What are the best multi-ethnic American literary works?

asked by Anonymous
278 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 27



    Kindred is a young adult novel with a time travel element written by Octavia Butler, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards. The book is about a modern-day black woman who was transported to the plantation in the past.


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    Adam Elliott
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Kindred was a satisfactory read, but was not all that entertaining to me. It did provide the perspective of a black woman and how she viewed the past, so it could be described as a multi-ethnic literary work. I thought the time travel element was a bit out there, this is definitely a young adult novel."
  2. 25

    #2The Color Purple

    The Color Purple
    Set deep in the American South, The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. After living a very hard life, she starts to discover joy and the power of her own spirit.

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    Melissa Bryant
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "I needed to find the best multi-ethnic American literary works. I love to read about different ethnic works. I found The Color Purple. I've always heard about this book and a friend suggested I read it. I really love it. It's by Alice Walker and is about a young black girl named Celie. She was born into poverty and segregation. It talks all about her life and is a really powerful story. Strongly recommended!"
  3. 24

    #3Invisible Man

    Invisible Man

    This book narrates the life of a nameless black man living in the US, how hard it was for him to grow up in a racist town in the South, and how he eventually became leader of the community in New York.


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    Rosa María Villalobos
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "A beautiful story that truly allows you to feel what it's like to not have a "home". Well written and filled with emotion. I highly recommend it. "
  1. 23

    #4The 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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    Parakram Rangan
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This book was an excellent example of good chinese-American literature. It was fascinating and warm to read. It had great character building and you could feel the family ties that were in this book. I loved the cultural feel to it and how close the characters were to one another in the book. It was a great read and I highly recommend it."
  2. 22

    #5Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most important and enduring books of the 20th century. It brings to life a Southern love story with incredible wit and pathos.


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    William Thompson
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This book has amazing reviews. I would be interested in reading this book. It has a great story line and seems very interesting "
  3. 20

    #6Parable of the Sower (Earthseed)

    Parable of the Sower (Earthseed)
    Parable of the Sower, the 1st book in the Parable series, is a futuristic dystopian novel written by Octavia Butler, a Hugo and Nebula Award winner. It tells the story of Lauren Olamina, who is trying to survive and bring order back to a chaotic world.

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    Liu Wang
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "A very good story about losing everything but persevering. It's an eyeopener to what befalls humanity. It makes you question if that could really happen to humanity."
  4. 19

    #7Interpreter of Maladies

    Interpreter of Maladies

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of nine stories that talk about Indian Americans and how they are caught between cultural and generational barriers.


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    Randy Washington
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "As somebody who loves to read American literature, I feel that my reading habits are biased towards white authors. Noticing this, I sought out multi-ethnic authors in the genre. The anthropology put together, Interpreter of Maladies, was a wonderful introduction to various multi-ethnic authors, showing me how multi-ethnic authors offer a unique perspective from within American literature. "
  5. 18

    #8A Thousand Splendid Suns

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

    A Thousand Splendid Suns is a contemporary fiction book written by Khaled Hosseini which tells the story of a poor and uneducated woman who needs to endure hardships in her life. 


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    Donna Johnston
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "I had a hard time with this book. The writing was beautiful, I loved the main character, and it was a very moving story. I loved how she kept going and did not give up. But the book was so sad, it is unbearable thinking about people going through so much trouble. I liked it and didn’t at the same time."
  6. 17

    #9The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a non-fiction book by Rebecca Skloot. It tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were unknowingly taken from her and used in medical research. These cells have outlived her for 60 years.

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    Diane Soto
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the best multi-ethnic American literary works"
  7. 16

    #10The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is an award-winning young adult novel by Sherman Alexie. It tells the story of Junior, a Spokane Indian who left the reservation to go to an all-white high school.


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    Simon Xue
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "I really dig this. It may be a little biased since I have older generations of Idians and I grew up hearing about them and their troubles. However, that aside it's excellently written and well paced."
  8. 14

