12 great reads by Asian authors out in 2023

We should all support Asian authors so here are 12 great reads


Books by Asian authors

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose 

Following three neighbours who all have their own struggles and imperfect family lives, Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose is a strong debut. The three women have complicated relationships with each other, and each character is 3-dimensional and distinct. In particular, Mishti, who came from India under arranged marriage, is extremely well-written, and you would really feel for her. For fans of The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner and The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth.




Anam by Andre Dao

Written by Andre Dao who comes from an academic background, Anam is multi-layered, with philosophy, history, and memoir all thrown together. The book follows Anam who is keen to learn about his grandfather’s story, and addresses themes such as immigration, forgiveness and sense of identity all in this relatively short read. It is a challenging read but don’t let this put you off from giving this a go. In fact, we would definitely recommend grabbing a pen so you can annotate it as you read.





Dust Child by Nguyen Phan Que Mai 

Dust Child is a love letter to Amerasians born to American men and Vietnamese women during the war. It is very clear that Nguyen Phan Que Mai put in a lot of effort in the research process (please read her letter on Goodreads to learn more about this book.) and this is an important history lesson that everyone should read about, one that you can’t find in textbooks. And of course, the book itself is wonderfully written. The POVs are chosen well and interwoven perfectly, and the themes that range from motherhood to PTSD to discrimination are all treated with great sensitivity.



Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Sutanto 

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers is an incredibly funny read that follows 60-year-old Vera Wong who decides to uncover a murder mystery when a dead body shows up in her tea shop one day. While books featuring Asian characters are on the rise these days, this book shines light upon an Asian older lady and how Asian immigrants of our parents’ age suffer from loneliness. Jesse Sutanto chatted with us about how her mum feels about being the inspiration, and you can understand why this is such a heartwarming read.




Y/N by Esther Yi 

Those who have read fan fictions, especially those about your favorite celebrities such as One Direction and BTS, would recognize the term Y/N. And for those who haven’t, Y/N stands for “your name”, which allows the reader to insert their own name as they read the fan fiction. In Y/N, Esther Yi brings readers to the world of KPOP as her character goes from Berlin to Seoul in search of Moon (basically Jimin). And through this, Esther Yi explores fandom culture and celebrity obsession. It is a wild ride and us being pop culture fans (check out our coverage on Harry Styles and BTS), Y/N is definitely a thought-provoking read.





Ghost Girl, Banana by Wiz Wharton

“Ghost girl”, also known as “gwaimui”, is what HongKongers call a white girl, and “banana” is what East Asians call someone who is an Asian but is more into western culture. In Ghost Girl, Banana we follow Lily who visits Hong Kong to understand who her mother was prior to moving to London in 1966. The story is split between Lily in present days (1997) and her mother Sook-Yin in 1966. Sook-Yin’s chapters are done especially well as they present a striking difference, yet some similarities, with Lily, and even HongKongers in the UK today.




The Moon Represents My Heart by Pim Wangtechawat 

For those who don’t know, The Moon Represents My Heart is a famous Mandarin song. And just like how the original title is a song, Pim Wangtechawat’s debut reads like a poem. In this book, we follow a family who can time travel, and in particular, the son Tommy who travels into the past after the disappearance of his parents. Time-travelling is used effectively here, as it helps explore the concept of the generational impact of choices in the book.





Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

Age of Vice follows three people entangled with the powerful Wadia family — servant Ajay, heir Sunny and journalist Neda. Readers get to enjoy rich descriptions of both the urban and rural environments and Deepti Kapoor does not shy away from describing the corruption and inequalities that surround modern India.





Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin 

Since we last recommended Wandering Souls in our Jan to Mar debut roundup, this book has garnered even more accolades and attention, such as being shortlisted for Waterstones’ Debut Fiction Prize. And it deserves every one of these awards because the story of Vietnamese refugees is an important one and it is clear that Cecile Pin has done a lot of research for this thought-provoking tale.





What Women Want by Maxine Mei Fung Chung

What Women Want is a much-needed non-fiction title in our recommendation list. Based on Maxine Mei-Fung Chung’s own experience as a psychotherapist, this book follows 7 women from very different walks of life. Each chapter is very well written, and it feels as if you are pulled into the patient’s journey, instead of reading about some case studies. Maxine Mei-Fung Chung actually recommended us more non-fiction books written by phenomenal women, and you can also read her chat about her grandma being a phenomenal woman here.

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