I know this is a long title, but I couldn’t figure out how else to word it and still get the point across. Talk about books that are set outside of the Western World (so outside of North America and Western Europe) or if they are SFF, books that aren’t inspired by those places (so no medieval setting fantasy!)
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Some of the chapters do take place in France, but the majority of the memoir takes place in Iran at the start of their cultural revolution. For a full review of the graphic memoir CLICK HERE. There’s also movie I would recommend.
Habibi by Craig Thompson
This is probably the only book on this list I wouldn’t recommend. I didn’t like it but this graphic novel takes inspiration from the Middle East and Islam. However, I’ve heard it’s not a great representation. I will say that the illustrations are absolutely amazing! FULL REVIEW.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
This is one of my favorite novels I read for school. The story is non-linear with chapters and events being told way out of order, but that’s part of what makes it so good. The book is mostly about these two twins living in India and the aftermath of a tragic event in their lives.
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is another high school favorite of mine. This was also the first (and only, so far… I’m work on it) and only novel I’ve read by Adichie. This book takes place during the bloody and violent Nigerian-Biafran war of the 1960s in Nigeria. This is another story about twins and how they deal with the effects of the war.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Much like Habibi, the Avatar world was heavily influenced by the eastern world. The way the Avatar is chosen is similar to the way the Dalai Lama is chosen in our world. The North and South poles are based on the Inuit people. The Fire Nation is somewhat based on Japanese culture while the Earth Kingdom is influenced by China. And the list goes on but none of it’s influences come from the western world.