A raven-haired young woman in a red dress is the deity which presides over this slim collection of eight short stories set in modern-day Macau.
Jena Lin was a child prodigy; now, in her early twenties, she uses sex to fill the void left by fame. Jena is still a musician, her professional life taking her from practice to rehearsal and back again. But once a solo violinist who traveled the world, she now finds herself auditioning for a position in an orchestra.
When the 11th-century poet Ferdowsi reaches the reigns of the Parthian Kings in his epic chronicle of the kings of Iran, he admits,
کزیشان جز از نام نشنیدهام
نه در نامهی خسروان دیدهام
“About them I heard nothing but their name,
I saw nothing about them in the book of the Khosrows”
Well, what can one say? The guy can write. Joshua Kam’s How the Man in Green Saved Pahang, and Possibly the World is quite the debut, accomplished, deft, unabashed and exuberant.
The histories of Japan and the United States have been intertwined for a hundred and fifty years. In her new collection of similarly interrelated short stories, Asako Serizawa both mines events from this history as well as reaches into the future.
The first takeaway from Gilles Kepel’s new book Away from Chaos is the immense complexity of Middle East politics.
Maung Shwe Yon was a highly acclaimed 19th-century master silversmith from Rangoon. Harry L Tilly, the aforementioned British expert on Burmese art, was effusive in his praise for Maung Shwe Yon. He described one of his pierced bowls as ‘the best example of this kind of work ever produced’ in his 1902 monograph, The Silverwork of Burma.