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SimbaPrideland

Book recommendations set in the far east

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Hi there,

 

I have recently read a selection of books set in the far east and I have enjoyed all of them. The books included; red lotus, empress orchid, snow flower and the secret fan, memoirs of a geisha and peony in love.

 

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend any other books set in the far east Japan or China etc. They can be fiction or non fiction as I've heard that Wild Swans is good.

 

Thanks in advance :)

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James Clavell's 'Asian Saga' books are pretty good. 

 

Shogun (Japan)

Tai Pan (Hong Kong / China)

Gai Jin (Japan / China)

King Rat (Changi, WW2)

Noble House (Hong Kong)

 

Whirlwind (Iran)

Escape (Iran)

 

Wild Swans is good, and I enjoyed Memoirs of A Geisha. I have also read and enjoyed JG Ballard's Empire Of The Sun. 

 

I know I have read others, but for the life of me I cannot remember them at the moment!  :doh: I will have a rummage on my books shelves and see if that jogs my memory.  :smile:

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Seconding Clavell's books. I read Shogun and Tai Pan when I was in highschool and liked them very much. 

 

Does India count as far east? I recently re-read Burmese Days by George Orwell and the action takes place in Burma during the English colonization. I'd also mention Bengal Nights by Mircea Eliade. It's a fictional love story where you can read about cultural differences between the author and his lover 

 

On a different note, have you tried reading some authors from those parts? Haruki Murakami is quite popular worldwide and he wrote some very good novels, though not in the same historical/fictional theme. 

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I enjoyed the Fox Woman by Kij Johnson. It's set in heian era Japan and has some elements of Japanese folk tales.

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The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is one of my favorite books. I second Wild Swans- so good.

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If Afghanistan isn't too far west, then I can recommend any of Khaled Hosseini's books, "The Kite Runner" , "A thousand, splendid suns" & "and the mountains echoed" .

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There's a great collection of short stories by Chinese author Yiyun Li called A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.

 

I'd also recommend the novels Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester (who is an excellent writer) which is set in Hong Kong, and The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh is set in Burma (Myanmar).  For something a bit different, you could try the non-fiction memoir The Hotel on the Roof of the World by Alec Le Sueur which is about his time working in Tibet.

 

Although it's a children's book (aimed at ages 9-12), Moon Bear by Gill Lewis is excellent read and set in Laos, and I soon forgot it was aimed at children.

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Books that I have and recommend (some more than others):

 

Brunei - Written in Black - KH Lim
Burma – The Road to Wanting: Wendy Law-Yone, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: Jan-Philip Sandker (I would definitely recommend both of these)

Cambodia – When Broken Glass Floats – Chanrithy Him, Survival in the Killing Fields - Haing Ngor 
China – The Vagrants – Yi Yun Li
Hong Kong - Girl in Translation - Jean Kwok, Whispering Shadows - Jan-Philippe Sendker 

Indonesia - Hotel K - Kathryn Bonella, The Tea Lords - Hella S Haase

Japan – Norwegian Wood: Haruki Murakami, Hiroshima - John Hersey

Korea North – Nothing to Envy – Barbara Dimmock, Escape From Camp 14 - Blain Harden

Korea South – Please Look After Mother: Kyung-sook Shin, The Vegetarian - Han Kang 

Macau - The Fan Tan Players - Julian Lees
Malaysia - Evening is the Whole Day - Preeta Samarasan, The Gift of Rain - Tan Twan Eng

Mongolia - On the Trail of Genghis Khan - Tim Cope, Mongol - Uuganaa Ramsay
Papua New Guinea - Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones
Philippines - Banana Heart Summer - Merlinda Bobis

Singapore - Singapore Sling - John Malathronas
Thailand - The Beach - Alex Garland

Edited by Talisman

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Nothing to Envy and Escape From Camp 14 both were great. Grim, but great. I completely forgot to mention Hiroshima, one of the books I have read that made a big impact on me.

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