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InvAsian
Asian Women United, paper, 208 pages

ISBN 1-888956-06-2

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How This Book Came About

To create InvAsian, Asian Women United in 1999 called for submissions from youth groups, schools, community centers and ethnic study departments. AWU culled the best from among the 500 poems, essays, drawings, photos and recordings it received, then held study group sessions on selected pieces with 50 girls across the United States, and finally sought additional works from specific writers to compliment the collection. The study groups helped an Asian Women United editorial committee select the final inclusions — 66 stories and poems by 55 young women, a prolific new generation of writers of color.

Excerpts from the poetry in InvAsian:

My sexuality will no longer smile demurely.
It will not fit itself into a sarong.
It will not be contained in a long silk dress.
It will not don a kimono nor paint its lips red.
It will never say, “Me love you long time, sailor.”
— Cookie Hiponia, “My Sexuality”

I used to be
A thousand paper squares,
Ordinary and plain,
Gold, silver, red, and purple.
Now I am
A thousand folded cranes,
Floating through the air.
— Kelly Emiko Iwanabe, “I Used to Be”

Excerpts from the stories:

 “Mama,” I started. “I have to tell you something but you must promise not to get angry”. . . .
“What are you talking about?” I could tell from her voice that she was
already irritated. “Hurry Lien, I still have a lot of work to do.”
“I was molested Mama. Last month.”
— Mary-Jocelyn A. Ortega, “Flashback”

During those hot Bengal afternoons while my uncle was at work and my cousins, who were older, were still at school, my mother and my aunt sat under the slow-whirring ceiling fan. They drank iced lassi and ate fragrant supari and sighed over the past, that magic time when all things had seemed possible. They left me to my own devices. I liked that, too.
— Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, “The Princess in the Palace of Snakes”

About Asian Women United

Asian Women United, founded in 1976, is a nonprofit organization that publishes books and produces videos that explore Asian American women’s varied cultural heritages and provide positive role models for girls and young women