30+ of Your Favorite Multigenerational Books

This Riot Recommendation for favorite multigenerational books is sponsored by Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li. Published by Henry Holt & Co.

Cover of Lillian Li's NUMBER ONE CHINESE RESTAURANTThe Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland is not only a go-to solution for hunger pangs and a beloved setting for celebrations; it is also its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multivoiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.


“Read multigenerational books: Because modern medicine isn’t sci-fi enough to let you watch your great-grandkid’s life unfold!”

But seriously. A good multigenerational novel gives you something that you can’t get in reality: an intimate longview of family dynamics playing out across decades. Below are just some of the multigenerational books you told us we just gotta read.

The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Dandelion Dynasty Books by Ken Liu

…And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner

Roots by Alex Haley

Casa Rossa by Francesca Marciano

TheSignature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Tolbecken by Samuel Shellabarger

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

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