100 must-read books by awesome Asian writers

I only recently discovered that May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage month, which celebrates Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This is an American effort, but I think I would like to celebrate all Asian and Pacific Islander writers, regardless of their citizenship!

So here are, in alphabetical order, 100+ books written by Asian authors that you should be reading! Unfortunately, while I was writing up this list, I realized that I seriously lack knowledge of Pacific Islander writers. I hope to amend that soon!
Also, please keep in mind that these are merely the books that I have read, and that I have only included one book per awesome author although some of them have written many great books. I realize that there are many other fantastic books by Asian writers, but I have not read them all. So I hope to keep adding to this list. Please let me know what amazing books I am missing! 



A Bride’s Story – Kaoru Mori (Comics, Translated)
A Golden Age – Tahmima Anam (my thoughts) (Fiction)
A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder (Inspector Singh Investigates #1) -Shamini Flint (my thoughts) (Crime/Mystery)
All You Need is Kill – Hiroshi Sakurazaka (my thoughts) (Comics, Translated)
American-Born Chinese – Gene Luen Yang (Comics)
Ascension (Tangled Axon, #1) – Jacqueline Koyanagi (my thoughts) (SF/Fantasy)
Beauty is a Wound – Eka Kurniawan (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
Bitter in the Mouth – Monique Truong (my thoughts) (Fiction)
Bitter Sweets – Roopa Farooki (Fiction)
Bone – Fae Myenne Ng (my thoughts) (Fiction)
Burnt Shadows – Kamila Shamsie (Fiction)
Chef – Jaspreet Singh (my thoughts) (Fiction)
Death of a Red Heroine (Inspector Chen Cao #1) (my thoughts) – Qiu Xiaolong (Crime/Mystery, Translated)
Dream of Ding Village – Yan Lianke (Fiction, Translated)
Empire State: A Love Story – Jason Shiga (Comics)
Empress – Shan Sa (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng (Fiction)
Evil and the Mask – Fuminori Nakamura (Crime/Mystery, Translated)
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China – Leslie T Chang (my thoughts) (Non-Fiction)
First Snow on Fuji – Yasunari Kawabata (Fiction, Translated)
For Today I am a Boy – Kim Fu (Fiction)
Funny in Farsi: A memoir of growing up Iranian in America – Firoozeh Dumas (my thoughts) (Non-Fiction)
Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi (Fiction)
Girl in Translation – Jean Kwok (YA)
Huntress – Malinda Lo (YA)
I’ll be Right There – Shin Kyung-Sook (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders – Daniyal Mueenuddin (Short stories)
In the Country: Stories – Mia Alvar (Short stories)
In the Shadow of the Banyan – Vaddey Ratner (my thoughts) (Fiction)
Inheritance – Balli Kaur Jaswal (Fiction)
Inheritance – Lan Samantha Chang (Fiction)
Island of a Thousand Mirrors – Nayomi Munaweera (Fiction)
Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero – Fred Chao (Comics)
Kira-kira – Cynthia Kadohata (my thoughts) (YA)
Lust, Caution – Eileen Chang (Fiction, Translated)
Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness – Jennifer Tseng (my thoughts) (Fiction)
Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari (my thoughts) (my thoughts) (Non-Fiction)
Ms Hempel Chronicles – Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (Short stories)
My Year of Meats – Ruth Ozeki (my thoughts) (Fiction)
N.P. – Banana Yoshimoto (Fiction, Translated)
Native Speaker – Chang-rae Lee (Fiction)
Nijigahara Holograph – Inio Asano (my thoughts) (Comics, Translated)
Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami (Fiction, Translated)
Ode to Kirihito – Osamu Tezuka (my thoughts) (Comics, Translated)
Out – Natsuo Kirino (Crime/Mystery, Translated)
Raise the Red Lantern – Su Tong (Fiction, Translated)
Red Sorghum – Mo Yan (Fiction, Translated)
Sea of Poppies (Ibis Trilogy #1) – Amitav Ghosh (Fiction)
Shinya Shokudo – Yaro Abe (Comics, Translated)
Showa: A History of Japan – Shigeru Mizuki (my thoughts) (Comics, Translated)
Sightseeing – Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Fiction)
Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet – Xinran (my thoughts) (Non-fiction, Translated)
Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho (my thoughts) (SF/Fantasy)
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner – Bich Minh Nguyen (Non-fiction)
Stick Out Your Tongue – Ma Jian (Fiction, Translated)
Summer of the Big Bachi (Mas Arai #1) (my thoughts) – Naomi Hirahara (Crime/Mystery)
Sunny – Taiyo Matsumoto (Comics, Translated)
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye – Sonny Liew (my thoughts) (Comics)
The Assassin’s Song – M.G. Vassanji (Fiction)
The Boat – Nam Le (Short stories)
The Colour Trilogy – Kim Dong Hwa  (Comics, Translated)
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (Fiction)
The Foreign Student – Susan Choi (Fiction)
The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The Girl from the Coast – Pramoedya Ananta Toer (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide (Fiction, Translated)
The Headmaster’s Wager – Vincent Lam (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The House of the Mosque – Kader Abdolah (Fiction, Translated)
The Housekeeper and the Professor – Yoko Ogawa (Fiction, Translated)
The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai (Fiction)
The Last Brother – Nathacha Appanah (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The Life of a Banana – P.P. Wong (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The Longshot – Katie Kitamura (Fiction)
The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
The Moon Opera – Bi Feiyu (Fiction, Translated)
The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri (Fiction)
The Old Garden – Hwang Sok-Yong (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories – Ken Liu (my thoughts) (Short Stories)
The Partner Track – Helen Wan (my thoughts)  (Fiction)
The People in the Trees – Hanya Yanagihara (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The Rape of Nanking – Iris Chang (Non-fiction)
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (Fiction)
The Rice Mother – Rani Manicka (Fiction)
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow – Wang Anyi (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father – Kao Kalia Yang (Non-fiction)
The Story Hour – Thrity Umrigar (my thoughts) (Fiction)
The Sympathizer – Viet Thanh Nguyen (Fiction)
The Vagrants – Yiyun Li (Fiction)
The Village by the Sea – Anita Desai (YA)
The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston (Fiction)
The Year She Left Us – Kathryn Ma (my thoughts) (Fiction)
This One Summer – Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (Comics)
To all the boys I’ve loved before – Jenny Han (YA)
Together Tea – Marjan Kamali (my thoughts) (Fiction)
Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window – Tetsuko Kuroyanagi (Non-Fiction, Translated)
Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth – Guo Xiaolu (Fiction)
Video Night in Kathmandu and Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East – Pico Iyer (Non-fiction)
Waiting – Ha Jin (Fiction)
When the Emperor was Divine – Julie Otsuka (Fiction)
Who Ate up all the Shinga?: An Autobiographical Novel – Park Wansuh (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)
Wolf Totem – Jiang Rong (my thoughts) (Fiction, Translated)


  1. I love Sorcerer to the Crown and I’m reading The Ghost Bride right now.

    Some more SFF authors I’d recommend:
    – Michelle West/Michelle Sagara – I’m really enjoying her epic fantasy series, which starts with The Broken Crown.
    S.L. Huang – Anti-heroines with mathematical based superpowers! Her book Zero Sum Game is so much fun.
    Kendare Blake – I don’t read as much YA recently, but I found her ghost story Anna Dressed in Blood spooky and fun.
    Aliette de Bodard – My favorite I’ve read by her is her novella On a Red Station Drifting, which is this reflective sort of science fiction story with Vietnamese influences. I also liked her fantasy novel The House of Shattered Wings.
    Noriko Ogiwara – I loved her Dragon Sword and Wind Child. Think fantasy inspired by Japanese mythology.


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