Second Generation Authors of Asian Origin

Click below to jump to authors with origins in . . .
China . . . Hmong . . . India . . . Japan . . . Korea . . . Philippines . . . Vietnam


Maxine Hong Kingston

The first Asian immigrants were Chinese men attracted by the California gold rush in the mid-1800s. Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Mentells the story of these first immigrants. Japanese men began arriving in the late 1800s.

However, laws passed in the late 1800s and early 1900s excluded most immigrants from Asia. These laws also prevented Asians already in the country from becoming naturalized citizens.

The passage of the Immigration Act of 1965 allowed many more Asians to enter the U.S. As of 2010, about 5% of the U.S. population identifies as Asian (Census Bureau data).


Chu, Louis (1915-1970) — Chu was born in Canton and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of nine. He grew up in New Jersey.

Chua, Amy (born 1962) — Chua was born in Illinois and raised in Indiana. Her parents are Chinese from the Philippines.

Jen, Gish (born 1955) — Jen was born and raised in New York. Her parents immigrated from the Shanghai region.

Kingston, Maxine Hong (born 1940) — Kingston was born and raised in Stockton, California to immigrant parents. Many of her books combine fiction, memoir, and history.

Lee, Li-Young (born 1957) — Lee was born in Indonesia to Chinese parents. They fled Indonesia when Lee was two, and finally settled in the U.S. when he was seven. He is best known as a poet, but he has written a memoir.

Lord, Bette Bao (born 1938) — Lord was born in Shanghai and immigrated to the U.S. when she was eight. She grew up in New York and New Jersey.

Lowe, Pardee (born 1905) — Lowe was born and raised in San Francisco. He wrote one of the first memoirs (published 1943) by a child of Chinese immigrants.

Namioka, Lensey (born 1929) — Namioka was born in China, and moved to the United States at the age of nine.

Ng, Fae Myenne (born 1957) — Ng grew up in Chinatown in San Francisco. Her parents were immigrants from Guangzhou, China.

Tan, Amy (born 1952) — Tan was born in Oakland, California to immigrant parents.

Wong, Jade Snow (1922-2006) — Wong was born and raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Her immigrant parents had nine children and ran a garment factory in their apartment.

Yang, Gene Luen (born 1973) — Yang was born in California. His parents are from Taiwan.


Yang, Kao Kalia — Yang was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. She immigrated to Minnesota at the age of six.


Ali, Samina — Ali was born in Hyderabad, India, and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of six months.

Banerjee, Anjali — Banerjee was born in India and raised in Canada and California.

Ganesan, Indira (born 1960) — Ganesan was born in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India, and moved with her family to New York at the age of five.

Gowda, Shilpi Somaya — Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her parents are immigrants from Mumbai.

Hajratwala, Minal (born 1971)– Hajratwala was born in San Francisco, and raised in New Zealand and Michigan. Her parents are from India and Fiji.

Hidier, Tanuja Desai — Hidier was born and raised in Massachusetts.

Jacob, Mira — Jacob grew up in New Mexico.

Lahiri, Jhumpa (born 1967) — Lahiri was born in London, U.K. and grew up in Rhode Island. Her parents are from Calcutta.

Meminger, Neesha — Meminger was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Toronto, Canada at the age of five.

Patel, Neel — Patel grew up in Champaign, Illinois.

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