The Best Asian Literature

Fascinating and colourful Asia, from spiritual India across Burma, Vietnam and China to the mystic islands of the Philippines. All with their own impressive history, religion, culture and literary traditions.

For everyone who is interested in Asian culture, its  people and history, this site offers a collection of the best contemporary literature, historical fiction and beautiful stories set in Asia on audiobooks.  

“It is literature which for me opened the mysterious and decisive doors of imagination and understanding. To see the way others see. To think the way others think. And above all, to feel” - Salman Rushdie

New Releases - Asian Literature

 

Literature is such a profound and deep way to look into someone else's life, his mind, his hopes and thoughts. Books have opened so many doors for me, taking me to places where my normal life and its finite limits could never have. Jhumpa Lahiri

The Best Asian Literature New Japan

Rainbirds

Clarissa Goenawan

March 2018

Ren Ishida’s sister is murdered in a small desolated village in Japan. The police doesn’t have a clue about what happened.

Although he has not seen his sister for a long time, they have always had a special bond. Ren wants to know why his sister left Tokyo. And to find out why she was murdered, he follows in her footsteps. Will Ren eventually manage to discover her secrets?

The Best Asian Literature New

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1)

January 2018

The author of the Rei Shimura series set in Japan, now comes with a new historical mystery taking place in India in the 1920’s. Perveen Mistry, a female lawyer in Bombay, 

is committed  to de legal rights of women. While she is investigating an inheritance she discovers that dangerous things are happening on Malabar hill.

The Best Asian Literature New Mira Lee

January 2018

About the relation of two sisters born in China. Lucia, de younger one, immigrated to the US because of her husband. Miranda is living in Switzerland. When their mother dies Lucia gets mentally ill and Miranda wants to help and protect her younger sister. But for Lucia it is not that easy to accept de doctor’s diagnosis of schizophrenia and it is even more difficult to let her sister into her life.

The Best Asian Literature New

January 2018

South Korea 1943, during the Japanese occupation Hana is an Haenyo, a female diver of the sea. While she is diving one day she sees that her younger sister is approached by a Japanese soldier.

Hannah swims back to the coast to protect her sister Emi. Hanna is violently taken away and forced to work as a comfort woman on a Japanese military base. In 2011 Emi is still struggling with the sacrifice that Hannah made and she wonders what happened to her sister.

The Best Asian Literature North Korea

December 2017

Based on a true story. In 1958, when Masaji Ishikawaw (pen name) was 13 years old his family moved to North Korea. But live in the totalitarian state was not the ‘paradise on earth’ as Kim Il Sung had promised. After 36 years of hardships Masaji manages to cross the Yalu river into China and returns to Japan.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. S. I. Hayakawa

The Best Asian Literature New China

Happy Dreams

Jia Pingwa

October 2017

Like many Chinese rural people, Liu and his friend Wufu move from the countryside to the city of Xi’an, looking for work and they start their career in garbage collection. Liu, who later changes his name to happy, also wants to find the person to whom he donated a kidney. While the optimist Happy tries to belong to the city, Wufu misses this birthplace.

The Best Asian Literature New Camron Wright

October 2017

From the author of the best selling Rent Collector a book based on true events set in India. 

Chellamuthu is seven when he taken from the streets and sold to an orphanage. He is adopted by an American family and gets a new name Taj Rowland. When he meets a Indian family during his study in London, Taj wants to return to India to search for his past and his family.

The Ministery of Utmost Happiness Arundhati Roy
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A novel

Arundhati Roy

June 6,  2017

Twenty years after the publishing of the bestselling ‘The God of Small Things’ Arundhati Roy comes with her new novel about a transgender woman, Anjum., who was born as a son called Aftab For years Anjum lived with exotic transgender creatures (Hijras) until she decides to move to a graveyard to start a new life.

Kevin Kwan The Best Asian Literature New
Rich People Problems: A Novel 

May 2017

The popular writer Kevin Kwan, born in Singapore, wrote a new book about the rivalries, intrigues and jealousy within the rich Asian upperclass. When the grandmother of Nicholas is dying, relatives from all over the world suddenly turn up to make a claim on the upcoming heritage. What follows are hilarious situations of backstabbing, love schemes, kidnappings and conflicts between the different family members. 

Observing humans and observing oneself yields a clear-minded starting point for literature.

Gao Xingjian

The Best Indian Literature Books
The Color of Our Sky

April 2017

Set in the late 1980’s in Mumbai Tara and Mukta are close childhood friends. Mukta is a servant for the family of Tara and when in the aftermath of the 1993 bombings in Mumbai Tara and her father move to the States, Mukta stays behind and is sold in the sex trade. 

Tara not only grieves for the loss of her childhood friend but also struggles with feelings of guilt. More than 10 years later Tara returns to India to find Mukta.

