The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology

Edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa,

Margarita Donnelly

American Book Award Winner

Winner of the American Book Award, this book represents, as Mayumi Tsutakawa puts it in the introduction, “a fine diversity of Asian American women who may claim their native soil in Oakland or Tucson or Manila or New Delhi. These writers and artists, many of them young or publishing for the first time, are breaking down a barrier to make a statement. Wherever they live, in an Asian ghetto or as the only Asian family in a suburban subdivision or Midwest college town, they are dealing with the majority culture daily. They are, in many cases, living with spouses or children who don’t know/don’t care about/for the Asian culture the woman may tenaciously cling to.” Co-editor Shirley Geok-lin Lim adds: “the voices found in The Forbidden Stitch are so plural as to cast doubt on the unity of the anthology.… If the stitch is multi-colored and complexly knotted, still it holds together a dazzling quilt.” This ground-breaking first Asian American women’s anthology breaks barriers of invisibility that Asian American women have faced. Among the more than 80 writers and artists are Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Diana Chang, Marilyn Chin, Jessica Hagedorn, Mayuni Oda, Nellie Wong, Merle Woo, and Mitsuye Yamada.



“Well written and worthy of notice...enormous talent...a breakthrough book.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Asian American women writers step out of the shadows of anonymity, beyond the cultural boundaries of forbidden subjects, to reveal an often stunning radiance…a monumental task…chosen with admirable focus and sensitivity.” —The Seattle Times


“New voices, new visions and new challenges simultaneously merge and diverge in this groundbreaking anthology.” —Amerasia

“A remarkable Asian-American women’s anthology…which celebrates the rich variety of emerging work.” —Valerie Miner, The Nation

“Beautiful, touching writing.” Christian Science Monitor


Dr. Shirley Geok-lin Lim has published six books including a book of memoirs that also received the American Book Award. Mayumi Tsutakawa is an independent writer, editor, and visual arts curator. Margarita Donnelly is the Director of CALYX.