72 New Books by Asian American Authors to Read Now

Posted by Cybil on April 30, 2021


This May, as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to take an opportunity to shine a light on some of the new books from Asian American authors.

As you can see, the genres, styles, and topics of these books are as varied and diverse as the Asian American population (we are, after all, talking about Americans with roots in more than 20 different countries). In the mood for science fiction? Try an artificial intelligence thriller, or Ken Liu's new short story collection. For memorable memoirs, pick up Crying in H MartSigh, Gone, or Speak, Okinawa. There's also plenty of literary fiction, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy to keep you reading all year long. 

We have divvied up the books below by adult fiction, young adult fiction, and nonfiction—all of them published since the start of 2020 through the beginning of May. Scroll over the covers to learn more about each book, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!

Adult Fiction

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Young Adult Fiction

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Nonfiction

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Comments Showing 1-46 of 46 (46 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by M. (new)

M. It's exhausting to want to read all the books.


message 2: by TMR (new)

TMR Such an intriguing list.


message 3: by Annie (new)

Annie Ice add middle-grade books too!!!


message 4: by bookcaked (new)

bookcaked So many great titles!!


message 5: by April (new)

April M. wrote: "It's exhausting to want to read all the books."

Agreed! I marked all the ones I haven't read yet as "want to read"!


Antagonist Library  ♡ This is a great list!


message 7: by Loan (new)

Loan Le Thank you SO much for including A Pho Love Story!


message 8: by Sandradine (new)

Sandradine Wow! Where am I going to find the time to read these fantastic books?


message 9: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth But how can I read it “now”…?


message 10: by Doug (new)

Doug Rochelle Convenience Store Girl was amazing


message 11: by John (new)

John Try some Epeli Hau'ofa. "Tales of the Tikongs" is a collection of short stories about life on a small island in Oceania. "Kisses in the Nederends" is a comic novel about a man who seeks help for an embarrassing and very painful condition in a very embarrassing part of the body.
Both are very funny and very satirical,
Hau'ofa was Tongan and spent many years teaching/working at the University of the Southern Pacific in Fiji


message 12: by Vikash Singh (last edited May 01, 2021 05:04AM) (new)

Vikash Singh Rawat Robin sharma is not the list!!!
bit disappointed but list is interesting..


message 13: by Isabelle (new)

Isabelle asian american what about asian asians?? maybe you should promote them too


message 14: by Annie (new)

Annie Ice Isabelle wrote: "asian american what about asian asians?? maybe you should promote them too"

yeahhh!


message 15: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones So. Many. Good. Books.


message 16: by Annakrizia (new)

Annakrizia Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay is stellar.


message 17: by Thi (new)

Thi Nguyen Many Vietnamese authors, so proud of you


message 18: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Am happy for the page of Asian Americans stories, but do wish that once in a while there could be a backlist or something...


message 19: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward FINALLY they showed Asian people, even if none of them are non-Americans as usual. Stop Americanising everything, it actually makes me strike these types of books from my Amazon basket.


message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Lucas In the Country by Mia Alvar


message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie I'm kinda happy they're showcasing more books by Asian-Americans authors but I wish they did more with authors from other countries who would have a lot to add with their perspective. Although I added some of these books to my TBR because I need to read more books by POC authors.


Kate (Feathered Turtle Press) Isabelle wrote: "asian american what about asian asians?? maybe you should promote them too"

Liam wrote: "FINALLY they showed Asian people, even if none of them are non-Americans as usual. Stop Americanising everything, it actually makes me strike these types of books from my Amazon basket."

The list is to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Your reading comprehension is really disappointing on a site for book lovers.


message 23: by T. (new)

T. Kenny Looks great!


message 24: by pluma (new)

pluma "i'll stop adding books to my to-read list", i said. "i'll read the ones i already added before adding more", i said.


message 25: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon Isabelle wrote: "asian american what about asian asians?? maybe you should promote them too"

I agree with Isabelle. Asian-themed stories are also told by many non-American authors of Asian descent. This list seems to have excluded a lot of authentic and quality Asian writing. Asian authors are authors of Asian descent, no matter what nationality, and should all be celebrated in the #AsianHeritageMonth.


message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Love these, I now have a few new books I need to read.


message 27: by Anuradha (new)

Anuradha Rajurkar Thank you SO much for including American Betiya! <3


message 28: by Ming (new)

Ming Alice wrote: "Isabelle wrote: "asian american what about asian asians?? "

I agree Isabelle. Asian-themed stories are also told by many non-American authors of Asian descent..."


