Asian History

The Asian History Collection features titles that illustrate the cultures and history that have shaped the continent of Asia for thousands of years. With texts ranging from Sun Tzu's The Art of War, written in ancient China, to modern fiction from Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro, this Collection represents a diverse range of cultures and voices through genres such as historical fiction and nonfiction.

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: SiblingsTags Japanese Literature, Grief / Death, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, History: Asian

Kazuo Ishiguro is an English and Japanese author who is most well-known for prizewinning novels such as The Remains of the Day (1989) and Never Let Me Go (2005), the latter of which was adapted into a film in 2010. “A Family Supper” is a 1983 short story that was originally published in a volume of Ishiguro’s works, titled Firebird 2: Writing Today. The short story begins when an unnamed narrator returns to his homeland... Read A Family Supper Summary

Publication year 1931Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Colonialism, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags History: Asian, History: European, Politics / Government

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Society: Class, Society: Community, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Colonialism, Society: EducationTags Historical Fiction, Social Justice, Class, Education, History: World, History: Asian, History: European, Incarceration, Politics / Government

Publication year 2020Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Teams, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Action / Adventure, Sports, History: Asian, Leadership/Organization/Management, Science / Nature, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Education, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Gender, Relationships: FamilyTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Class, Social Justice, History: Asian, Children's Literature

Twelve-year-old Amal’s dreams of becoming a teacher are shattered when she disrespects the powerful landlord of her Pakistani village and is forced into a life of servitude in the New York Times bestselling Amal Unbound (2018). Author Aisha Saeed is a Pakistani-American teacher, writer, and attorney as well as a founder of the We Need Diverse Books organization. In Amal Unbound, Saeed calls attention to contemporary global inequities, exploring themes of social injustice, education, and... Read Amal Unbound Summary

Publication year 2006Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: ImmigrationTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Bullying, Race / Racism, History: Asian, Immigration / Refugee, Chinese Literature

American Born Chinese is a graphic novel published in 2006 by the American author and illustrator Gene Luen Yang. Through three interweaving stories that span from the 16th century to the present, the novel explores issues of Chinese American identity, anti-Asian racism, and assimilation. American Born Chinese is the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award. The novel also won both the Printz Award from the American Library Association and the... Read American Born Chinese Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, History: Asian

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Historical Fiction, Children's Literature, Asian Literature, Realistic Fiction, Arts / Culture, History: Asian, Poverty, American Literature

A Single Shard (2001) is an award-winning, middle-grade historical novel by Korean American author Linda Sue Park. Park has written multiple children’s books, picture books, and volumes of poetry. Some of her better-known titles include A Long Walk to Water (2010), The Thirty-Nine Clues series in nine volumes (2010), and Prairie Lotus (2020). Much of her historical fiction is based on Korean history. A Single Shard is intended for readers in grades 5 to 7... Read A Single Shard Summary

Publication year 1946Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Self DiscoveryTags Religion / Spirituality, Indian Literature, Philosophy, History: Asian

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) was first published in 1946 and has since become a much-loved and admired book around the world. It is regarded as one of the classics of 20th-century spiritual literature. In 1999, it was named by a HarperCollins panel of authors and scholars as one of the “100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century.” In the book, Yogananda tells the story of his life, beginning with his childhood... Read Autobiography of a Yogi Summary

Publication year 1965Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Historical Fiction, Military / War, WWII / World War II, Japanese Literature, History: Asian, History: U.S., Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Black Rain is a 1965 historical novel by Japanese author Masuji Ibuse. The novel blends authentic accounts and information with a fictional plot to describe the aftermath of the destruction of the Japanese city of Hiroshima by an American atomic bomb in 1945. Black Rain was adapted into a film in 1989. This guide uses an eBook version of the 1979 edition of Black Rain, translated into English by John Bester.Plot SummaryShigematsu Shizuma is a... Read Black Rain Summary

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Equality, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction, History: Asian, Politics / Government, History: U.S., Relationships, WWII / World War II

Burnt Shadows, first published in 2009, is the fifth novel by Pakistani-British author Kamila Shamsie. A political-historical novel, it was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction, one of the UK’s most prestigious literary awards, and won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, which celebrates books that contribute to a greater understanding of racism and diversity. Shamsie has been shortlisted several times for a John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; she also received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature... Read Burnt Shadows Summary

Publication year 1999Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Chinese Literature, History: Asian

Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter (1999) is the autobiography of Adeline Yen Mah and covers her experience growing up in an abusive household during a politically tumultuous era in Chinese history (1937-1952). Yen Mah, who now lives in the United States, made the decision to fulfill her childhood dreams of writing professionally after practicing medicine for several decades according to her father’s wishes. Chinese Cinderella is an abridged version of her... Read Chinese Cinderella Summary

