It’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it’s a perfect time to recommend some books written by Asian authors. A list with a variety of genres such as fantasy, contemporary, thrillers and even poetry. I have included books by Asian authors as well as ownvoices. I cannot vouch for the representation of other Asian ethnics. However books featured by South Asian authors are ones that I felt had good representation, (being South Asian myself).
*This post was scheduled for the end of May, however due to the Black Lives Matter Movement, I decided to post it at a later date. If you’re looking for resources and book recommendations, my post 270+ books by black authors might be able to help.
Love From A To Z By S.K Ali
A YA romance/contemporary book.
This book features great Muslim and disability representation. In my opinion, I think that S.K. Ali did an amazing job. It takes place in Doha, Qatar. Love From A To Z discusses Islamophobia, living in a Western world and being a person of colour and much more. This is an ownvoices book, S.k. Ali is a Muslim residing in Canada, but born in India. My full review is here.
A Madness Of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
A mystery/ thriller book.
Nalini Singh brings a thriller which involves a missing person case. A gripping book filled with plot twists, A Madness of Sunshine features Anahera who has returned to her hometown of Golden Cove, in New Zealand after the death of her husband. Although within no time, she finds herself searching for a woman who’s vanished without a trace. Eight years ago, a similar event occurred when several others disappeared. Could they be connected? Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand.
The Gilded Wolves By Roshani Chokshi
A historical fiction fantasy book which involves a heist.
In other words, a book I never knew I needed. Moreover, it was a read for the Asian Readathon. It’s 1889 in Paris and wealthy hotelier Séverin is offered his true inheritance. Calling upon a band of unlikely experts, together they join this mission which could change the course of their lives or even history. Roshanki Chokshi is half Filipinio, half Indian and resides in America.
The White Book by Han Kang and Deborah Smith (Translator)
A poetry book.
which explores personal grief, written through the prism of the colour white. Although originally written in Korean, this translated book is powerful and touches upon personal psychology and human spirit. Han Kang grew up Kwangju in but now lives in Seoul.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
A cultural, fiction Indian book set in 1969.
It features love within the caste system and characters with depth and layers to them. The story features flashbacks and returns to the present as it’s told by generations of the family. A well deserved winner of the Booker Prize in 1997. Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, India.
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
A YA fantasy book.
Set in a world inspired by Ancient Arabia, it’s magical and culturual vibe makes We Hunt The Flame stand out among other fantasy books. Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. A snippet of the blurb, We Hunt The Flame seems to contains vivid characters and a strong plot. (Currently reading this, my opinion might change)! Faizal was born in Florida and grew up in California. She is of Sri Lankan and Arab descent and is an American Muslim.
Warcross by Marie Lu
A YA Science fiction book.
Although this might contain aspects of fantasy, it’s mostly a sci-fi with protagonist Emika Chen, a bounty hunter who hacks into virtual game, Warcross. An action packed, fast paced book, Marie Lu bring a gripping read filled with unexpected friendships, spies and fun in Tokyo. A diverse books featuring people of colour, disability and LGBTQIA rep. Marie Lu was born in Wuxi, China
The Plotters by Un-su Kim, Sora Kim-Russell
A Thriller and mystery book.
Another translated book, The Plotters is a complex, moral tale filled with compassion for a fallen world. It takes place in an alternative Seoul where politicians can arrange for hit orders. Main character Resseng becomes a target. This book is for those who love a gritty crime novel and one that makes you want to know what’s happening next immediately. Un-su Kim was born in Busan, South Korea.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A YA fantasy book.
Another fantasy because I can’t get enough! A book inspired by ancient Rome, An Ember in the Ashes follows Laia, a slave,who seeks help from rebels after her brother is arrested for treason. In exchange, she agrees to spy on the military. There she meets Elias, a soldier who wants to be free. In a world where they must vow to the Emperor so that their loved ones don’t face execution, making the wrong choice could cost them. Sabaa Tahir is a Pakistani-American novelist.
I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee
A queer rom-com celebrating positivity and confidence involving K-pop, reality TV, beauty standards and a man named Henry Cho. Readers follow Skye and her journey in becoming the world’s first plus sized model and accepting herself. Recently released, I’ll be the One has received high praise. Lyla Lee was born in South Korea and has since moved to many places.
I hope you’ve found some new books! Let me know some of your favourite books by Asian authors! And I have featured and reviewed more books by Asian authors on my blog if you’d like to check them out too.