un\\martyred: [self-]vanishing presences in Vietnamese poetry , Nha Thuyen (Roof Books, June 2019)
un\\martyred: [self-]vanishing presences in Vietnamese poetry , Nha Thuyen (Roof Books, June 2019)

un\\martyred: [self-]vanishing presences in Vietnamese poetry by Nhã Thuyên, a Hanoi-based poet and critic, is a collection of essays that offers a cartography of the writing communities that have lived (and died) along the margins of Vietnam’s literary landscape since the Renovation period of the late 1980’s.

Fu Ping, A Novel, Wang Anyi, Howard Goldblatt (trans) (Columbia University Press, August 2019)
Fu Ping, A Novel, Wang Anyi, Howard Goldblatt (trans) (Columbia University Press, August 2019)

Nainai has lived in Shanghai for many years, and the time has come to find a wife for her adopted grandson. But when the bride she has chosen arrives from the countryside, it soon becomes clear that the orphaned girl has ideas of her own. Her name is Fu Ping, and the more she explores the residential lanes and courtyards behind Shanghai’s busy shopping streets, the less she wants to return to the country as a dutiful wife. As Fu Ping wavers over her future, she learns the city through the stories of the nannies, handymen, and garbage collectors whose labor is bringing life and bustle back to postwar Shanghai.

The Sea of Japan, Keita Nagano (SparkPress, September 2019)
The Sea of Japan, Keita Nagano (SparkPress, September 2019)

After fleeing a disastrous teaching job (and a bad gambling habit) in Boston, Lindsey starts teaching English in Hime, a small fishing town in Japan. One morning, while trying to snap the perfect ocean sunrise photo for her mother, she slips off a rock at the edge of Toyama Bay, hits her head, and plunges into the sea—and in doing so, sets off an unexpected chain of events.

 ngā whakamatuatanga/interludes, Vaughan Rapatahana (Cyberwit, June 2019)
ngā whakamatuatanga / interludes, Vaughan Rapatahana (Cyberwit, June 2019)

This is Rapatahana’s seventh collection of poetry. He writes in both of his main languages te reo Māori and English. Divided into five sections, these poems reflect Rapatahana’s strongly visceral style, whereby he confronts all manner of demons, ranging from intensely personal through to strongly political. His locales are international, with poems describing issues across the globe, although based primarily in Asia and Oceania.

 

 Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play, Shirley M Mueller (Lucia Marquand, August 2019)
Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play,
Shirley M Mueller (Lucia Marquand, August 2019)

Collecting objects gives enormous pleasure to approximately one third of the population, providing such benefits as intellectual stimulation, the thrill of the chase, and leaving a legacy. On the other hand, the same pursuit can engender pain; for example, paying too much for an object, unknowingly buying a fake, or dealing with the frustrations of collection dispersal.

John Reeves: Pioneering Collector of Chinese Plants and Botanical Art, Kate Bailey (ACC Arts Books, August 2019)
John Reeves: Pioneering Collector of Chinese Plants and Botanical Art, Kate Bailey (ACC Arts Books, August 2019)

This is the story of the Reeves Collection of botanical paintings, the result of one man’s single-minded dedication to commissioning pictures and gathering plants for the Horticultural Society of London.