    #11The 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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    Joyce Willis
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "The Bonesetter's Daughter is vintage Amy Tan - fascinating interplay between traditional life in China in the past, and today's lives of Chinese Americans. Her familiar motif is learning from the past to make better adjustments to our present lives. I gave this four stars, not five, because for me the beginning chapters about the protagonist's difficulties in her American life were too long and repetitive. But once Ruth, the young Chinese American struggling with her mother, gets a translator for her mother's handwritten memoirs, the book came completely alive for me. Ruth begins to find out the truth about her mother's past life. This section is a novel within a novel, and since her mother escapes from China and comes to America, this part of the book might well have made a more powerful novel on its own. In the segment on the present, Ruth's mother is approaching dementia, manipulative, negative, and secretive. Ruth herself is rather uninteresting, and her lover's daughters are irritating. Worst of all, Ruth's mother is palpably unpleasant. In her memoirs, however, she is revealed to be strong, wrong-headed as young people often are, and yet brave and loving. How on earth did this interesting and fully developed woman become the harridan mother of the first part of the book? The picture of China during the Japanese invasion and just before, during China's initiation into the world of early paleontology, is fascinating and new to me, and quite beautifully delineated. And the anti-secret message is more complicated than usual in Tan's novels: keeping secrets, she suggests here, can be either life-saving or deadly, and maturity may well be learning when to keep information to ourselves, and when it is vital to be open. Wonderful."
  9. 12

    #12A Raisin in the Sun

    A Raisin in the Sun

    A Raisin in the Sun is a classic play written by Lorraine Hansberry which centers on a working-class family living in Chicago connected with the psyche of black America.


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  10. 8

    #13Native Son

    Native Son

    Native Son is an African American historical fiction book written by Richard Wright. This classic book is first published in 1940 and reproduced by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. 


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    Jessica Hansen
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "It took me almost two months to receive this book, which I think is nuts! I was supposed to receive this book in about 7 days, and it took almost 3 weeks, and when it showed up, it was the wrong book. I ended up sending the book back, and it took almost another month for the correct book to show up. The book itself I loved, but the service is terrible."
  11. 6

    #14Buck: A Memoir

    Buck: A Memoir
    Buck: A Memoir is an Autobiography, Cultural and Non-fiction novels written by M.K. Asante. It was published August 20, 2013 by Spiegel & Grau. It foretells of M.K. Asante's hardships and trials.

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    Crystal Grant
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This riveting story is great for anyone. There are so many different elements, including characters of different ethnicity, so anyone who reads this will relate in someway."
  12. 5

    #15The Namesake

    The Namesake
    The Namesake is a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Interpreter of Maladies. It was first published in 2003, and it tells the story of Ganguli family as they migrated to America from India.

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    Charles Jensen
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I don't get to read much Indian literature, especially not Indian-American literature. I'm glad I found this one because it was awesome. A beautiful story with unique attributes that I wouldn't find from books written by authors of other cultures."
  13. 2



    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.


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    Judith Daniels
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "What a great book! I just read Beloved and I think it's one of the best multi-ethnic American literary works that I have read. Toni Morrison wrote a beautiful, sad, compassion, love and many more emotions. At times it's hard to read because of the evil doings of people but you just don't want to put the book down. "
  14. 1

    #17The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a fiction novel written by Junot Díaz which follows the life of Dominican ghetto nerd named Oscar. This has won awards such as The Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.


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    Roy Alvarez
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I'd seen this book around for years, and finally decided to try it. It is not the style I normally read, but I like to broaden my horizons, and this turned out to be worthwhile. It is about culture clash, and cultural adaptation and mixing on multiple levels. The protagonist is nerdy Dominican sci-fi geek in the US, and he has to figure things out and wants to find love. I was rooting for him and I was also engaged by the writing. There were many rich descriptions of scenarios and reactions that I would not have anticipated. Definitely readable, and worth my time."
  15. 0



    Tidewater is a historical fiction novel by Libbie Hawker. Set in 1607, it tells the story of the English settlers who set out to establish a colony in Virgini. It features the friendship between Captain John Smith and Pocahontas.


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    Xiang Gong
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "This is an excellent book in terms of the research and detail the author has gone into to tell the story of Pocahontas and the settling of Jamestown. This was an excellent story, showing the humanity of both the Americans and the English at Jamestown. I found that it brought out and helped the story line of Pocahontas, from whose viewpoint most of the story is told."
  16. 0

    #19Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

    Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

    Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 is a non-fiction book written by W.E.B. Du Bois which is the introduction into the study of the role of Black Americans during the reconstruction after the Civil War. 


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Best What are the best multi-ethnic American literary works
1KindredBooks 27 Paid
2The Color PurpleBooks 25 Paid
3Invisible ManBooks 24 Paid
4The Joy Luck ClubBooks 23 Paid
5Their Eyes Were Watching GodBooks 22 Paid
6Parable of the Sower (Earthseed)Books 20 Paid
7Interpreter of MaladiesBooks 19 Paid
8A Thousand Splendid SunsBooks 18 Paid
9The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksBooks 17 Paid
10The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianBooks 16 Paid

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