Vaddey Ratner The Best Asian Literature New
Music of the Ghosts: A Novel

April 2017

The new novel from the author of ‘In the Shadow of the Banyan’ is about Teera who fled Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime when she was a child. Now in her mid thirties and living in the US she receives a letter from someone who wants to tell her about her father, who disappeared during the Cambodian horror regime. When Teera returns to her homeland she meets the author of the letter, an man who plays music at a temple. The ‘Old Musician, as he is called, tells Teera about what happened to her father.

The Best Asian Literature
The Hour of Daydreams

March  2017

Manolo Lualhati, a respected doctor in the Philippine countryside, believes his wife Tala hides a secret. As Tala tries to keep her dangerous past from her husband, Manolo begins questioning the gaps in her stories—and his suspicions push him even further from the truth.

New Releases - Audio Books Asia

 
The Best Audiobooks Asia New

Chang-rae Lee and Greg Watanabe

18 April 2018

Franklin Hata, Korean by birth but raised in Japan is a respectable member of an suburban New York community.

Franklin was never married but adopted a girl from a Japanese orphanage, Sunny. In her adolescence, when Sunny rebels against her father and his exemplary behaviour with the words: “You make a whole life out of gestures and politeness", Franklin explains that his behaviour and emotional distance comes from his experiences of his life as a paramedical officer serving in the Japanese army in Burma and his forbidden love for a Korean comfort woman.

The Best Audiobooks Asia new
Bury What We Cannot Take: A Novel

March 2018

Set in the early 1950’s, 12 Year old Liam is a loyal supporter of Mao and to prove his loyalty he writes the Communist Party that his grandmother smashed a portrait of Mao. This has far reaching consequences, the family must flee China and try to get to Hong Kong. But the little sister San San does not get a visa and stays behind in China. Constantly on the run from the authorities, San San’s mother tries to rescue her.

The Best Audiobooks Korea

February 2018

Starting in 1945 in South Korea, this is a story about grandmother Isuel, who tries to survive and take care of her children in the aftermath of the second world war. But then the Korean War breaks out and Isuel falls for an alleged North Korean spy.

The Best Audiobooks Vietnam war
Fire Road: The Napalm Girl's Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace

October 2017

This is the story of Kim Phuc, the girl in the picture that ran away naked from a napalm attack in Vietnam in the 1970’s. The picture gained fame across the world as an anti Vietnam war symbol. Kim narrates her childhood in Vietnam, the everlasting pain of the burning wounds across her body, her life in Canada and the importance of her faith in God in her recovery.

Haruki Murakami Audiobook

May 2017

Murakami’s book consists of seven stories centred around the theme of loneliness. About lonely men who have no woman and who pounder over the difference between men and women. And of course a role for stray cats and jazz bars.

Audiobooks Indian Literature

The Windfall

Diksha Basu and Soneela Nankani

June 2017

When the Jha family suddenly becomes very rich, their whole life and how people see them is turned upside down. They move to a rich area of New Delhi and whilst they can afford everything money can buy, they struggle to keep the family together and to adapt from a middle class family to the status that goes with their new extravagant way of life. 

Lisa See The Best Audiobooks Asia

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

March 2017

Li Yan and her family live in a remote mountain village in China. They live by the growing of tea. But when a stranger arrives in the village will their peaceful lives change dramatically.

The Best Audiobooks North Korea Bandi

The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea

April 2017

Between 1989 and 1995, a North Korean writer (by the pseudonym of Bandi), started in secret to write stories about ordinary people’s daily life under Kim Il-sung's totalitarian regime. In 2013 his manuscripts were smuggled out of the country and the seven short stories illustrating the absurdity and horrifying character of the North Korean dictatorship are now published.

Shion Miura The Best Audiobooks Asia new
The Great Passage
Shion Miura

June 2017

Raki and Majime are fascinated by words and their meanings. Together with other scholars  they start a project to write a dictionary ‘The Great Passage’. During the ten years that it takes to finish this huge project the different characters share everything they consider important in life  but above all their passion for words. The film version of the novel, released in 2013, was well received.

Asian literature is evolving with the people. It's always a reflection on what's happening to the culture at large. Kevin Kwan

The Best Asian Literature and Audio Books - Bestsellers

The Best Haruki Murakami
The Best Haruki Murakami
The Best Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is one of the greatest Japanese best-selling authors. With the publication of his novel 'Norwegian Wood' he gained international popularity. 

In Murakami’s book transitions between real and surreal dimensions occur, characters slip through portals, take elevators or climb down wells to find themselves in kafkaesque worlds.

Most of his novels are also published as audiobooks.

