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To kick off May’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I asked Bay Area writers about the books that inspired them — some of which are my favorites too — and others.

“Literature happened elsewhere, on bigger stages,” said Manning, a fiction writer born and raised in Thailand.

“This helped me realize that a lineage of writers isn’t bound by nationality or time.

That we live in common, in our private griefs.”Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s “Dictee” was the first book by an Asian American poet and essayist that Jennifer Cheng ever read.

“It was a book that gave me the story of incest that I had not yet read before and desperately needed.

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