It began in January as a trip to see his ailing grandfather. But while the Canadian journalist Ethan Lou was in the air between Toronto and Beijing, China quarantined the entire city of Wuhan due to a new virus raging out of control. Lou landed to a new world. The COVID-19 name hadn’t yet been coined, but everything had nonetheless already changed. Like most of the world back then, Lou did not foresee how the coronavirus would spiral forth to every corner of the world. But he quickly comes to terms with how nothing will ever be the same.
Visitors around the world have traveled to Europe to see the tall spires and stained glass windows of the continent’s Gothic cathedrals: in Cologne, Chartres, Milan, Florence, York and Paris. The trappings of Gothic architecture have become shorthand for “medieval Europe”. Yet in Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe, Diana Darke investigates the Islamic origins of Gothic architecture, tracing its history through pre-Islamic Syria through the Islamic empires to the tall European cathedrals between the 12th and 17th centuries.
Once a relatively obscure topic, the Manila Galleon—in essence a commercial shipping line that connected Asia to the Americas from the 16th to early 19th centuries and arguably the key building block in the development of what we have since recognized as “globalization”—is now the subject of an increasing number of studies. In the latest, Portuguese Merchants in the Manila Galleon System, 1565-1600, former Mexican diplomat Cuauhtémoc Villemar looks at the involvement of Portuguese merchants—and by extension Macau—in the Galleon’s first few decades.
Jack Cheng’s family has nightmares. His father screams in his sleep and his five year-old sister, Annabel, sleepwalks after her parents leave her side at night. His mother works late hours at her semiconductor plant and never planned to have a family in the US. For an eleven year-old, Jack feels it’s up to him to protect his family.
To commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri, Chameleon Press will publish a new collection of poetry in which contemporary poets from Asia interpret themes Dante’s opus with a particular focus on Beatrice, the object of Dante’s youthful love, his muse and guide.
To read Türkiye Diary (The Bridge) is to lounge on wicker deck furniture, with comfortable pillows, ensconced on a terrace overlooking the Sea of Marmara in the warm summer night, drinking raki, eating mezze—those fatal Levantine hors d’oeuvres—and listening as a raconteur cagily lets slip indiscretions, eased by raki, night sea air, and a life spent doing things the raconteur is now not sure he should have done.
Timor-Leste has been just about the most geographically and politically remote corner of East Asia, a distant second to Macau in Portugal’s one-time East Asian possessions, diminutive compared to the Dutch East Indies and later Indonesia. And the Chinese community there, as far as the Chinese diaspora goes, one of the less substantial. Perhaps for those reasons, the development of Cina Timor—the Timorese Chinese—offers a case study in intra-Asian immigration and identity.