Best South Asian Fiction

Your favorite fiction from South Asia and the diaspora. Novels, short stories and novellas.

South Asian countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan. Some people also include Burma/Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iran and the Maldives as part of South Asia.

South Asia does NOT include China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam (these last three are part of Southeast Asia), etc.
1

by
4.31 avg rating — 2,538,126 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.38 avg rating — 1,208,105 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.34 avg rating — 134,164 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
3.94 avg rating — 254,320 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
3.99 avg rating — 241,108 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.16 avg rating — 164,826 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.75 avg rating — 168,192 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
3.98 avg rating — 107,582 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.92 avg rating — 1,390,525 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.12 avg rating — 43,558 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.24 avg rating — 180,025 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.29 avg rating — 345,311 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.44 avg rating — 48,419 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
4.09 avg rating — 87,591 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
3.98 avg rating — 23,246 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
3.71 avg rating — 68,043 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
3.96 avg rating — 23,731 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 31,198 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 42,955 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.18 avg rating — 36,539 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.02 avg rating — 21,760 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.05 avg rating — 316,081 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.68 avg rating — 72,745 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
3.43 avg rating — 28,880 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
3.99 avg rating — 69,965 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
3.70 avg rating — 58,373 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.96 avg rating — 9,934 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
3.75 avg rating — 9,914 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
3.92 avg rating — 24,034 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.21 avg rating — 40,552 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.62 avg rating — 8,729 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
4.01 avg rating — 30,007 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.84 avg rating — 9,709 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
3.96 avg rating — 15,231 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
3.92 avg rating — 12,671 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
3.85 avg rating — 7,086 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.22 avg rating — 12,004 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
3.57 avg rating — 15,902 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
3.43 avg rating — 87,011 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.85 avg rating — 88,150 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.10 avg rating — 105,379 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
4.28 avg rating — 65 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
3.43 avg rating — 84,219 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.13 avg rating — 5,881 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
3.81 avg rating — 198 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.94 avg rating — 3,859 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
3.94 avg rating — 8,829 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.46 avg rating — 5,329 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
3.58 avg rating — 3,998 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.22 avg rating — 16,020 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
4.01 avg rating — 70,137 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.77 avg rating — 5,443 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
3.74 avg rating — 15,271 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
3.44 avg rating — 29,886 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
4.01 avg rating — 14,016 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
3.99 avg rating — 18,427 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
3.53 avg rating — 3,748 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
3.97 avg rating — 16,707 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.85 avg rating — 4,677 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.01 avg rating — 84,818 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
3.76 avg rating — 6,154 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
3.92 avg rating — 8,121 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
3.78 avg rating — 4,014 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.94 avg rating — 163 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
4.05 avg rating — 13,625 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.72 avg rating — 3,712 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.58 avg rating — 2,407 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
3.89 avg rating — 4,298 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
3.89 avg rating — 13,111 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
3.60 avg rating — 17,139 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
3.91 avg rating — 6,554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.83 avg rating — 11,352 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
4.07 avg rating — 79,034 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.80 avg rating — 3,759 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.59 avg rating — 27 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.08 avg rating — 532 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.60 avg rating — 155 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
3.66 avg rating — 7,771 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.89 avg rating — 9,891 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.89 avg rating — 3,159 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.86 avg rating — 22,364 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.56 avg rating — 1,382 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.23 avg rating — 2,851 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.14 avg rating — 5,320 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.79 avg rating — 115 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.71 avg rating — 5,512 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
3.88 avg rating — 259 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
3.49 avg rating — 150 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
3.61 avg rating — 24,601 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
4.38 avg rating — 113 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.37 avg rating — 8,017 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
3.51 avg rating — 29,444 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
94

by
3.82 avg rating — 141 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
3.81 avg rating — 7,372 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
4.16 avg rating — 1,492 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.77 avg rating — 1,192 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
3.79 avg rating — 10,999 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
3.80 avg rating — 19,073 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
3.69 avg rating — 729 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
495 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Brimate 459 books
42 friends
Jessica 6443 books
891 friends
Samantha 115 books
23 friends
Jennifer 2945 books
49 friends
Ash 746 books
158 friends
Karen 1160 books
49 friends
Todd 302 books
110 friends
Norman 776 books
29 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Parth (new)


message 2: by Parth (new)