Publication year 1993Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Colonialism / Postcolonialism, History: World, Philosophy, Politics / Government, History: European, History: Middle Eastern, History: Asian

Culture and Imperialism is a nonfiction book published in 1993 by the Palestinian American author and academic Edward Said. Originating from a series of lectures that Said delivered in 1985 and 1986, Culture and Imperialism is an expansion of the ideas set out in his groundbreaking earlier work, Orientalism. Considered one of the founders of the field of post-colonial studies, Said looks at how the formerly colonized margins influence the metropolitan centers, and vice versa... Read Culture and Imperialism Summary

Publication year 2014Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Society: CommunityTags WWII / World War II, Animals, History: World, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Military / War, History: Asian

Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: War, Society: ColonialismTags History: Asian, WWII / World War II, Politics / Government, Military / War

Publication year 2012Genre Biography, NonfictionTags Asian Literature, Immigration / Refugee, History: Asian, Korean Literature

Escape from Camp 14 is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who is the only known person to have been born in and escape from a North Korean labor camp. The book’s author, Blaine Harden, interviewed Shin many times and has also spoken with former camp guards and North Korean traders. His book details Shin’s life both inside and outside the camp, as well as the political landscape in North Korea.As Shin was born in the... Read Escape from Camp 14 Summary

Publication year 1997Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Asian Literature, Chinese Literature, History: Asian

Falling Leaves is an autobiography by Chinese-American author, physician, and activist Adeline Yen Mah. Based on her traumatic childhood and her relationship with an abusive stepmother, as well as her later life in the United States and her troubled first marriage, Falling Leaves explores the Chinese concept of filial duty and the role of women in traditional Chinese culture. Detailing the broader sociocultural and economic changes that form the background of her family’s legacy—spanning from... Read Falling Leaves Summary

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: FamilyTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, History: Asian

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: War, Relationships: Siblings, Natural World: Place, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, WWII / World War II, Military / War, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: Asian, History: U.S., Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Allegory / Fable / Parable, History: Asian

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1990 book for young adults, written by Salman Rushdie. Haroun is the follow-up to Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, which was deemed blasphemous by the Ayatollah (a high-ranking Iranian clergyman) at the time, who pronounced a death sentence on the author. As a response to the ayatollah’s decree, Haroun explores themes of free speech, the need for storytelling, and the value of fiction.Plot SummaryThe novel begins with... Read Haroun and the Sea of Stories Summary

Publication year 1946Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: WarTags Journalism, History: Asian, WWII / World War II, Creative Nonfiction, History: World

Hiroshima, an account of the first atomic bomb used in warfare, is a nonfiction book by John Hersey. Alfred A. Knopf published it in 1946, several months after it first appeared as an article in the New Yorker. The magazine ran the article at the end of August 1946, just after the first anniversary of the dropping of the bomb, devoting the entire issue to the lengthy piece. The issue sold out immediately and was... Read Hiroshima Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Education, Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Language, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: Class, Society: ImmigrationTags Immigration / Refugee, Asian Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, History: Asian

Publication year 2022Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Teams, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: Economics, Society: Education, Society: Globalization, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Politics / Government, History: Asian, Journalism, Social Justice

Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Education, Gender / Feminism, History: Asian, Middle Eastern Literature, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban is an autobiographical book written by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai and published in 2013.Malala Yousafzai was born a little different. From the beginning, her father, Ziauddin, treated her differently than most fathers in Swat, Pakistan treated their daughters. He put her on the family tree, a position usually reserved for the men in the family and nicknamed her... Read I Am Malala Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Class, History: Asian, Politics / Government, Social Justice, Vietnam War

In the Shadow of the Banyan (2012) is a historical fiction novel by the Cambodian American author Vaddey Ratner. Set in the 1970s during the Cambodian genocide, the book’s perspective is from Raami, a seven-year-old girl and the daughter of a minor prince whose family is among the millions of Cambodians persecuted by the Khmer Rouge. While Raami’s story hews very closely to Ratner’s own real-life experiences, the author chose to write a work of... Read In The Shadow Of The Banyan Summary

Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Italian Literature, History: Asian, History: European

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1923-1985) was originally published in 1972 in Italian and translated into English in 1974. Calvino’s ninth novel, it received a Nebula Novel Award nomination in 1975.According to New York Times reviewer Joseph McElroy, Calvino already had the reputation of being Italy’s “most original storyteller” for his use of fantastical and fabulist motifs to explore philosophical and scientific themes such as evolution (McElroy). Invisible Cities continues this trend by using the... Read Invisible Cities Summary

