Rudyard Kipling, 1901
In what is often considered his best novel, the Bombay-born Kipling unfolds the "panorama of India," as a New York Times review said at the time, exposing the forces of Hinduism and imperialism in the British-ruled subcontinent.
The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck, 1931
For its depiction of a rural family in pre-communist China, this book won a
Pulitzer, became a bestseller, and helped make Buck, who grew up in the village
of Zhenjiang, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in literature. Some
argue the novel later helped Americans empathize with their Chinese allies
during World War II.
The Quiet American
Graham Greene, 1955
This novel's protagonist -- a British war correspondent in French Indochina, as Greene himself was -- clashes with an American official over a Vietnamese woman, in a narrative that presciently characterized the American presence in Vietnam. Greene, an acerbic critic of U.S. policy, was later tracked by the American government for 40 years.