Parth Bakshi Sh Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts


message 3: by Barb (new)


message 4: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie I love Water for Elephants to death, but it has NOTHING to do with Southeast Asia. It is about Depression era America and none of the characters were Southeast Asians. Just because it has elephant in the title does not mean it's about SE Asia, people.


message 5: by Rukshana (new)

Rukshana Um, Amy Tan's book is not about S. Asia. People need to learn their geography.


message 6: by Melanee (new)

Melanee Rukshana wrote: "Um, Amy Tan's book is not about S. Asia. People need to learn their geography."

tell em Rukshana! =)


message 7: by E (new)

E Bonnie wrote: "I love Water for Elephants to death, but it has NOTHING to do with Southeast Asia. It is about Depression era America and none of the characters were Southeast Asians. Just because it has elephant ..."

This list is for books on South Asia, which is not the same as Southeast Asia. To clarify, South Asia includes India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and sometimes Tibet.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Bonnie wrote: "I love Water for Elephants to death, but it has NOTHING to do with Southeast Asia. It is about Depression era America and none of the characters were Southeast Asians. Just because it has elephant ..."

I was wondering why it was on here. A librarian needs to delete it.



message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Susanna wrote: "OK, I'll remove Water for Elephants."

Thanks Susanna, very kind of you.



message 11: by marie (new)

marie Cutting For Stone takes place in Ethiopia (Africa) and the United States. There is only a small mention of India but it certainly is not about South Asia.


message 12: by Amina (new)

Amina If you're interested in South Asian literature, you should check out the new group I just started! http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/4...


message 13: by Nickelini (new)

Nickelini I think people need to pass a geography test before they can add a book to this list. Very disappointing.


message 14: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie In the Miso Soup should go. (out of the South Asia list)


message 15: by Ellinor (new)

Ellinor What are Wuthering Heights and Gone with the wind doing on this list? They have absolutely nothing to do with South Asia!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads If this list specifically does not include Japan, what is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle doing on it?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads OK, y'all want me to delete anything?


message 18: by Vazz (new)

Vazz "Veil of Roses" is a book set in Iran. It does NOT belong here. Iran is NOT part of South Asia, and Iranians are NOT South Asian or Desi. Please remove this book from the list.


message 19: by Vazz (new)

Vazz Susanna wrote: "OK, y'all want me to delete anything?"
yes please remove "Veil of Roses."


message 20: by Garth (new)

Garth I voted for A Thousand Splendid Suns. Great historical fiction, even though it's a little slow in the beginning. If you find yourself about to give up on the book, skip to chapter 21 (that's about one third into the book): at that point, the story really starts to pick up.

I wrote a post on the book for Newsworthy Novels, a blog that matches novels to today's headlines (the headline that day was about the Taliban increasingly targeting Afghan women for attacks): http://newsworthynovels.blogspot.com/...


message 21: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Unlesss I'm very much mistaken, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet should not be in this list...


message 22: by K (new)

K And a few more too do not belong here.


message 23: by K (new)

K Ellinor wrote: "What are Wuthering Heights and Gone with the wind doing on this list? They have absolutely nothing to do with South Asia!"
Who posted them?
It is piracy of another kind.


message 24: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 01, 2013 12:10AM) (new)

Booklovinglady The Map of Love is set in Egypt (and the States) and has been removed. I've also removed Japanese fairy tales, Japanese fairy tales series and The thousand autumns of Jacob the Zoet, as none of these should be in this list.


message 25: by Jessica (last edited Jul 26, 2013 02:23AM) (new)

Jessica There are other books which don't belong in this list. Rooftops of Tehran is set in Iran, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is set in Japan, Evening is the Whole Day and The Rice Mother are set in Malaysia.


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Oh right. I guess Iran is possibly included...


message 27: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jul 26, 2013 04:34AM) (new)

Booklovinglady @Brimate
Hermann Hesse is German, still his Siddhartha is on the list. Don't really think it belongs here, as your description clearly says "Your favorite fiction from South Asia and the diaspora". But I haven't removed it (yet) as the story is set in South Asia (even though that doesn't match your description). Let me know how you feel about this book being on the list?

