100 Must-Read Books by Asian Authors

Contrary to popular opinion, Asia is not a monolith, and our literature is as diverse as our personal histories. With nearly 50 countries, and thousands of different cultures at hand, an incredible range of Asian writers and stories can be found to delight all kinds of readers.


100 Must-Read Books by Asian Authors


I’ve focused this list on Asian characters as written by Asian authors, setting out to include as many genres as I can. Romance, mystery, fantasy, science-fiction, contemporary YA–there’s something for everyone here, all featuring kickass Asian characters from across our many countries. I don’t know about you, but it’s one of my dearest hopes that I can write up a whole new list next year, with many many more books.

  1. Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj
  2. Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology by Paolo Chikiamco
  3. American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  4. Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari
  5. Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina-American Writers by Nick Carbo and Eileen Tabios
  6. Barrow by Bryan Thao Worra
  7. Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
  8. The Boat to Redemption by Su Tong
  9. A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
  10. Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
  11. Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam
  12. The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim
  13. Catch a Falling Star by Christina Pantoja-Hidalgo
  14. Chorus of Mushrooms by Hiromi Goto
  15. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
  16. A Different Sky by Meira Chand
  17. Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
  18. Drifting House by Krys Lee
  19. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  20. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki
  21. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  22. The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith
  23. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
  24. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
  25. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  26. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
  27. Girl Overboard by Justina Chen
  28. The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
  29. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li
  30. Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
  31. Gun Dealers’ Daughter by Gina Apostol
  32. Home by Leila S. Chudori
  33. Homesick by Roshi Fernando
  34. Huntress by Malinda Lo
  35. Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco
  36. In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar
  37. An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay
  38. Inheritance by Lan Samantha Chang
  39. Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani
  40. Intercession by Isa Kamari
  41. Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra
  42. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  43. The Kidney Hypothetical: Or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days by Lisa Yee
  44. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
  45. Killing Honour by Bali Rai
  46. The Kite of Stars and Other Stories by Dean Francis Alfar
  47. The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
  48. The Last Time I Saw Mother by Arlene J. Chai
  49. Leche by R. Zamora Linmark
  50. Malaysian Tales, Retold and Remixed by Daphne Lee
  51. Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan
  52. The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven
  53. Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
  54. The Mistresses of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  55. Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao
  56. Monstress by Lysley Tenorio
  57. My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
  58. Of Tales and Enigma by Minsoo Kang
  59. On Such a Full Sea by Chang Rae Lee
  60. The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
  61. Please Look After Mother by Shin Kyung-Sook
  62. Prophecy by Ellen Oh
  63. Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-Li Jiang
  64. Ru by Kim Thúy
  65. Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
  66. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
  67. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  68. Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology by Jeff Yang
  69. Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins
  70. Seeing Emily by Joyce Lee Wong
  71. Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee
  72. She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Zeenat Mahal
  73. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
  74. Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan by Shigeru Mizuki (translated by Zack Davisson)
  75. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
  76. Since You Asked by Maurene Goo
  77. Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim
  78. Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan
  79. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  80. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai
  81. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  82. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
  83. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
  84. The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho
  85. Three Sisters by Bi Feiyu
  86. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
  87. Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap and Mari Araki
  88. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  89. Trade Me by Courtney Milan
  90. Vanished by E.E. Cooper
  91. Wait for Me by An Na
  92. The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer
  93. We Should Never Meet: Stories by Aimee Phan
  94. The Wheel of Surya by Jamila Gavin
  95. When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
  96. When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe
  97. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
  98. The Woman Who Had Two Navels by Nick Joaquin
  99. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
  100. (You) Set Me On Fire by Mariko Tamaki

Note: Nicola Yoon was mistakenly on this list, and has been removed and replaced.