Gene Luen Yang’s Resistance Reading

Authors pick books that bring solace and understanding in an age of rancor.


We asked a range of authors and creative types to name books that bring solace or understanding in this age of rancor. More than two dozen responded. Here are the recommendations from the acclaimed graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, a repeat National Book Award finalist who, by the way, reinvented Superman

Latest book: Superman and Secret Coders book series
Also known for: American Born Chinese
Reading recommendations: The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt, was a revelation to me when I read it a few years ago. Professor Haidt is a social psychologist. His book helped me understand folks who think differently from me just a little bit better. Silence, by Shusaku Endo, is probably my favorite fiction book of all time. It’s about a Catholic missionary to 17th century Japan who eventually loses his faith. The story reminds me that grace can be found even when things are horribly broken.

Illustration by Allegra Lockstadt
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The complete series: Daniel Alarcón, Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, Ana Castillo, Jeff Chang, T Cooper, Michael Eric Dyson, Dave Eggers, Reza Farazmand, William Gibson, Mohsin Hamid, Piper Kerman, Phil Klay, Alex Kotlowitz, Bill McKibbenRabbi Jack Moline, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Peggy Orenstein, Wendy C. Ortiz, Darryl Pinckney, Joe Romm, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Tracy K. Smith, Ayelet WaldmanJesmyn Ward, and Gene Luen Yang.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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