Novelist Asha Leming and Chinese Rapper Bohan Phoenix
Asha Lemmie is an African American fiction writer who is passionately interested in Japanese culture. Her novel, Fifty Words for Rain (2020), begins during World War II, and follows the life of a biracial woman, Noriko “Nori” Kamiza, the child of a married Japanese aristocrat and her African American GI lover. A New York Times bestseller and Editors’ Choice, the book was a selection of the Good Morning America Book Club. Elisabeth Egan said in a NY Times review, “Asha Lemmie’s sprawling, thought-provoking debut novel…. will give you 50 reasons to cancel the rest of your day.”
Bohan Phoenix 博涵, born in Hubei, China, is a New York rap artist who came to the U.S. at age 11. Inspired by rap music as a young immigrant, he began collaborating with the Chinese hip-hop group Higher Brothers in 2017.
During the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, he led the call for Asian rap artists to become more active in the movement. This year, he was tapped to star in Van’s footwear brand campaign in China, and performed a half-time show for the Brooklyn Nets in March. His debut summer 2022 album, Cities Are for Fools, has been described as an “ode to New York.”