What are the best Chinese historical fiction books?

asked by Anonymous
162 contributors
17 solutions
  1. 20

    #1Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a historical fiction novel by Lisa See, which tells the story of Lily, who was paired with Snow Flower as her "laotong that is set in the 19th century in China. 
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    Anonymous
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "I learned so many things about Chinese culture and traditions by reading this book. Lisa See has a way with words that makes it so easy to understand foreign concepts, and I easily sympathized with the book's characters despite the cultural and temporal differences."
  2. 18

    #2Pavilion of Women

    Pavilion of Women

    Pavilion of Women is a novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author, Pearl S. Buck. It tells the story of Madame Wu, who retired from the marriage bed, found a concubine for her husband, and took control of her own life.

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    Anonymous
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "Pavilion of Women is my favorite book by Pearl S. Buck. I love books about strong, defiant women, and Madame Wu is a prime example of that. It's exhilarating to read a book with a clear stance on gender issues, especially one published from the last century."
  3. 17

    #3Girl in Translation

    Girl in Translation
    Girl in Translation is a young adult historical fiction novel written by Jean Kwok. It tells the story of immigrants and their experiences in order to succeed and fulfill their duty for their own lives and for their family.

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    Anonymous
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "While I love this book and all it conveys about the immigrant experience, it's not exactly historical fiction."
  1. 16

    #4The Good Earth

    The Good Earth

    Pearl S. Buck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Good Earth is about the life of a poor Chinese farmer. Through drought and flood, Wang Lung and his family, as do other peasant farmers, struggle to make ends meet.

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    Anonymous
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "After reading this book, I realized the reason why this book is considered a classic, and why it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931. It's an honest story that goes directly to the point without airs or graces, providing a great portrait of Chinese culture prior to the revolution."
  2. 16

    #5The Ghost Bride

    The Ghost Bride
    The Ghost Bride is a historical fantasy novel by Yangsze Choo. Set in 19th-century China, it tells the story of Li Lian, who gets an offer to become the ghost bride of a rich family's dead son through a spirit marriage.

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    Anonymous
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "What I love most about reading historical fiction novels is that I learn so many things along the way. The Ghost Bride is set in 19th century Malaysia, but it's about a Chinese family deeply rooted in their ancestors' traditions, which means that I learned a great deal about Chinese folklore and Malaysia before it became Malaysia."
  3. 14

    #6Peony in Love

    Peony in Love
    Peony in Love is a historical fiction novel by Lisa See. It tells the story of Peony, a 15-year-old girl in 17th century China. Restricted by the rules set upon girls, she longs for true love in the midst of her arranged marriage.


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    Roy Burke
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I read this recently, because it had been recommended to me by a friend. I was already interested in China and its history, so I thought this could be good. It is a good read, and it kept me captivated. Lisa See writes these historical fiction books well, and I think any book she has written is worth a read."
  4. 12

    #7The Joy Luck Club

    The Joy Luck Club
    The Joy Luck Club is a best-selling novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of a group of four Chinese women who meet together for mahjong and companionship. Later, their daughters continue the tradition.
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    Elizabeth Lawson
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "The Joy Luck Club is a mutli-generational story of women and young girls in China. The book is warm and intelligent. It really makes you think about the people you meet and how each person is unique and has a story. "
  5. 11

    #8The Last Empress

    The Last Empress
    The Last Empress is a historical fiction novel by Anchee Min. Set in 19th century China, it tells the story of Lady Yehonala, the Empress Orchid, who does her best to preserve the Ch'ing Dynasty amidst rebellion, betrayals, and death.
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    James Murray
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "The Last Empress sounds too good to be true. This sequel isn't as good as the first one and it can be such a hassle to get through the first part of the book since it's so slow. I was a little disappointed with this."
  6. 10

    #9The Bonesetter's Daughter

    The Bonesetter's Daughter

    The Bonesetter's Daughter is a novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of Ruth Young, a Chinese-American woman, who finds out the truth about her mother's life in China through her mother's own writings.

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    Joy Kang
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "I have been a fan of Amy Tan since I read the Joy Luck Club and I'm so happy I've finally read another one of her novels. The Bonesetter's Daughter is a great read and such a brilliant take on a complicated mother/daughter relationship. This is one of my favorite historical fiction novels that deals with both China and Chinese-Americans."
  7. 9

    #10The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

    The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

    The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is a historical cultural Chinese fiction written by Lisa See. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2017 in Scribner.

