This anthology is essential reading for anyone with an interest in South Asian writers and the dynamic, important tales they have to tell.
Babu Fictions: Alienation in Contemporary Indian English novels by
Call Number: PR9492.6.A45 K53 2001
This book presents readings of contemporary Indian fiction in English, using discourse and class divisions in Babu-Coolie terms. It includes analyses of writings by such eminent authors as R. K. Narayan, Raja Rao, V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Amitav Ghosh and others.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by
Call Number: PS3613.A2945 V479 2019
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped. Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments - even the physical violence - she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
Hanna Khan Carries On by
Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.
The Rainbow Troops by
Originally written in Bahasa, The Rainbow Troops was first published in 2005 and sold a record-breaking five million copies in Indonesia. The novel tells the inspiring and closely autobiographical tale of the trials and tribulations that the ten motley students (nicknamed the Rainbow Troops) and two teachers from Muhammadiyah Elementary School on Belitong Island, Indonesia, undergo to ensure the continuation of the children’ s education. The poverty-stricken school suffers the constant threat of closure by government officials, greedy corporations, natural disasters and the students’ own lack of self-confidence. The story is written from the perspective of Ikal, who is six years old when the novel opens. Just as the author himself did as a young man, Ikal goes to college and eventually wins a scholarship to go abroad, beating incredible odds to become a writer.
Beauty is a Wound by
The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan's gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation's troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million "Communists," followed by three decades of Suharto's despotic rule.
This Earth of Mankind by
Minke is a young Javanese student of great intelligence and ambition. Living equally among the colonists and colonized of 19th-century Java, he battles against the confines of colonial strictures. It is his love for Annelies that enables him to find the strength to embrace his world.
Evening is the Whole Day by
Call Number: PR9797.M39 S26 E94 2008
Sweeping in scope, sumptuously lyrical, and masterfully constructed, Evening Is the Whole Day offers an unflinching look at relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, the wealthy and the poor, a country and its citizens--and the ways in which each sometimes fails the other. Illuminating in heartbreaking detail one Indian immigrant family’s secrets and lies while exposing the complex underbelly of Malaysia itself, Preeta Samarasan’s debut is a mesmerizing and vital achievement sure to earn her a place alongside Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, and Zadie Smith.
The Garden of Evening Mists: A Novel by
Call Number: PR9530.9.E54 G37 2012
Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child.
An Ocean of Minutes by
Call Number: PS8623.I48 O34 2018
"For readers of The Time Traveler's Wife and Station Eleven, an unforgettable literary love story about two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart. America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything.
The Sympathizer by
Call Number: PS3614.G97 S95 2015
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong.
Race and Resistance: Literature & Politics in Asian America by
Call Number: PS153.A84 N48 2002
Viet Nguyen argues that Asian American intellectuals have idealized Asian America, ignoring its saturation with capitalist practices. This idealization of Asian America means that Asian American intellectuals can neither grapple with their culture's ideological diversity nor recognize their own involvement with capitalist practices such as the selling of racial identity. Making his case through the example of literature, which remains a critical arena of cultural production for Asian Americans, Nguyen demonstrates that literature embodies the complexities, conflicts, and potential future options of Asian American culture.
The Refugees: Short Stories by
Call Number: PS3614.G97 A6 2017
From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration.