Finding Books By South Asian American Writers

From the very first, Masala My Life included the idea of listing and linking to books by South Asian American writers. There’s only one reason behind this — we love to read.  

Books are vital to, well, to everything.

With these books, children can see and learn about their own importance as Americans and not as outsiders. With books, young adults can see their dreams and their challenges represented.  With books, the South Asian American identity carves its own place in American literature. All that aside, it’s just pure joy to read characters like young loves Dimple and Rishi (When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon) and siblings Amar, Huda, and Hadia (A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza).  

If you’re looking for a gift for a family with a new baby, you can search the children's category, which includes board and picture books such as the spectacular Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala by Meenal Patel. Going to a 16th birthday party or high school graduation, try young adult or fiction. For an escape, the romance authors are ready with offerings that are pure fun. Nonfiction includes poignant stories such as Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience by Anuradha Bhagwati and Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad by Krystal Sital.

Masala My Life compiles books by South Asian American writers — giving you one place to go to find great reads that happen to include South Asian American characters or subjects. We are focused on books published recently and on books that are truly about, by or for South Asian Americans. The links will take you to Amazon to purchase, and Masala My Life receives a small commission.  

We should also point out that these books, all of them, are intended for any audience but they may have particular relevance to Americans with connections to South Asia. It’s the flip side of representation — it’s important for anyone to be able to read characters from any culture but equally important to see yourself represented at least sometimes.

If you think there's books we should include, email us at or drop us a line to let us know how you felt about the books!

— Anu Mannar

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