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    Larry Hopkins
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This is a good one. If you have interest in Chinese history, or just want a good read, check this out."
  8. 2

    #11Shanghai Girls

    Shanghai Girls

    Shanghai Girls is a historical cultural Asian Chinese fiction written by Lisa See as the first book of The Shanghai Girls series. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2009 in Random House.

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    Philip Smith
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This was a good read. It really takes you along on a ride through the lives of these girls. Showing us that our similarities are also our strengths. "
  9. 0

    #12The Eleventh Son

    The Eleventh Son

    The Eleventh Son is a Chinese wuxia (martial arts/sorcery/chivalry) novel written by Gu Long, 古龙. This book is published in 2004 by Homa & Sekey Books, after being first published in 1998.

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    Angélica Castillo
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "The Eleventh Son was recommended to me by a friend. I have never really been into Chinese historical fiction, but this book has changed all of that. It's a captivating read and the best Chinese historical fiction book I have ever read."
  10. 0

    #13Wu Dong Qian Kun

    Wu Dong Qian Kun

    Wu Dong Qian Kun is a fantasy manga created by Tian Can Tu Dou. This Chinese historical fiction book follows the story of Lin Dong taking revenge against Lin Langtian after his family was banished from the Great Yan Empire. 

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    Mae Lee
    Written on August 22, 2018
    "Wu Dong Qian Kun is a great book for those who love revenge plots and smart MC. Lost everything as a child, the MC started his journey to become strong with nothing but his willpower and determination. And he swears that one day, he'll rise!"
  11. 0

    #14The Book and the Sword

    The Book and the Sword

    The Book and the Sword is a classic fantasy historical wuxia (martial arts/sorcery/chivalry) novel written by Jin Yong 金庸 and translated by Graham Earnshaw. Published in 2005 by Oxford University Press.

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    Magdalena Palacios
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I was looking for the best Chinese historical fiction book. I found The Book and the Sword. It's a classic fantasy historical wuxia by Jin Yong. My friend recommended this book to me and I love it. The characters are great and the story is amazing. I love the historical references to ancient China. It's splendid. Check it out yourself if you love Chinese historical fiction."
  12. 0

    #15Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

    Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

    Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is a wuxia (martial arts/sorcery/chivalry) novel written by Jin Yong 金庸 as the fifth installment in the Tian Long Ba Bu series. This book is first published in 1969.

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    Benjamín Meléndez
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is an interesting historical fiction book. It is the fifth book in the Tian Long Ba Bu series and was first published in 1969. It is a wuxia novel, telling a story of martial arts/sorcery/chivalry."
  13. 0

    #16The Water Margin

    The Water Margin

    The Water Margin is a classic Chinese wuxia (martial arts/sorcery/chivalry) novel written by Shi Nai'an and translated by J.H. Jackson. This book is also known as Outlaws of the Marsh. Published in 1963.

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    Jenny Zhou
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is everything that a classic should be, memorable characters and places, a story with a moral interest. The Water Margin changed how I saw the Chinese in a good way. Perfect for anyone interested in Chinese culture and/or fiction."
  14. 0

    #17The Seven Heroes and Five Gallants

    The Seven Heroes and Five Gallants

    The Seven Heroes and Five Gallants is a mythical wuxia novel written by Shi Yukun and translated by Song Shouquan, with Esther Samson and Lance Samson as editors. Published in 1997 by Chinese Literature Press.

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    Kimberly Williams
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This isn't quite what I was hoping to find. I wanted to read a Chinese historical fiction, but this is just a Chinese box set of books, which are fiction, but not really historical. Also, it wasn't thoughtfully written and that ruins a lot for me."

Summary

Best What are the best Chinese historical fiction books
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Snow Flower and the Secret FanBooks 20 Paid
2Pavilion of WomenBooks 18 Paid
3Girl in TranslationBooks 17 Paid
4The Good EarthBooks 16 Paid
5The Ghost BrideBooks 16 Paid
6Peony in LoveBooks 14 Paid
7The Joy Luck ClubBooks 12 Paid
8The Last EmpressBooks 11 Paid
9The Bonesetter's DaughterBooks 10 Paid
10The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneBooks 9 Paid
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