After Noticing Lack of Asian-American Representation in U.S. Bookstores, 27-Year-Old Woman Opens Her Own

Yu and Me Books is believed to be NYC Chinatown’s first Asian American, women-owned bookstore.

Since she was a young girl, Lucy Yu always felt there was a lack of Asian-American representation in U.S. bookstores. So, on Dec. 11, the 27-year-old opened Yu and Me Books in NYC’s Chinatown neighborhood. 

Yu and Me Books is believed to be the first of its kind: Asian American woman owned and filled with stories of the experiences of minorities in America and second generation immigrants. Yu and Me Books has a selection of stories to represent you and me.

“I really focus on diverse authors, writers of color, stories with people of color as their main character, especially immigrant stories,” said Yu, who is a chemical engineer originally from Los Angeles. “I love math, I love science, but I think just being an engineer and having that background, that wasn’t a path that was really bringing me a lot of fulfillment or joy.”

When she moved to New York three years ago, it immediately felt like home. “I’ve just never felt like a city gave me a hug like New York did,” Yu said.

The attacks on the Asian community brought on by the pandemic made representation even more critical for Yu. “Seeing someone that looked like my grandmother, my mother, myself, just walking through the streets and being attacked, it was, it was a very scary time,” Yu said. “And it still is. And I think that really propelled me to open this up even sooner.”

Yu said that support “has been really amplified” in opening her bookstore: “I feel so grateful that all these writers and makers trust me to create this warm and welcoming space for them to work.”

Image source: The Washington Post