If you enjoyed The Kite Runner, you might also like one of these stories of individual struggles and triumphs in the midst of overpowering regimes and repressive cultures.
- The Swallows of Kabul
by Yasmina Khadra
This short, compelling novel follows the lives of two men, one a jailer and the other a shopkeeper, and their wives as they struggle to live under the Taliban’s oppressive regime. An act of brutal public violence sets off a chain of events that affect them all in unforeseen ways and intertwine their lives forever.
- Madras on Rainy Days
by Samina Ali
Layla, a young Indian woman who spent much of her life in America, returns to India for an arranged Islamic marriage . There, she tries to reconcile the freedom she has experienced with the traditions she is now expected to uphold, all the while trying to keep secrets hidden and appearances proper.
- The Power of One
by Bryce Courtenay
A powerful coming of age story set in apartheid-era South Africa, this novel is told by young Peekay, a white boy who must fight to find his place amidst black and white, Boer and English, and ultimately good and evil as he makes his way from farm life to boarding school to the boxing ring to adulthood.
- Sister of My Heart
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Two cousins are born on the same day into vastly different worlds of Indian society, one is the daughter of a wealthy upper-caste scion and the other the child of the family’s black sheep. Despite their differences, the two girls always feel a deep, inexplicable bond that is eventually shattered by a dark family secret that will set them on two very different paths.
- Sons of Heaven
by Terrance Cheng
Xiao-Di is a an intelligent and idealistic young man who, having been blacklisted by the Chinese government and shunned by his older brother, joins the growing student protest movement in Beijing. Inspired by the famous photo of a lone, unknown young man standing in front of an army tank during the Tiananmen Square uprising, this novel speculates on the people and events that led up to that iconic moment.