12 books by Asian authors coming in 2021

We welcome 2021 like we did last year, with a list of exciting books by Asian authors which we are looking forward to reading! 

We raced through an incredible range of books last year, and were privileged to interview some of those authors for Bottom Drawer series. Nina Mingya Powles, who contributed to the series, will be releasing her award-winning publication Small Bodies of Water with Canongate Books this Autumn.

2021 also sees new books by well-respected authors such as Kazuo Ishiguro from Faber & Faber and Jhumpa Lahiri from Bloomsbury Publishing, as well as a new translation for award-winning Korean author Kwon Yeon-Sun and a new anthology of writings about Ramallah edited by Maya Abu Al-hayat from Comma Press. We look forward to delving into them when they are released!

'The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing' by Sonia Faleiro

Bloomsbury Circus, released 21 January

A non-fiction, narrative reportage from Sonia Faleiro.

“It was an ordinary night when two girls, Padma and Lalli, went missing. The next day, their bodies were found – hanging in the orchard, their clothes muddied. 
 
In the ensuing months, the investigation into their deaths would implode everything that their small community held to be true, and instigated a national conversation about sex, honour and violence.

Full details can be found on the Bloomsbury website.

'Bride Of The Sea' by Eman Quotah

Tin House Books, released 26 January

A compelling fiction story set across Cleveland, Ohio and Saudi Arabia.

“Eman 
Quotah’s Bride of the Sea is a spellbinding debut of colliding cultures, immigration, religion, and family; an intimate portrait of loss and healing; and, ultimately, a testament to the ways we find ourselves inside love, distance, and heartbreak.”

Full details can be found on the Tin House website.

'How We Met: A Memoir About Grief, Love and Growing Up' by Huma Qureshi

Elliot & Thompson, released 28 January

“A beautiful, refreshing and honest memoir about family, love, inheritance and loss” – Nikesh Shukla, author of Brown Baby

“Growing up in Walsall in the 1990s, Huma straddled two worlds – school and teenage crushes in one, and the expectations and unwritten rules of her family’s south Asian social circle in the other. Reconciling the two was sometimes a tightrope act, but she managed it. Until it came to marriage.”

Full details can be found on the Elliot & Thompson website.

'Land of Big Numbers' by Te-Ping Chen

Scribner, released 4 Feburary

A brother competes for gaming glory while his twin sister exposes the dark side of the Communist government on her underground blog; a worker at a government call centre is alarmed one day to find herself speaking to a former lover; a delicious new fruit arrives at the neighbourhood market and the locals find it starts to affect their lives in ways they could never have imagined; and a young woman’s dreams of making it big in Shanghai are stalled when she finds herself working as a florist. 
 
These are just some of the myriad lives to be evoked in The Land of Big Numbers, a collection of stories.

Full details can be found here on the Scribner, Simon & Schuster website.

'Klara and The Sun' by Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber & Faber, released 2 March

The newest novel since Ighiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

“The novel tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

Full details can be found on the Faber & Faber website.

'Zara Hossain Is Here' by Sabina Khan

Scholastic Press, released 6 April

This book is aimed at young adults from the author of the heart-wrenching yet hopeful (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali. 

Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.

More details can be found here.

'Whereabouts' by Jhumpa Lahiri

Bloomsbury Publishing, released 4 May

The new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author.

“A rare work of fiction, Whereabouts – first written in Italian and then translated by the author herself – brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement. A dazzling evocation of a city, its captures a woman standing on one of life’s thresholds, reflecting on what has been lost and facing, with equal hope and rage, what may lie ahead.

Full details can be found on the Bloomsbury website.

'How To Kidnap The Rich' by Rahul Raina

Little Brown, released 6 May

A debut novel by a young and exciting new voice! 

“Ramesh is an ‘examinations consultant’. He is a cog in the wheel that keeps India’s middle classes thriving. When he takes an exam for Rudi – an intolerably lazy but rich teenager – he accidently scores the highest mark in the country and propels Rudi into stardom. What Next? “

More details can be found here.

'Diamond Hill' by Kit Fan

Dialogue Books, released 13 May

Set in the last shanty town of Hong Kong before the fraught 1997 handover from Britain to China, Diamond Hill follows the return of a recovering heroin addict, Buddha, as he tries to salvage what’s left from a place he hoped to forget. 
 
“Kit Fan’s hard-hitting and exhilarating debut is a requiem for a disappearing city, and a meditation on powerlessness, religion, colonialism and displacement. It explores the price of forgetting and how the present is ultimately always entangled in the past.” 

Full details can be found on the Little Brown website.

'Small Bodies of Water' by Nina Mingya Powles

Canongate, released August

In experimental and lyrical prose that blends personal memories and dreams with nature writing, Small Bodies of Water examines a girlhood spent growing up between two cultures. 

From the rainforest waterfalls of Borneo to the wild coastline of New Zealand and the Ladies’ Pond in Hampstead Heath, this book explores migration, food, family and the bodies of water that separate and connect us. 

More details can be found here.

'Lemon' by Kwon Yeo-sun, translated by Janet Hong

Apollo, released 7 October

 A haunting literary crime debut from an award-winning Korean author.

In 2002, my sister was murdered. Like someone who doesn’t realize spring is over, I didn’t know I’d lost myself. Lemon, lemon, lemon, my revenge has finally begun.”

Though the book loosely follows the structure of the detective novel, finding the culprit is not the main objective here. Instead, the work explores grief and trauma, and asks important questions about guilt, retribution, and the meaning of death and life.” 

Full details can be found on the Bloomsbury website.

'The Book Of Ramallah' edited by Maya Abu Al-Hayat

Comma Press

A series of stories in this anthology demonstrate, Ramallah as a city of countless contradictions; defiant in its resistance against the occupying forces, but frustrated and divided by its own secrets and conservatism.

Through humour, and precious moments of intimacy, however, we glimpse life inside this city of
refuge; an image of hope abiding even under the eye of a merciless occupation.

More details can be found here.

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