@alice & @isabelle, I think it was upfront and obvious what this piece was about. The headline of "72 New Books by Asian American Authors to Read Now" and the opening of the article made it very clear that this was a US-based listing.

Asian American Heritage Month was started in the US in 1978; its history and origins are important. Moreover, we are facing issues that are distinct and particular to that experience.

Wiser to not conflate all Asians in diaspora and certainly not Asians in Asia.


message 29: by Natalia (new)

Natalia Mokhova April wrote: "M. wrote: "It's exhausting to want to read all the books."

Agreed! I marked all the ones I haven't read yet as "want to read"!"

Absolutely agree!


message 30: by Victor (new)

Victor Volkman Septuagenarian: Love Is What Happens When I Die
I'd like to recommend Septuagenarian, which is a poetic memoir of a woman growing up as the daughter of a Chinese father and an African American mother in Minneapolis. Her struggle for identity, love, and acceptance was a journey of seven decades, as the title suggests. Don't miss it!!


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan Puska Good list, but so many more to discover! Recommend Carol J. Yee's "Welcome Back to Abuja Once Again," a world travel memoir about an Asian American girl's search for humanity and great food.


message 32: by Nin (new)

Nin All great titles! Adding to the list: Haven to Heaven by Ninsavang Pravisay. Asian story by Asian American author.


message 33: by Aditya (new)

Aditya V Aditya wrote: "Ten Tangled Tales: For, Life's not a Fairy Tale!"
I'd like to recommend Ten Tangled Tales- this is a collection of short stories from different parts of India. :D


message 34: by A (new)

A What an amazing list!


message 35: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Love the list of books! Wish they also included Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club).


message 36: by Meredith (new)

Meredith I think the book Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto would be a good book to add to the list!


message 37: by Kathy (new)

Kathy “Remembering Shanghai” by Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao, a mother- daughter duo, is a beautifully written memoir of Isabel’s life growing up in pre-communist Shanghai.


message 38: by Anne (new)

Anne Turner I do not see any Canadian authors on these lists. We have many great Asian/Canadian authors. example Larissa Lai Tiger Fly, Sarah Suk Made in Hong Kong a YA novel.


message 39: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Hough Wild Things Will Roam This is an incredible read by AAPI author K.M. West - dystopian thriller, emotional, gripping, real. I recommend it!


message 40: by Mike (new)

Mike Anne wrote: "I do not see any Canadian authors on these lists. We have many great Asian/Canadian authors. example Larissa Lai Tiger Fly, Sarah Suk Made in Hong Kong a YA novel."

Made in Korea.


message 41: by Annette (new)

Annette The month is, for better or worse, called "AAPI Heritage Month" - I don't see any PI authors represented here (at a glance - please correct me if I'm wrong), which is disappointing!


message 43: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I'd also suggest When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller for middle-grade students; it just won the 2021 Newbery Medal. https://www.amazon.com/When-You-Trap-...


message 44: by Pandora (new)

Pandora Kahl I wish I saw this one day sooner but I'll save this list for later.

I already went on my book buying binge for APIA Heritage Month:

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao


message 45: by C.Y. (last edited May 13, 2021 06:22PM) (new)

C.Y. Stewart Asian American author here:) Have been writing in my second language (English)—challenging but I’m enjoying it. Name is C.Y. Stewart. Actually one of my books just went on free-download promotion on Amazon through this Saturday, if anyone is interested to check it out. I very much appreciate everyone’s support for Asian American authors.C.Y. Stewart Have You Seen Jeffrey?


message 46: by tasia (new)

tasia Annette wrote: "The month is, for better or worse, called "AAPI Heritage Month" - I don't see any PI authors represented here (at a glance - please correct me if I'm wrong), which is disappointing!"

There are no PI authors as the title specifies "Asian American" but I do wish they had done a list to include AAPI authors on a whole. Unless there's a PI list somewhere else ...


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