What are the best novels that take place in China?

asked by Anonymous
375 contributors
14 solutions
  1. 41

    #1The 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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    Tyler Gonzalez
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "You most certainly can't go wrong wit this Pulitzer prize winning novel, The Good Earth. Featuring a backdrop of China it's characters and story are so very compelling you will not want to put it down."
  2. 37

    #2The 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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    Gerald Gonzalez
    Written on March 4, 2018
    "The Joy Luck Club is one of those classic books that everyone should read. If you're looking for a novel which takes place in China this should be at the very top of your list. "
  3. 36

    #3The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
    In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. 
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    Angela Ryan
    Written on March 5, 2018
    "The plot sounds amusing, well-known author, decent reviews on this book, although some say it can get confusing at times."
  1. 35

    #4Snow 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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    William Harris
    Written on March 10, 2018
    "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a great story that helped me pass time during my flight to China last year. I thought that the story line was very heartfelt and I enjoyed all of the characters in the story and their personalities. "
  2. 33

    #5The 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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    Lawrence McCoy
    Written on March 1, 2018
    "This is the sequel to Empress Orchid, and it features the same deep dive into China's cultural history. The epic landscape is appealing to anyone remotely interested in the area. Like the first book, we are treated to a strong female character, who, despite her great power, is a fallible human. While it doesn't pack the emotional punch of the first book, this one still contains many of the features which made the first so rewarding. "
  3. 31

    #6The 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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    Larry Rivera
    Written on March 9, 2018
    "I love to read novels. My favorite novel right now is one that takes place in China. It's called The Bonesetter's Daughter. It's an awesome story by Amy Tan. It tells the tale of Ruth Young, a Chinese-American woman, who discovers the truth about her mother's life in China when she reads her writings. It's an incredibly immersive and fascinating book. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves novels and loves learning about China. "
  4. 29

    #7Peony 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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    Ethan Ryan
    Written on March 1, 2018
    "I really loved this book. It taught me a lot about the time period and I felt like I could really connect to Peony."
  5. 26

    #8Pavilion 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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    Alan Fields
    Written on February 28, 2018
    "This is a wonderful book for anyone that has an appreciation for classic literature. I read this in about a day and a half because the story line is so compelling. The Chinese setting made the read very interesting and I definitely recommend this one wholeheartedly."
  6. 26

    #9The Kitchen God's Wife

    The Kitchen God's Wife
    The Kitchen God's Wife is a novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of a Chinese mother, Winnie Louie, and her American-born daughter, Pearl. Winnie tells Pearl of her life in China, and Pearl discovers her mother's hidden depths.
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    Esteban Orozco
    Written on February 27, 2018
    "Excellent book to give you a feel of Chinese culture in the context of a personal families life experiences. Very good writing and telling story with great fulfilling character story lines."
  7. 22

    #10When We Were Orphans

    When We Were Orphans
    When We Were Orphans is a novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author, Kazuo Ishiguro. It tells the story of Christopher Banks, who lived in Shanghai until the disappearance of his parents, and his return to China to find them.
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    Antonio Zamudio
    Written on March 3, 2018
    "This novel takes place in London, a long way from China. "
  8. 18

    #11Monkey: Folk Novel of China

    Monkey: Folk Novel of China
    Monkey: Folk Novel of China is a classic book about Chinese folklore by Wu Ch'êng-ên, translated from the original by Arthur Waley. It tells the story of the immortal Monkey-King as he goes on adventures to combat gods and other creatures.
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    Craig Castillo
    Written on March 27, 2018
    "One of the most popular novelizations to arrive from the Ancient East, this novel tells the old folk lore tale of the Monkey King and his quest for new knowledge in the West. The tale is wonderous and magical, with its imaginative characters and whimsical nature of the unknown. If you enjoy mythological adventures, this one is sure to please."
  9. 15

    #12Shanghai 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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    Jesse Torres
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "Really cool book written by Lisa See that takes place in China. I honestly just stumbled upon this book in the library, and wanted to try a book with a different cultural feel to it. I got lucky with this one, as I can say it is really one of the better books I have read."
  10. 12

    #13Dreams of Joy

    Dreams of Joy

    Dreams of Joy is a historical cultural Chinese fiction written by Lisa See as the second book of the Shanghai Girls series. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2011 by Random House.

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    Sandra Allen
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "It would be nice if it mentioned the first book in the series as well as how many books are in the series. I hate having to search for the other books in a series because it never is as easy as it seems it should be. Having this information readily available would be wonderful. I would not start reading in the middle of a series."
  11. 0

    #14The Blue Wolf

    The Blue Wolf

    The Blue Wolf is a historical fiction book written by Frederic Dion, WIll Hobson, and Homéric. This historical fiction was published on May 2, 2003 by Thomas Dunne Books.

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    Lin Hou
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "a fun little read of a book with history behind it which can just give the reader more information on the place itself."

Summary

Best What are the best novels that take place in China
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Good EarthBooks 41 Paid
2The Joy Luck ClubBooks 37 Paid
3The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A NovelBooks 36 Paid
4Snow Flower and the Secret FanBooks 35 Paid
5The Last EmpressBooks 33 Paid
6The Bonesetter's DaughterBooks 31 Paid
7Peony in LoveBooks 29 Paid
8Pavilion of WomenBooks 26 Paid
9The Kitchen God's WifeBooks 26 Paid
10When We Were OrphansBooks 22 Paid
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