Believe it or not, we’re already midway through 2018. We’re celebrating by rounding up the best books by South Asian authors published between January and June 30, 2018. Check out our favorites below.
“A State of Freedom” by Neel Mukherjee
Migration, displacement, and the desire to build a new life are the major themes of Mukherjee’s latest novel. He takes readers inside the lives of India’s vibrant working class and their drive to reinvent their lives. A Mumbai-based book and a young woman escaping violence in her home village are among the five interwoven stories that make up “A State of Freedom.”
Grab your copy here.
“Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje
In “Warlight,” his seventh novel, Ondaatje examines the turmoil of post-World War II London through the eyes of siblings Nathaniel and Rachel. The teens are left in England under the guardianship of a mysterious man known as The Moth when their parents decide to move to Singapore. As the pair wonder if they are being raised by a criminal, their mother suddenly returns without her husband with little explanation about where he is or how they will move forward.
Order this highly-praised novel by heading here.
“Love, Hate and Other Filters” by Samira Ahmed
Like many children of immigrants, Maya Aziz feels like she is caught between two worlds. The main character of Ahmed’s “Love, Hate and Other Filters” knows that her parents have a very specific idea of the kind of person a good Indian daughter has to be. But Maya dreams of one day going to film school and of telling her crush her feelings one day.
Find this wonderful young adult novel here.
“The Life to Come” by Michelle de Kretser
The complicated lives Michelle de Kretser brings to life all intersect in some way with Pippa, a young Australian fiction writer who dreams of fame yet lacks the talent to succeed. Set in both Sri Lanka and Australia, “The Life to Come” details the complexities of migration, motherhood, the complexities of aging and more.
Order it here.
“Hurts to Love You” by Alisha Rai
Evangeline Chandler, the heroine of Rai’s “Hurts to Love You,” is a sheltered young woman who knows her family has strict standards — especially when it comes to the men she is expected to date. Despite that, Evangeline has secretly nursed a years-long crush on Gabriel Hunter, who is both her brother’s best friend and the son of a housekeeper. When a wedding party throws Eve and Gabe together, they are forced to confront both their attraction to each other.
Get this widely praised romance novel today.
“Amal Unbound” by Aisha Saeed
In this touching novel, protagonist Amal’s life abruptly changes when she is forced into indentured servitude by the most powerful landlord in her Pakistani village. Saeed’s first middle grade novel poignantly illustrates one girl’s determination to get an education. “I am really proud of ‘Amal Unbound’ because it is about patriarchy and it is also about hoping when there’s no reason to hope anymore,” Saeed told us after the book released. “It’s about being the one person to take on something and to be brave.”
Order it today.
“My So-Called Bollywood Life” by Nisha Sharma
With a title like “My So-Called Bollywood Life,” readers know that they are in for a juicy teen dramedy. Sharma delivers with a young adult novel that incorporates destiny, identity and first love. “ I would describe [main character Winnie’ as a New Jersey high drama teen who loves Bollywood movies and who is trying to find out whether or not whether she should believe in a predetermined destiny or if she has the right to choose her own path,” Sharma told us in May.
Find this fun teen novel here.
“Mariam Sharma Hits The Road” by Sheba Karim
In her new novel “Mariam Sharma Hits the Road,” Karim introduces us to three best friends who suddenly discover the urge to get away after one (unwittingly) becomes the center of a community scandal. The titular Sharma decides to hit the road with her best friends with tow, setting off a memorable summer for all three. “Some of the best parts of the road trip are the conversations you have in the car, and I’ve tried to capture this in my book,” Karim recently told us.
Order the book that’s being called the first South Asian American road trip novel here.
For more of our reading recommendations, check out this list of South Asian beach reads and this list of titles by LGBT authors.