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Women's History Month, Biblio File

WOW in Celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage


Ruth St. Denis in the 1980 version of Nautch (green costume)., Digital ID DEN_0551V, New York Public Library

WOW @ The Library presents a selection of recent fiction and nonfiction titles for adults and young adults portraying the incredible life stories, struggles, and strengths of remarkable women in celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May.


The Breadwinner Trilogy
By Deborah Ellis

After her father’s unjust arrest, young Parvana did not only masquerade as a boy, in order to be able to work and support her family, but also struggled to reunite them when they scattered away after her father died. For young adults.

The End of Manners
By Francesca Marciano

Two outstanding women journalists are submerged in the daily brutality of the war-devastated Afghanistan after they were assigned to make a report about the suicide attempt of young women under marriage arrangement. For adults.

Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novel
By Anne Cushman

Amanda, a freelance writer travels to India on a research assignment about enlightenment for another guidebook for the “For Idiots” series, but during her trip, she does not only encounter a chain of spiritual traditions, but also made a surprising discovery that changed her life forever. For adults.

Girl in Translation
By Jean Kwok

Kimberly and her mother immigrated to New York from Hong Kong in search of a better life, but find themselves trapped in a different world, in debt with the relatives who helped her relocate, and living under depriving conditions with the only hope for a brighter future. For adults and young adults.

A Golden Age: A Novel
By Tahmima Anam

As she plans a party for her son and daughter, Rehana Haque's life will be transformed in a story of one family caught in the middle of the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence, as they face changes and decisions that will have a profound impact on their lives. For adults.

The Jewel of St. Petersburg
By Kate Furnivall

Russia , 1910. Valentina Ivanova is the darling of St. Petersburg's elite aristocracy—until her romance with a Danish engineer creates a terrible scandal and her parents push her into a loveless engagement with a Russiancount. Meanwhile, Russia itself is bound for rebellion. With the Tsar and the Duma at each other's throats, and the Bolsheviks drawing their battle lines, the elegance and opulence of Tsarist rule are in their last days. And Valentina will be forced to make a choice that will change not only her own life, but the lives of those around her forever. For adults.

The Loved Ones
By Alia Mamdouh

In this award winning novel, in a circle of hopes and prayers, benevolent women offer redemption to Suhaila, a charming Iraqi immigrant and former dancer living in Paris, who falls into a coma from a deep depression and rambles in her tumultuous past troubled by painful memories of her abusive father and husband, and the cruel separation from her only son. For adults.

By Charlie Stella

Former prostitute Agnes Lynn, aided by her lover, ex-cop Jack Russo, battles the Russian Mafiya as she seeks vengeance for the brutal murder of her friend Rachel Wilson. For adults.

The Red Scarf
By Kate Furnivall

Once, Russia was a place split between breathtaking wealth and desperate poverty. Now, as the country conforms under Stalin's violent rule, a young woman becomes a fugitive, and a storied hero turns into a living, breathing man. For adults.

Someone Else's Garden: A Novel
By Dipika Rai

The eldest of seven children born low-caste in rural India, Mamta is abused and rejected by a father who can see no reason to "water someone else's garden" until a husband is found for her. Seeking escape in matrimony, Mamta is soon forced to flee her village and the horrors of her arranged marriage to the bustle of a small city, where she struggles to find a precarious state of acceptance and make peace with her past. For adults.

Tiger Moon
By Antonia Michaelis

Sold to be the eighth wife of a rich and cruel merchant, Safia, a young bride also called Raka, tries to escape her fate by telling stories of Farhad the thief, his companion Nitish the white tiger, and their travels across India to retrieve a famous jewel that will save a kidnapped princess from becoming the bride of a demon king. For young adults.

World and Town: A Novel
By Gish Jen

In a small Vermont village, Hattie Kong meets her new neighbors, a family of Cambodian refugees haunted by the brutality of war in her homeland who are trying to adapt to their new life in America, but their family problems soon start to consume her life. For adults.


Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
By Amy Chua

Traces the rewards and pitfalls of a Chinese mother's exercise in extreme parenting, describing the exacting standards applied to grades, music lessons, and avoidance of Western cultural practices. For adults.

Bombay Anna: the Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the King and I Governess
By Susan Morgan

This story that inspired the acclaimed Broadway musical The King and I portraits the biography of Leonowens, a young widow born in India and mother of four children who was employed by King Mongkut to teach English to his many wives and children. For adults.

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
By Adeline Yen Mah

Adeline Yen Mah tells the story of her childhood as an unwanted, unloved "bad luck" child of an affluent Chinese family. Based on the memoir "Falling Leaves." For adults and young adults.

The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy
By S. A. Tolstaia (Sofia Andreevna)

This first complete English translated biography of Sofia Tolstoy presents many of her regular diary correspondences with her husband, Count Leo Tolstoy, author of the Russian classic War and Peace. For adults.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Kamila was barred and forced to remain homebound after amazingly acquiring a teaching degree during the civil war, but it did not impede her from becoming a successful woman and active member of her community. For adults. Read more in Jennifer Allen's blog post.

By Elinor Burkett

The story of Golda Meir, one of the founders of the State of Israel and the first female head of state in the Western world, as well as one of the most influential women in modern history. For adults.

From Splendor to Revolution: the Romanov Women, 1847-1928
By Julia P. Gelardi

A captivating account of the life of Alexandra Romanov, the famous empress destined to rule Russia and the powerful influence of four strong women during the imperial dynasty in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For adults.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide
By Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Through powerful stories and anecdotes, this book makes an advocacy call on behalf of women worldwide to promote their wellbeing and freedom, particularly of those living in countries with the worst record of tyranny against females. For adults.

The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World
By Nawal el Saadawi

The author shares her painful life experiences and customary mutilations endured as a child, including other barbaric practices and abuses committed against women, she witnessed while working as a doctor. For adults.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
By Nujood Ali

A courageous little girl in Yemen in her own words tells the shocking story of how she was sold by her parents, neglected by her brothers and repeatedly abused by her husband until she managed to escape and divorce him. For adults and young adults.

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
By Deborah Rodriguez

As part as a humanitarian aid group, a hairdresser visits Afghanistan and unveils a series of shocking stories Afghan women confided during her stay. For adults.

The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
By Hanan al-Shaykh

In a medley of memoir and biographical prose, the author tells the incredible triumphant story of her mother, a remarkable woman who grew up in striking poverty in Southern Lebanon enduring serious hardships and forced to steal food in order to survive. For adults.

The Music Room: A Memoir
By Namita Devidayal

A journalist for the Times of India and gifted young singer shares her life story and explores the history of the classical Indian music chronicling some of its utmost performers. For adults and young adults.

Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East
By Isobel Coleman

The author travels to various regions of the Middle East and talk with Iranian, Iraqis, Afghan, Pakistani, and Saudi Arabian people about the history, challenges, and current issues women are facing and their campaign to protect and promote equal human rights and nonviolent treatment towards women. For adults.

Sweet Mandarin: the Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West
By Helen Tse

This story tells the efforts of various generations of talented and hardworking cooks to open their first Chinese restaurant, but when they lose it, Helen and her sisters struggle to fulfill their grandmother’s dream and reopen the award-winning restaurant. For adults.

By Zeruya Shalev

In Jerusalem, archeologist Ella Miller decides to separate from her husband, and former mentor, but must learn to cope with disapprovals and rejections from friends and family. For adults.

A Tiger's Heart: the Story of a Modern Chinese Woman
By Aisling Juanjuan Shen

Memoirs of a girl born in poor rural China who immigrated to US to become a successful business woman. For adults.

A Woman Among Warlords: the Extraordinary Story of an Afghan who Dared to Raise Her Voice
By Malalai Joya

The youngest member ever to win a seat in the Afghanistan’s Parliament, vividly narrates her difficult childhood, her courageous advocacy in behalf of other women and her efforts to bring corrupted leaders to justice. For adults.

These and other titles in different formats are available at your local library.



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