Same goes for E.M. Forster's A passage to India, as Forster is British.

The quiet American by Graham Greene has been removed from the list, as it does not belong here (Saigon is not in South Asia...)


message 28: by Ellinor (new)

Ellinor Booklovinglady wrote: "@Brimate
Hermann Hesse is German, still his Siddhartha is on the list. Don't really think it belongs here, as your description clearly says "Your favorite fiction
from
South Asia and the diaspo..."


The same would be true for "A Son of the Circus". John Irving is American.


message 29: by Linda (new)

Linda Groetzinger To List manager: Please clarify the criteria for this list.
I'd like to see:
1) books ABOUT South Asia and South Asians, including those living outside South Asia (the diaspora) regardless of: who wrote them, what language they are written in;
2)books BY South Asian authors, and authors of South Asian heritage, regardless of where they now live.

My question is: does the list include books BY South Asian authors set exclusively in other countries, and not about South Asians or the diaspora or setting?


message 30: by Linda (new)

Linda Groetzinger To list manager:
Please clarify the criteria for inclusion; I'd recommend that books that take place in South Asia or are about South Asian diaspora in any location, should be included.
I'd also be happy if all fiction by South Asian authors would be included, even if it does not take place in or relate to South Asia or South Asians; but I could understand if these were limited to those that DO focus on South Asians or countries where people of South Asian heritage reside.


message 31: by Srinivas (new)

Srinivas 151 The Diary of a Young Girl


i dont think its about South-Asia.


message 32: by Booklovinglady (last edited Apr 09, 2014 11:49AM) (new)

Booklovinglady nomad wrote: "151 The Diary of a Young Girl
i dont think its about South-Asia."


Can't find the book in the list, but if you meant Anne Frank's 'Diary of a young girl' then it most certainly is not.. :-)


message 33: by Srinivas (new)

Srinivas yes..its in 169th postion


message 34: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady nomad wrote: "yes..its in 169th postion"

Thanks :-) I have deleted the book, as you are absolutely right: It should not have been added to this list.


message 35: by Sngta (last edited Sep 21, 2014 12:27PM) (new)

Sngta It's unclear what Like Water for Chocolate is doing on this list! Same for Animal Farm.


message 36: by Booklovinglady (last edited Sep 21, 2014 02:16PM) (new)

Booklovinglady Sngta wrote: "It's unclear what Like Water for Chocolate is doing on this list! Same for Animal Farm."

I've removed both Animal Farm and Like water for Chocolate, as they are not South Asian ficton.


message 37: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Hobbs "Minaret" takes place in Sudan and England. No South Asian connection.


message 38: by Akshi (last edited Sep 21, 2015 10:36AM) (new)

Akshi Rahul Pandita's Our Moon Has Blood Clots ( A great book) is a memoir, not fiction.Similarly books like

The Difficulty of Being Good, Maximum City, [even] Khushwant Singh's Delhi are not fiction.


message 39: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Jeff wrote: ""Minaret" takes place in Sudan and England. No South Asian connection."

Minaret has been removed.


message 40: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Akshi wrote: "Rahul Pandita's Our Moon Has Blood Clots ( A great book) is a memoir, not fiction.Similarly books like

The Difficulty of Being Good, Maximum City, [even] Khushwant Singh's Delhi are not fiction."


Removed for not being fiction:
Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits
The Difficulty of Being Good: On The Subtle Art Of Dharma
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
Delhi


message 41: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Removed for not being from South Asia:

The Art of War
In the Miso Soup


message 42: by Kaion (last edited Nov 13, 2015 02:33PM) (new)

Kaion Removed for not being from South Asia/not being fiction:
Wind Up Bird Chronicle
Siddhartha
John Updike
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Publisher spam
Books on Vietnam
John Green
A Brief History of Time
Leo Tolstoy
Karma Cola


message 43: by Sarai (new)

Sarai Jump to Regional groups of countries - The United Nations Statistics Division's scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, along with Iran only for statistical purposes. Population Information Network (POPIN) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia


message 44: by Arpita (new)

Arpita Sad to see Chetan Bhagat on the same list with greats like Khaled Hosseini, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kipling...


back to top



Related News

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...

Anyone can add books to this list.