Books About Asian Heritage to Celebrate the Lunar New Year
Check out these novels and memoirs exploring Asian and Asian-American heritage!
January 27, 2022
Beasts of a Little Land
After her desperate family sells her to a courtesan school, Jade befriends JungHo, an orphan boy begging on the streets of Seoul, and must decide to pursue her dreams or risk everything in the fight for independence.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
A sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer finds the unnamed “man of two minds” and his blood brother dealing drugs in 1980s Paris, where he navigates the worlds of privileged clients while trying to reconcile two politically polarized friends.
Crazy Rich Asians
Envisioning a quality-time summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that viciously competes against other wealthy families and strongly opposes their son’s relationship with an American girl.
Struggling to fulfill a terminally ill father’s final bequest, a privileged Chinese-American family in Silicon Valley is forced to contend with the realities of their ambitions and actual desires.
How Much of These Hills is Gold
C Pam Zhang
Two orphaned Chinese immigrant siblings flee the threats of their gold rush mining town across an unforgiving landscape where their survival is tested by family secrets, sibling rivalry and disparate goals.
A stereotyped character actor stumbles into the spotlight before uncovering surprising links between his family and the secret history of Chinatown.
The Island of Sea Women
The ostracized daughter of a Japanese collaborator and the daughter of their Korean village’s head female diver share nearly a century of friendship that is tested by their island’s torn position between two warring empires.
The Joy Luck Club
Encompassing two generations and a rich blend of Chinese and American history, the story of four struggling, strong women also reveals their daughter’s memories and feelings
The Kinship of Secrets
The story of two sisters separated by the Korean War follows Miran, who grows up living with her parents in a prosperous American suburb, and her sister Inja who struggles with life in war-torn Korea and ties to a family she doesn’t remember.
Land of Big Numbers
Gripping and compassionate, Land of Big Numbers traces the journeys of the diverse and legion Chinese people, their history, their government, and how all of that has tumbled—messily, violently, but still beautifully—into the present.
Last Tang Standing
Reluctantly dating a man who has the approval of her traditional family, a successful lawyer on the brink of partnership is unwittingly drawn to an office rival who is anything but respectable.
A new novel explores the complex web of grief, memory, time, physics, history and selfhood in the immigrant experience, and the complicated bond between daughters and mothers.
Love in the Big City
Sang Young Park
When his female best friend and roommate, Jaehee, leaves him to settle down, Young, a cynical gay man living in the lonely city of Seoul, tries to make sense of his life and his relationships as he finds himself torn between two very different men.
Mambo in Chinatown
Enduring a limited existence with her Chinese-American father, Charlie Wong discovers new opportunities and perspectives when she takes a job at a ballroom dance studio where her natural talents begin to emerge.
My Year Abroad
An everyday American college student finds his life transformed by a Chinese-American businessman who unexpectedly takes him under his wing on a series of whimsical, heartbreaking and darkly shocking adventures throughout Asia.
Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune
Inheriting her grandmother’s restaurant in a crumbling San Francisco Chinatown neighborhood, Natalie Tan is advised by the local seer to prepare three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to help their struggling community.
The Night Tiger
A vivacious dance-hall girl in 1930s colonial Malaysia is drawn into unexpected danger by the discovery of a severed finger that is being sought by a young houseboy who would protect his late master’s soul.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
A letter from a son to a mother who cannot read reveals the impact of the Vietnam War on their family history and provides a view into parts of the son’s life that his mother has never known.
Min Jin Lee
In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question.
A Phở Love Story
High school seniors Bàao and Linh, whose feuding families own competing Vietnamese restaurants, conceal their budding romance, as well as Linh’s desire to become an artist.
Please Look After Mom
Follows the efforts of a family to find the mother who went missing from Seoul Station and their sobering realizations when they recall memories that suggest she may not have been happy.
Searching for Sylvie Lee
Three women from a Chinese immigrant family navigate complicated secrets when an elder daughter goes missing while visiting her dying grandmother in the Netherlands.
Deciding to renounce eating meat in the wake of violent dreams, Yeong-hye, a woman from a culture of strict societal mores, is denounced as a subversive as she spirals into extreme rebelliousness that causes her to splinter from her true nature and risk her life.
The Wangs Vs. the World
A wealthy but fractured Chinese family loses everything in the financial crisis before embarking on a haphazard but ultimately redemptive journey across America as part of an effort to reclaim ancestral lands in China.
Mary H.K. Choi
Struggling with emotional problems and an eating disorder, Jayne, a Korean American college student living in New York City, is estranged from her accomplished older sister June, until June gets cancer.
Biography and Memoir
Almost American Girl
An Illustrated Memoir
Moving abruptly from Seoul to Alabama, a Korean teen struggles in a hostile blended home and a new school where she does not speak English before forging unexpected connections in a local comic drawing class.
Double Cup Love
On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China
After questioning the authenticity of his Chinese identity, a first-generation Chinese-American embarks on a trip to connect with his homeland.
On Gold Mountain
The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family
Documenting the history of her own Chinese-American family, a journalist shares the results of five years of research, including interviews with nearly one hundred Chinese and Caucasian relatives.
After her mother dies unexpectedly of cancer, a Chinese American writer and journalist weaves together the story of the fallout of grief that follows her extended family as they emigrate from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America.
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
Bich Minh Nguyen
A coming-of-age memoir by a Vietnamese American recounts her struggles for an American identity in the pre-politically correct climate of the Midwest and her passion for American food in the face of her family’s Buddhist lifestyle.
A Tiger’s Heart
The Story of a Modern Chinese Woman
Aisling Juanjuan Shen
The daughter of a Chinese peasant family who was the first person to leave her village for college recounts her journey from a dead-end teaching job through poverty and homelessness to a sales career and marriage to an American.
The Woman Warrior
Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
Maxine Hong Kingston
A first-generation Chinese-American woman recounts growing up in America within a tradition-bound Chinese family, and confronted with Chinese ghosts from the past and non-Chinese ghosts of the present