Jhumpa Lahiri The Best Indian Literature
Jhumpa Lahiri The Best Indian Literature
Jhumpa Lahiri The Best Indian Literature

With Indian parents but herself born in London and now living in the U.S. , Jhumpa Lahiri writes beautiful stories

about Indian immigrants and the idea of otherness in the country they live in. 

The short story collection, 'Interpreter of Maladies' won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  'Unaccustomed Earth' follows the lives of Indian American people and how they deal with their mixed cultural environment. 

More about Lahiri' s  audiobooks.

 
Korean Fiction Books Suki Kim

In 2011 Suki Kim spends 6 months as a teacher at an university in Pyongyang. Her account of North Korea and how the people cope in this closed off world is bizarre and impressive.

Tan Twan Eng The Best Asian Literature

Set in the Cameron Highlands in the 1950's. About Yun's traumatic memories of WOII, the fate of her sister and her relation with the mysterious Arimoto, once the gardener of the emperor of Japan.

Bestsellers Asian Literature Yoshimoto

Kitchen

By cooking and cleaning in the kitchen Mikage tries to overcome her grief for her grandmother who has passed away. But then she meets Yuichi and his mother Eriko.

In the story Moonlight Shadow Satsuki and Hiirage both handle their loss of a beloved one in their own different way. 

Karan Mahajan Bestsellers Indian Literature

The Association of Small Bombs

The brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana die when a bomb detonates in a Delhi marketplace. Their friend Mansoor survives and leaves for the States to study. But when Mansoor returns to India, he meets Ayub, a young activist and Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb maker.

Bestsellers - Audio Books Asia

 
Vaddey Ratner In the Shadow of the Banyan
In the Shadow of the Banyan

The childhood of seven year old Raami ends when the Khmer Rouge army enter the streets of Phnom Penh. Over the next four years the life of Raami is shattered by Pol Pot's genocide. Her father is killed and most of her family perished and she and her mother exiled to the countryside into forced labour. But the young girl tries to survive by remembering the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father.

The White Tiger Audiobooks Indian Literature
The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga

Balram, the son of a rickshaw puller is forced to leave school to support his family. He starts to work in a teashop and by talking with customers he learns about India's government and economy. Eventually Balram decides to become a driver and travels to Delhi, where he works as a chauffeur to a rich landlord. But then, he kills his boss and steals his money and Balram flees to Bangalore. 

Audiobook 1q84 Haruki Murakami

1q84

The year is 1984, the city is Tokyo and this is the story of Aomame and Tengo, who meet each other in the parallel world of the year 1Q84. The mysterious bond of the two former classmates leads to dangerous adventures.

Kirstin Chen Bestsellers Audiobooks Asia
Soy Sauce for Beginners

Kirstin Chen

Gretchen Lin leaves San Francisco to return to Singapore, where she grew up. There she is faced with her mother’s drinking problem and her father’s soy sauce business. Whilst her father wants her to stay permanently in Singapore, her mother wants her to go back to pursue her career in San Francisco and save her marriage. But at the end Gretchen has to decide for herself...

Obasan Joy Kogawa Audiobook
Obasan
Joy Kogawa

About a Japanese family in Canada during World War II narrated by the 5 year old Naomi.

After Pearl Harbor Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry were relocated and their property was confiscated. Joy Kogawa, born in 1935 in Canada, and her Japanese-Canadian family were forced to move to British Columbia during the Second World War.

Ghachar Ghochar Audiobooks Asia
Ghachar Ghochar
Vivek Shanbhag

The life of a young man and his family, suddenly changes when his uncle makes a fortune in the spice trade in India. From being poor and making ends meet they have to adjust to a world where old values are replaced by conflicting loyalties, intimidation and the consequences of being rich.

Audiobooks Korea Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master's Son

Audiobook North Korea

Adam Johnson

2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

 Pak Jun Do is the son of the master of a work camp for orphans. Because of his loyalty Jun Do rises in the ranks of the bureaucracy and he becomes a spy, a kidnapper and surveillance officer. He falls in love with Sun Moon, the greatest opera star ever. But eventually his role as hero of the state is turned into one of a prisoner in a labor camp. 

The Best Historical Fiction Books Asia

 
Arthur Golden Historical Fiction Books Japan
Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden

The classic and bestseller of books about Geisha's in Japan. Adapted into a movie...read more

The Glass Palace Historical Fiction Books India
The Glass Palace

Historical fiction: an epic saga about the lives of Rajkumar and Dolly in Burma and India from 1885 to the 1990's.

Amitav Ghosh Historical Fiction Books Inda
Sea of Poppies

By Set sail on the ship the Ibis and live in the 19th century among people who travelled between India, China and Mauritius...

Tan Twan Eng Historical Fiction Asia
The Gift of Rain

Set in Penang Malaysia just before and during the Second World War, the exciting story of Philip and Endo, a mysterious aikido master.