Contemporary Asian Authors You Should Read

Asia has had no shortage of brilliant writers. Whether they grew up in their hometown or had to move to other parts of the world, their pieces reflect their Asian heritage that distinguished them from other writers.

The following is a list of today’s most notable Asian writers.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan was born and raised in the United States. Her works reflect the life of generations of Asian Americans. She is famous for The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, and The Kitchen God’s Wife.

Anchee Min

Anchee Min became an actress when she was 17 years old at Madame Mao’s Shanghai Film Studio. She went to the United States in 1984 and is well-known for her works Empress Orchid, Red Azalea, and Pearl of China.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is passionate about social justice and economic equality. Known as an activist, she is also famous for her work The God of Small Things which won the Booker Prize in 1997.

Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami was influenced by Western writers such as Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky and F. Scott Fitzgerald. His most popular works to date are Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Short, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri was born and raised outside India but was schooled about her Bengali roots since she was a young girl. Besides writing, she also teaches creative writing. Her works reflect the lives of Indian immigrants. Most notable are The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies, and Unaccustomed Earth.

Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro moved to England in 1960. His debut novel, A Pale View of Hills, garnered an award, and since then, he has produced outstanding works like An Artist of the Floating Worlds, The Remains of the Day, and Never Let Me Go.

Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini and his family moved first to Iran then France and finally to the United States. They tried to return to their hometown Afghanistan several times but after the coup in 1978, they stayed in California ever since. His most notable works are The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Lisa See

Lisa See was born in Paris and currently lives in California. She was awarded National Woman of the Year in 2001 by the Organization of Chinese American Women. Among her best works are Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Shanghai Girls, and Peony in Love.

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie lists among his influences Anton Chekhov, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Joseph Conrad. Besides novels, he writes essays as well. He received death threats when he published his work The Satanic Verses. His other notable works are Midnight’s Children and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

Shin Kyung-sook

Shin Kyung-Sook won the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012 with her novel Please Look After Mom. Among her other notable works are I’ll Be Right There, The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness, and Li Chin.

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