Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong
Celebrating AANHPI Month with Audiobooks

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, and we’re celebrating with audiobooks from every genre that reflect individual experiences, the vast diversity of cultures within these communities, and the stories that AANHPI authors want to tell.

This list is by no means exhaustive or fully representative, but it is a place to to find your next listen amongst the latest poetry, literary fiction, short stories, memoirs, and thrillers from AANHPI authors.

Author: Ocean Vuong
Read By: Ocean Vuong

In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong deals with the aftershocks of his mother’s death while being determined to survive beyond it. Time Is a Mother represents experimentation with language and form, illuminating how the themes we live in and question are truly inexhaustible.

PhD student Ingrid Yang is desperate to finish her dissertation on the late poet Xiao-Wen Chou. When she stumbles upon a curious note in the Chou archives, she convinces herself it’s her ticket out of academic hell. But Ingrid’s in much deeper than she thinks. In Disorientation, Ingrid’s clumsy exploits to unravel the note’s message lead to an explosive discovery, upending not only her sheltered life within academia but her entire world beyond it.

Author: Vanessa Hua
Read By: Catherine Ho

On the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Mei dreams of becoming a model revolutionary. When the Communist Party recruits girls for a mysterious duty in the capital, she seizes the opportunity to escape her impoverished village. It is only when Mei arrives at the Chairman’s opulent residence that she learns that the girls’ job is to dance with the Party elites. Mei gradually separates herself from the other recruits to become the Chairman’s confidante—and paramour. Forbidden City is an epic portrayal of one of the world’s most powerful leaders during this extraordinarily turbulent period in modern Chinese history.

From the author of A Little Life, To Paradise is a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia. The three sections of the audiobook (alternative versions of 1893, 1993, and 2093 America) are all driven by Hanya Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love and the pain that ensues when we cannot.

Beginning with a letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Gish Jen embarks on a fictional journey through U.S.-China relations. With their profound compassion and humor, the eleven linked stories in Thank You, Mr. Nixon trace the intimate ways in which humans make and are made by history, capturing an extraordinary era in an extraordinary way.

Author: Lilly Singh
Read By: Lilly Singh

Everyone—even world-famous actress, author, and creator Lilly Singh—knows that sometimes life just sucks. In Be a Triangle Singh provides a safe space where listeners can learn how to create a sense of peace within themselves. Without sugarcoating what it’s like to face adversity—including acknowledging her own intensely personal struggles with identity, success, and self-doubt—Singh teaches readers to “unsubscribe” from cookie-cutter ideals.

As World War II rages on, Meiko Briggs and her daughter are trapped in one of the internment camps in the Midwest. Mother and daughter attempt to hold on to elements of their old life when a mysterious disease begins to spread among those interned. And when a disconcerting team of doctors arrive, nearly more threatening than the illness itself, Meiko and her daughter team up with a newspaper reporter and widowed missionary to investigate in The Fervor.

Looking for more audiobooks by Asian American authors and narrators? Visit our AANHPI Voices and Stories on Audio page.