Some Great Novels by Female Asian Authors – Part 1
Each May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month so it’s just the right time of year to look at some of the very best novels from Asian-American or Asian authors. As it would have taken too much time and effort to create a list of all the fantastic books that we could have included, we had to whittle it down to just a few for you to add to your reading list.
While you may love some of the more famous authors like Lisa See, Celeste Ng, Arundhati Roy, Amy Tan, and Jhumpa Lahiri, we’ve chosen not to include them here as they would have been too obvious. Although, if you’ve yet to acquaint yourself with these authors, you should become familiar with their work. Obviously, Asian Pacific encompasses many cultures, so expect to see inclusions on this list ranging from the Islands of the Pacific to the Middle East.
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
When Ruth’s father starts to show early signs of dementia, she makes the decision to leave San Francisco so that she can go to Southern California and look after him. While the story deals with serious subject matter, there are numerous clever moments and humorous quips. It doesn’t take very long to read, either, thanks to the almost dairy-like format.
The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan
Donia Bijan was born in Iran but relocated to California at just 15 years of age. Still in the golden state, she is now the owner of a Bay Area restaurant inspired by French cuisines. You’ll come across some semi-autobiographical writing in her first book about a woman who makes her way back to her family’s Tehran cafe after three decades away.
Sorcerer to the Crown
While a Harry Potter for adults may not actually exist, this might be as close as we will come. Here, you’ll find a blend of kick-ass female characters of colour, vast amounts of magic, and an alternative British universe in the 19th-century. It’s a period fantasy that even those who aren’t typically fans of the genre might enjoy.
The Pearl that Broke Its Shell
This one tells not one but two stories. One
tells Rahima’s story. Rahuma is a young girl living in Kabul in the 21st
century. She adopts a custom called “bachata posh”, which is when someone
dresses and chooses to be seen as a boy, in order to help out her family. The
second story is about Shekiba, Rahim’s great-aunt, who decided to live as a man
for different reasons.
The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi
If you enjoy stories about female bonding, you’ll fall in love with this one. Two girls, Tara and Mukta, are from different castes when they cross paths in 1986 Bombay. A few short years later, Mukta is in Tara’s room when she is taken. Now that Tara feels that Mukta is more like a sister to her, she decides that she needs to find her.