5/23/18 Show ft. Shawna Yang Ryan

This week’s show features the amazing Shawna Yang Ryan and the music she’s chosen to go with her work. Check out this recording to hear Shawna read from segments of both of her gorgeous novels and talk about the transformative, community-building power of literature and the call to remember even (and especially) our most difficult histories. I’m so grateful that Shawna blessed our mics!


SHAWNA YANG RYAN is a former Fulbright scholar and the author of Water Ghosts (Penguin Press 2009) and Green Island (Knopf 2016). She is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her writing has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Asian American Literary Review, The Rumpus, Lithub, and The Washington Post. Her work has received the Association for Asian American Studies Best Book Award in Creative Writing, the Elliot Cades Emerging Writer Award, and an American Book Award.


  1. The Promise (Tracy Chapman) 
  2. First piece of lit, from Water Ghosts (pp. 108-110)
  3. The Wandering Songstress (1937, Zhou Xuan) 
  4. Second piece of lit, from Green Island (pp. 28-29)
  5. Landslide (Fleetwood Mac) 
  6. Third piece of lit, from Green Island (pp. 236-238)
  7. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (Manic Street Preachers) 
  8. Green Island Serenade (Vienna Teng) 



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