If ten years ago you asked me to name an Asian-American author, my only answer would have been Amy Tan. She wrote the best-selling novel, The Joy Luck Club, about four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco. It came out in 1989—that’s a quarter of a century ago.
In recent years, however, more and more Asian-American writers have emerged from the woodwork and made a name for themselves by sharing their unique stories with the world. Let me tell you about a few authors who are currently doing just that!
1. Peter Tieryas Liu
Peter Tieryas Liu is no stranger to the writing world. His short stories have been featured in a wide variety of publications, such as the Indiana Review, Electric Literature and Camera Obscura Journal. In 2012, he released his first book; a short story collection titled Watering Heaven that was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2013. His upcoming debut novel, Bald New World (due out May 30), was recently featured on Buzzfeed’s 15 Highly Anticipated Books From (Mostly) Small Presses and is described as a combination of stylings of Philip K. Dick, Haruki Murakami and Aldous Huxley. Liu currently blogs at The Whimsy of Creation: The Blog of Tieryas.
2. EJ Koh
Though still a newcomer to the publishing world, EJ Koh has been writing since her last year of her undergrad studies at UC Irvine. As a poet, she has been published in TriQuarterly, Southeast Review, Columbia Review and more. In 2013, she was even named number 2 of Flavorwire’s 23 People Who Will Make You Care More About Poetry. She made her debut as an author last spring with Red; a sci-fi-fantasy thriller in a spirit-driven world where a young girl strives to find the strength within her to enact revenge on her mother’s killer. Red went on to become Top Rated in all of Sci-fi/Fantasy on Amazon, right next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. She is currently working on a children’s book as well as another novel and can be found blogging at This Is EJ Koh.
3. Soman Chainani
At a time when the fairy tales of Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen are seemingly making a comeback, long time fairy tale admirer Soman Chainani joins among the rankings of summoners. In 2013, he released his first novel The School for Good and Evil; the first in a trilogy that follows two best friends, Sophie and Agatha, as they venture off to a school where they’re groomed for their roles for life, and where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one. The School for Good and Evil went on to appear on the New York Times Bestseller List the week of its release and was on the ABA’s National Indie Bestseller List for 12 weeks. The books are to be adapted by Universal Studios, with Chainani penning the screenplays, and the second book in the trilogy, The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes, is set for release on April 15. More information on the series can be found on Chainani’s official website.