December 16, 2022

Volume 2, Issue 25

Happy Holidays! 

We’ve kicked off our Annual Giving Campaign! We are asking for your support to help us empower teachers with much needed materials to incorporate Asian American and contemporary China issues into their curricula. With the expansion of required ethnic studies courses across the country, our work is as vital as ever. Please donate what you can; no amount is too small. 

Thank you for your continued support of the 1990 Institute and newsletter. Please share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe

We will pause our newsletters for one issue so that our staff can spend time with their families over the holidays. We look forward to seeing you again in the new year! 


Our updated Bruce Lee video is coming in the new year. In the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek of “The Master of Influence: With Si-Fu Bruce Lee.” Learn about Bruce Lee’s journey to Hollywood and the obstacles he had to overcome.


Still shopping for the holidays?
Even More AAPI Books!

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


I recently met author and artist Katie Yamasaki at a book reading. I have been writing about her work for years, and I convinced my local library to invite her to discuss her new book about her grandfather, architect Minaru Yamasaki, who designed the World Trade Center in New York City and many iconic buildings in Detroit. I brought all her books that I had and she signed each book to a different child. Nothing better than a children’s picture book signed by the author (except when the author is also an artist and draws a little picture too).

Even if my children are now all big.

Still, they are all getting signed Asian American picture books for Christmas.

Are you still looking for holiday presents? Last week we shared some fiction and nonfiction books published in 2022. See our recommended list here. This week we have some poetry, children’s books, cookbooks, and one more memoir, all by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors. We are profiling some of these authors in our New Asian American Voices program. See our Spotlight section below for the details.


”TIme Is a Mother” by Ocean Vuong — In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother's death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Review on NPR.

”Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization” by Craig Santos Perez — A diverse and intergenerational collection of indigenous CHamoru (Chamorro) poetry and scholarship from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). Podcast interview on Green Dreamer.

For younger readers

”Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather's American Journey” by Katie Yamasaki — Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki described the feeling he sought to create in his buildings as “serenity, surprise, and delight.” Author discussion of her grandfather’s work, artist to artist.

”Maizy Chen's Last Chance” by Lisa Yee — Twelve-year-old Maizy discovers her family's Chinese restaurant is full of secrets in this irresistible novel that celebrates food, fortune, and family. Longlisted for The National Book Award. Interview with author in Women’s Media Center. 

”We Are Here: 30 Inspiring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Have Shaped the United States” by Smithsonian Institution and Naomi Hirahara — A stunning anthology in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center celebrates 30 of the most inspiring AAPIs and the impact they've had on the cultural, social, and political fabric of the United States. Smithsonian APA educational resources.


”Tabemasho! Let's Eat!: A Tasty History of Japanese Food in America” by Gil Asakawa — Japanese food in America has evolved from an exotic and mysterious cuisine to the peak of culinary popularity, with sushi in supermarkets and ramen in hipster restaurants everywhere. Interview on Colorado Public Radio.

”Win Son Presents a Taiwanese American Cookbook” by Josh Ku, Trigg Brown, Cathy Erway — A modern, brashly flavorful guide to cooking Taiwanese-American food, from Brooklyn's lauded Win Son, Win Son Bakery, and Cathy Erway, celebrated writer and expert on the cuisine. Restaurant review at Eater.

”Rambutan: Recipes from Sri Lanka” by Cynthia Shanmugalingam — More than 80 lush modern Sri Lankan recipes for fresh dinners, cold drinks, and sticky sweets that combine ingredients, methods, and tastes of Javanese, Malay, Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences. A Bon Appetit best of 2022.

One more memoir

”Stay True: A Memoir” by Hua Hsu  From The New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu, a gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self, and the solace that can be found through art. Review in Vulture.

P.S. And I wrote a book of lyric essays and prose poems about my Asian American life too "You Cannot Resist Me When My Hair Is in Braids" by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang. Review at International Examiner.



Our last newsletter included recommendations for 2022 fiction and nonfiction books written by Asian American authors. Check out our profiles of some of these authors all month on New Asian American Voices.


Curated News

2022 Icon of the Year Michelle Yeoh | Time  “She usually plays masters, tough fighters…The action — I know she can do it. But really acting from the heart, believing the part, makes the movie very special.”

Ke Huy Quan’s True Hollywood Comeback | Vanity Fair  “Indiana Jones” and “The Goonies” made him a child star in the ’80s. Then Hollywood forgot about him. Nearly 40 years later, Quan opens up about “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and the part that took a lifetime to find.

The native Hawaiian language is dying. This theater program is revitalizing it | Today  “I found my identity through speaking the language of my ancestors,” says Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker, who founded the Hawaiian language theater program.

China relaxes COVID restrictions, braces for wave of infections | PBS NewsHour  The changes are in line with the government’s promise to make restrictions less burdensome while still trying to contain the virus. While it’s not clear if the new rules are a direct response to the protests, they address some of the most pressing issues that drove people on the streets.

Families of wrongfully detained Americans in China demand Griner-style prisoner swap | Politico  Relatives accuse Biden administration of foot-dragging in seeking jailed Americans’ release.

UAW calls on automakers to move supply chain out of Xinjiang region | Reuters  "The time is now for the auto industry to establish high-road supply chain models outside the Uyghur Region that protect labor and human rights and the environment," said UAW President Ray Curry after a new report on the auto industry's use of steel, aluminum and copper, batteries, electronics, etc., produced in Xinjiang.

Rep. Ted Lieu reflects on becoming the highest-ranking Asian American ever in House Democratic leadership | NBC News  “It’s actually more of a recognition by my colleagues of the growing importance of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities,” Lieu said.

Asian Americans heavily favored Warnock in Georgia runoff, exit poll shows | NBC News  The results reflect that Asian American voters, who make up 4.7% of the state’s overall electorate, grew in support for the incumbent since the midterms last month.

Brown University becomes first Ivy League school to add official caste protections | NBC News  “It’s a first step. It opens doors for dialogue that hasn’t been happening," one caste-oppressed graduate said.

Hair oiling, cups of tea and mom's beauty secrets: Welcome to South Asian Gen Z’s ‘auntie’ era | NBC News  When it comes to self-care, South Asian diaspora women are learning to take a page out of their mothers’ and grandmothers’ books, becoming the faces of TikTok trends like hair oiling.



  • ASIAN AMERICAN AUTHORS ON NEW ASIAN AMERICAN VOICES – Want to learn about the books and authors on our two recommended end-of-year book lists? Check out our author profiles this month on New Asian American Voices, our Instagram-based program highlighting Asian American stories and wonders. Read about the three authors of "Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now,” a love letter to and for Asian Americans: writer Jeff Yang, blogger Phil Yu (Angry Asian Man), and producer Philip Wang. We also spotlight educator and activist Simran Jeet Singh (“The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life”) and Ocean Vuong, best-selling and critically-acclaimed poet and novelist (“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” and “Time is a Mother”), with more profiles to come. Go to New Asian American Voices to see all the posts, including our three reels on Bruce Lee!
  • OUR 2022 ANNUAL GIVING DRIVE IS HEREWill you join us and make a year-end donation? At the 1990 Institute, we believe that empowering educators is the key to reaching the younger generation, bridging the knowledge gap around the Asian American experience and U.S.-China relations, and paving the way for all of us to build a world that is just and equitable and where appreciation for all cultures can thrive. THANK YOU to our donors, partners, and supporters for working alongside us every day. We would not be able to do this without you. With your help and tax-deductible donation, we can further our commitment to educational programming, now and in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions about your donation.

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


1990 Institute
P.O. Box 383  | San Francisco, California 94104


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