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How Orange County libraries are celebrating Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month

Visitors to the libraries in Orange County this month will notice displays of books written by Asian American Pacific Islander authors. Its part of Orange County Public Libraries’ celebration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.

The celebration in the month of May includes author talks with celebrity chef and author Jet Tila as well as fiction writers Julie Abe and E.P. Tuazon.

“When I was little, the best thing in life was just to go to a bookstore and go to the library,” recalled Abe, 33, who has penned several books in her fiction collection.  

She described the moment she drew from her fondest childhood memories and turned them into a career.

“Years ago, I was in my cubicle, typing away at my computer at my first day job. I was looking outside my window thinking, ‘There has to be more to life than this.’” She said. “I thought, ‘Why can’t I try writing a book?’”

She hopes young readers can discover her stories and see themselves in the characters she created.

“I want them to find an escape. I want them to find stories of joy and just happiness with a character that looks like them,” said Abe.

E.P. Tuazon is another featured writer who drew from his childhood and heritage for his new book, “A Professional Lola,” which comes out May 7.  

“As a Filipino American writer, I feel it’s really important to show people my world and what it’s like to be a Filipino American,” he explained, saying storytelling is part of his blood.

“I grew up listening to my relatives talk about their past experiences, and the idea of storytelling is something very strong in our community,” said Tuazon. “But it’s not ever something you think of as a job.”

Tuazon said he can inspire children to become future writers because there are so many more Asian American stories to be told.

“Part of the reason that drives me to continue writing these stories, I want to inspire more Filipino Americans to tell stories that are not just similar to mine, but different from mine about our same community,” said Tuazon.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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