Book Club Nominees

6 Books by Asian and Pacific Islander Authors

by @Ri3Ri3, curator of HOWLS book club nominees for May’s “Asian and Pacific Islander Week!” category

In honor of Asian and Pacific Islander month, it was important for me to broaden my horizons and create a list of picks to represent different cultures. 

She Said Destroy by Nadia Bulkin

A dictator craves love–and horrifying sacrifice–from his subjects; a mother raised in a decaying warren fights to reclaim her stolen daughter; a ghost haunts a luxury hotel in a bloodstained land; a new babysitter uncovers a family curse; a final girl confronts a broken-winged monster… Dreamlike, poignant, and unabashedly socio-political, She Said Destroy is a debut series of short stories by author Nadia Bulkin. (Summary courtesy of Amazon). 

Nadia Bulkin is an Indonesian-American political scientist and has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award and included in Year’s Best anthologies. This book also includes an Introduction by Paul Tremblay. 

Bookshop* | Goodreads | Amazon

Remina by Junji Ito

An unknown planet emerges from inside a wormhole, and its discoverer, Dr. Oguro, christens the body “Remina” after his own daughter. His finding is met with great fanfare, and Remina herself rises to fame. However, the object picks up speed as it moves along in its curious course, eliminating planets and stars one after another, until finally Earth itself faces extinction… Is the girl Remina the true cause of the catastrophe? A masterwork of horror from Junji Ito, unfolding on a universal scale. (Summary courtesy of Amazon).

Born in 1963, Junji Ito is a Japanese horror mangaka and one of Japan’s most successful horror writers. He has also been recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists in horror.

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Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company… Effortlessly taking the classic haunted house story and turning it on its head, Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a sharp and devastating exploration of grief, the parasitic nature of relationships, and the consequences of our actions. (Summary courtesy of Amazon).

Cassandra Khaw is a Malaysian horror and science fiction writer who previously worked as a games and tech journalist. This novella in particular is portrayed as a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale, steeped in Japanese folklore and full of devastating twists.

Bookshop* | Goodreads | Amazon

Ring (#1) by Koji Suzuki

A mysterious videotape warns that the viewer will die in one week unless a certain, unspecified act is performed. Exactly one week after watching the tape, four teenagers die one after another of heart failure… Asakawa, a hardworking journalist, is intrigued by his niece’s inexplicable death. His investigation leads him from a metropolitan tokyo teeming with modern society’s fears to a rural Japan–a mountain resort, a volcanic island, and a countryside clinic–haunted by the past. His attempt to solve the tape’s mystery before it’s too late–for everyone–assumes an increasingly deadly urgency… (Summary courtesy of Amazon).

Koji Suzuki is a Japanese writer born in Hamamatsu and recipient of a Shirley Jackson award. Ring is the first book in a series of books which has inspired countless other works and a dominant horror franchise. 

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The Day The Sun Died by Yan Lianke

In a little village nestled in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian and his parents run a funeral parlor. One evening, he notices a strange occurrence. Instead of preparing for bed, more and more neighbors appear in the streets and fields, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn’t already set. Li Niannian watches, mystified. As hundreds of residents are found dreamwalking, they act out the desires they’ve suppressed during waking hours. Before long, the community devolves into chaos, and it’s up to Li Niannian and his parents to save the town before sunrise.

Set over the course of one increasingly bizarre night, The Day the Sun Died is a propulsive, darkly sinister tale from a world-class writer. (Summary courtesy of Amazon). 

Yan Lianke is a contemporary Chinese writer based in Beijing. He is known for highly satirical, often banned, pieces of work. This novel in particular is the winner of the Dream of the Red Chamber Award, a prestigious honor for Chinese-language novels. 

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Blood Related by William Cook

For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer or killers who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. The remains of young female prostitutes have been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage. This disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will embed itself in the mind of the reader, long after the last page has been turned. (Summary courtesy of Amazon).

As a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association, SpecFicNZ & the SFFANZ, William Cook is a writer/illustrator from New Zealand who specializes in psychological thrillers. This is his debut novel.

Bookshop* | Goodreads | Amazon

And The Winner Is…

Out of these six books, HOWLers voted to read Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw. Join HOWL Society on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 to begin discussion!

*The HOWLS affiliate storefront pays a 10% commission to HOWL Society and gives a matching 10% to independent bookstores

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