fiction (long)

Books are a part of my life. As an English major, I was of course required to read the classics though somehow I’ve managed to miss a few. And certainly during my long dark period of not writing, I failed to notice a lot of the great new long-form fiction (aka novels) that came out at the time.

Now that I’m a professional writer, it’s part of my job to pay attention. To the great new work that comes out everyday. To what’s hot and what’s not. I suppose you could call it keeping an eye on the competition.

But in truth, I still primarily read for the sheer pleasure of a story well told. Of all the storytelling forms out there, long-form fiction remains my favorite. You can see in this photo what happens with an obsession like that.

Long-form fiction
Long form fiction to be read. Photo credit: Karen Kao

Just take a look at all these novels in my to-be-read stack. This is minus the short fiction, nonfiction, literary journals, poetry and plays. Quite a feat to read it all, with or without a Goodreads challenge.

long-form fiction reviews

Here are the reviews of the long-form fiction I have read since 2017. It’s the longest list of reviews on my website so you’ll understand that long-form is my true love.

For me, reading is a form of exploration. And now that there are more than 30 reviews on this page, I’ve decided to regroup my long-form reviews by continent. This geographic designation may seem random: it may be where the novel is set or the country of origin of the author.

Within each section, you’ll find my reviews in alphabetical order using the author’s surname.


High Life: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Mini review: The Promise by Damon Galgut

Family Tree: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Polygamy: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin


Witness: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Games People Play: Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba

LA Love Song: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Little Old Ladies: White Houses by Amy Bloom

Little Green Men: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Lucky Strikes: Gun Love by Jennifer Clement

Mini-review: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Macondo: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Fight Club: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Alphabet Soup: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Annotated Alice: Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

Pillow Talk: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Gormless in Gotham (or How to Write a Micro-Scene): May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes

Isherwood: A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

Southern GothicYoung God by Katherine Faw Morris

End-times: Weather by Jenny Offill

Sentinel Tree: The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Great Awakening: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Putz: Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

Possessed: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Mini-review: My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Tracks: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


Mini-review: A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam

Ancestor Worship: Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao

Republican Fever: Little Reunions by Eileen Chang

Mini-review: Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

Hill Station: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

In Conversation: The Vegetarian, Human Acts, and The White Book by Han Kang

Chinese Lessons: A Free Life by Ha Jin

The Critic: Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous by Manu Joseph

Hell Notes: How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

Stone the Crows: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Phut: The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

The Wisecrack: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Amnesia: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Body Parts: Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, translator Jonathan Wright

Combini: Convenience Store Woman by Murata Sayaka

Happy Family: Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

Mom: Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyung-sook

Zen: The Gate by Natsume Soseki

Geometry: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Heat: The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

Iron Horse: The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi

In the Re-Ed 99: The Four Books by Yan Lianke


Accommodation: Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck

Madame Bovary Revisited: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Mini-review: Matrix by Lauren Groff

Doors and Windows: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Mini-review: Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway

Sweet Cheeks: Orchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes

Mini review: Intimacies by Katie Kitamura

Devilry: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Carnival in Hell: Niet van hier (Not from Here) by Judith Maassen

Witch: Circe by Madeline Miller

Guslar: The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

Mini-review: The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

Wind on the Water: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson


Reverse Alchemy: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Listen: the everrumble by Michelle Elvy

One Fish, Two Fish: Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

White Water: Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan

Wired Women: Flesh and Wires by Jackie Hatton

Mini-review: The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

Whacko: Cloudstreet by Tim Winton