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Book club will sample
Asian American authors
January 25, 1999

A new book club to explore Asian American literature will be launched Sunday, January 31, with an introductory meeting at the Asian American Cultural Center at 7 p.m.

The group, known as SlAAm! - Sampling Literature by Asian Americans! - is intended for faculty, staff, students and others and will feature readings, discussions, and lectures by selected authors.

Angela Rola, director of the Asian American Cultural Center, sees SlAAm! as an opportunity to create an awareness and appreciation of Asian American literature on campus. "It's an exciting time because there has been an explosion of Asian American voices in the last 10 years," she says.

Among the authors who will visit campus to discuss their works are Gish Jen, an American-born daughter of immigrant Chinese parents; Chitra Divakaruni, an award-winning poet born in India and now teaching at the University of Houston; and Emil Guillermo, a Filipino-American journalist, radio and TV broadcaster, and investigative humorist.

Events will include:

  • On February 21, Karen Chow, an assistant professor of English and Asian American studies, will lead a discussion on Jen's Mona in the Promised Land in the Asian American Cultural Center at 7 p.m. Jen will speak on February 23, at 4 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

  • A discussion of Sister of My Heart, led by Dipa Roy, university library assistant, and a lecture by the author, Divakaruni, are scheduled for early March.

  • The spring program will culminate in a discussion on Guillermo's Amok in America, and a presentation by the author in mid-April.

Books will be free for the first 25 student members. All other members will receive a 15 percent discount.

SlAAm! is organized by the Asian American Cultural Center, and cosponsored by Homer Babbidge Library and the UConn Co-op.

"We're thrilled to be a part of SlAAm!" says Suzanne Staubach, manager of the general books division of the UConn Co-op. "What makes it exciting is the opportunity for people to get together and explore writers and their works in a relaxed manner."

The program also celebrates the Year of Reading, inaugurated in conjunction with the rededication of Babbidge Library. Linda Perrone, director of development for University Libraries, says she hopes the reading group will "generate an awareness and inspire people" to initiate and participate in programs that underscore the importance of reading to the mission of the University.

To participate in the reading group, call (860) 486-0830 or e-mail

Sonali Arseculeratne