Publication year 1843Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Community, Relationships: FamilyTags History: Asian, Japanese Literature

Publication year 1979Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Asian Literature, Japanese Literature, History: Asian

Nisei Daughter recounts Monica Sone’s childhood in Seattle’s Japanese American community and her experience in the internment camps that housed residents of Japanese ethnicity between 1942 and 1946. The memoir, which has become a seminal text in Asian American studies, was first published in 1953 and then republished in 1979 and 2014, each time with an introduction that reframes the work in its context.The memoir begins with Sone’s realization that she is “a Japanese” when... Read Nisei Daughter Summary

Publication year 1887Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Satire, Historical Fiction, Asian Literature, History: Asian, Politics / Government

Noli Me Tángere (1887)—which translates to “Touch Me Not” in Latin—is a novel written by Filipino writer José Rizal. The novel tells the story of Don Crisóstomo Ibarra, a young man of Filipino and Spanish descent who returns to the Philippines after a seven-year trip to Europe. Upon his return, and because he is now old enough to better understand the world, Ibarra sees the oppression wrought on the Indigenous population by Spanish colonialism. As... Read Noli Me Tángere Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Society: Economics, Society: Colonialism, Society: Class, Society: Globalization, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Politics / Government, Business / Economics, Urban Development, Poverty, Finance / Money / Wealth, History: Asian, History: African , History: European, History: U.S., Social Justice, Class

Planet of Slums is a non-fiction book published in 2006 by American author and urban theorist Mike Davis. It chronicles the spread of poverty in cities around the world at a time when more than a billion people live in what the United Nations (UN) classifies as "slums."SummaryIn 1950, only 86 cities around the world had populations of one million people or more. When Davis wrote this book in 2005, he predicted that by 2015... Read Planet of Slums Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Magical Realism, Health / Medicine, History: Asian, Gender / Feminism, Parenting, Asian Literature

Translated from the Korean by Chi-young Kim, Please Look After Mom (2008) by Kyung-sook Shin is an international work of best-selling fiction. When 69-year-old So-nyo Park goes missing one Saturday outside Seoul Station, her disappearance sets in motion a desperate search not only for where So-nyo might be but for who So-nyo was to her shocked and confused family members. One by one, So-nyo’s family comes to terms with the fact that they didn’t know... Read Please Look After Mom Summary

Publication year 1942Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Society: War, Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Philosophy, Politics / Government, History: Asian, WWII / World War II

Publication year 1994Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: SexualityTags Asian Literature, History: Asian

First published in 1994, Anchee Min’s Red Azalea has won a fair bit of acclaim. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and also won the 1993 Carl Sandburg Literary Award in 1993. As a genre-defying blend of autobiography, memoir, and novel, Red Azalea focuses on the struggle to gain freedom and individual identity amid state-sponsored oppression. As the sole narrator of the novel, Min depicts her own views of the Cultural Revolution... Read Red Azalea Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: RaceTags Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, History: Asian

Publication year 1989Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: ImmigrationTags Chinese Literature, Relationships, History: Asian

“Rules of the Game” is a story in Amy Tan’s 1989 collection, The Joy Luck Club, which was adapted into a film by the same name. Tan was born in California to Chinese immigrant parents and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She wrote the short story in response to an article she read about Chinese Americans playing chess.The story is told by Waverly Place Jong, the daughter of Chinese immigrants living in... Read Rules of the Game Summary

Publication year 1975Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Identity: Language, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, History: Asian, Politics / Government, Military / War, American Literature

Shogun is a 1975 novel by American author James Clavell. It is one of six books in Clavell’s Asian Saga, which chronicles the ways Europeans interacted with countries in Asia from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The novel tells the story of English ship pilot John Blackthorne, loosely based on the real life navigator William Adams, who becomes intimately involved in the rise to power of Yoshi Toranaga, a fictionalized version of Tokugawa Ieyasu... Read Shogun Summary

Publication year 1922Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality, History: Asian

Siddhartha, written by Hermann Hesse and first published in German in 1922, is a work of philosophical fiction. The book is based closely on the teachings of the spiritual leader Gautama Buddha who lived in present day Nepal or Northern India in the 4th or 5th century BCE. The book tells the story of the physical and spiritual journey of a fictional Brahmin’s son Siddhartha, in his quest for self-discovery and the meaning of existence... Read Siddhartha Summary

Publication year 1989Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Society: Immigration, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags History: U.S., History: Asian, Race / Racism, Immigration / Refugee

Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans is a 1989 book by American historian Ronald Takaki. Takaki analyzes the long and diverse history of Asians in America, explaining the personal and economic circumstances that prompted their immigration, and recounting their myriad experiences in their new country. Takaki argues that, traditionally, historians’ Eurocentric histories have neglected to analyze and explain Asian Americans’ role in American history. This has led to a distorted perception... Read Strangers from a Different Shore Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: NationTags History: Asian, Philosophy, Indian Literature, Sociology

Publication year -1Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: TeamsTags Military / War, Business / Economics, Politics / Government, History: Asian, Chinese Literature

The Art of War, written in China during the fifth century BCE by military expert Sun Tzu, has been favored reading among soldiers and strategists for two millennia. Its concise 13 chapters, studied to this day by world leaders and generals from Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong to US Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell, teach victory through studying the opponent, building impregnable defenses, confusing the enemy with diversions, and attacking forcefully its weak spots. The book... Read The Art of War Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Graphic Novel/Book, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Birth, Society: War, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, History: Asian

The artist and writer Thi Bui published her autobiographical graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do, in 2017. Alternating her narrative between her present-day experiences as a new mother in New York City with her parents’ past growing up in and then escaping from Vietnam, Bui builds a complex web of intergenerational trauma and love. This is Bui’s first venture into comic book illustration. The artwork that accompanies her narrative is based on the black... Read The Best We Could Do Summary

Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: War, Relationships: Teams, Identity: Mental HealthTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: U.S., History: Asian, Military / War

The Black Echo (1992) is Michael Connelly’s first novel and the first book in the long-running series featuring Los Angeles police detective Harry Bosch. It won the 1993 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and is now a classic in the modern crime genre. Connelly, who worked as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times while starting his career as a novelist, has written over 37 novels, including 24 featuring Detective Bosch. His works... Read The Black Echo Summary

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, History: Asian

Publication year 1978Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: GenderTags Creative Nonfiction, History: Asian, Chinese Literature

The Death of Woman Wang by Jonathan Spence is a nonfiction history focusing on four crises in 17th-century rural China: problems with tax collection; a widow struggling to protect her child and inheritance from her husband’s relatives; a bloody feud; and the attempt of a woman named Wang to leave her husband.It is from the last topic that the book takes its title. Although Spence does not use the term himself, The Death of Woman... Read The Death of Woman Wang Summary

Publication year 1931Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Natural World: Environment, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Place, Society: CommunityTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, History: Asian

A measure of the quality, prescience, and veracity of Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth is that, nearly a century after its first publication, the book remains required reading in literature, world history, and social science courses. The novel is a simple, straightforward narrative about 50 years in the life of Wang Lung, an uneducated farmer in eastern China in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While this era period was one of continual... Read The Good Earth Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, History: Asian

The Happiest Refugee is a 2010 autobiography by Vietnamese-born, Australian author, actor, comedian, and artist Anh Do. Following his journey from a perilous escape from Communist-ruled Vietnam as a toddler with his large family, to his working-class childhood in Australia where he struggled to fit into the predominantly white society, to his rise as one of Australia’s most sought-after comedians and motivational speakers, The Happiest Refugee is considered one of the most well-received stories of... Read The Happiest Refugee Summary

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Relationships: FamilyTags Psychological Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Disability, Education, Science / Nature, Relationships, History: Asian

The Housekeeper and the Professor, written by Yōko Ogawa, is a work of literary fiction set in modern-day Japan and loosely based on the book The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, a biography of the mathematician Paul Erdös. The Housekeeper and the Professor was originally published in Japanese in 2003; it sold more than one million copies and received the Hon’ya Taisho award in 2004. In 2006, it was adapted into a film version, titled... Read The Housekeeper and the Professor Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Society: WarTags History: Asian, History: World, Politics / Government, Military / War, Religion / Spirituality, Social Justice

Publication year 2008Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Mythology, Immigration / Refugee, History: Asian, Poverty

Kao Kalia Yang was born in Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in 1980 and immigrated to St. Paul, Minnesota when she was six years old. She is agraduate of Carleton College and Columbia University and co-founder of Words Wanted, an organization committed to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services.In her memoir, The Latehomecomer (2008), Yang explores what it means to be Hmong. By remembering her time in Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee camp, and... Read The Latehomecomer Summary

Publication year 1927Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Society: Class, Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Indian Literature, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality, Politics / Government, History: Asian, History: World, Health / Medicine, Poverty, Military / War, Race / Racism, Relationships, Social Justice

The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more widely known as Mahatma Gandhi. A key political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement, Gandhi penned this work to narrate his quest for truth and the principles that underpinned his life’s journey. Originally published in 1927, this memoir provides a meticulous account of Gandhi’s spiritual, moral, and political evolution. The literary era in which this was... Read The Story of My Experiments with Truth Summary