I’ve read only “The Joy Luck Club” from this list, but the others are going on my TBR. I fell in love with and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area 36 years ago and still enjoy reading books set here.
Another recommendation for this list: “Flower Drum Song,” by C.Y. Lee. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, it explores not only the immigrant experience but also the cultural fallout of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Highly recommended.
If New York City’s literary themes are all about career ambition skyrocketing, the divide between the rich and the poor, crime, and claustrophobia sensed and caused by numerous tightly-built skyscrapers, San Francisco’s literary themes tend to focus on rights and liberties, the Gold Rush and immigrants’ stories. Below I am highlighting ten books set in San Francisco, US and see also my short review of this amazing non-fiction book about San Francisco: Spirits of San Francisco: Voyages Through the Unknown City by Gary Kamiya & Paul Madonna.
Martin Eden  by Jack London
This semi-autobiographical book by Jack London is set in San Francisco and tells of one poor and uneducated sailor who gets charmed by the prospect of education, culture and literary career, especially when he gets acquainted with sophisticated daughter of a well-to-do man – Ruth Morse. This powerful book with one penetrating character study is now…
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