Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity, Wei Yu Wayne Tan (University of Michigan Press, September 2022)
Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity, Wei Yu Wayne Tan (University of Michigan Press, September 2022)

While the loss of sight—whether in early modern Japan or now—may be understood as a disability, blind people in the Tokugawa period (1600–1868) could thrive because of disability. The blind of the era were prominent across a wide range of professions, and through a strong guild structure were able to exert contractual monopolies over certain trades. Blind in Early Modern Japan illustrates the breadth and depth of those occupations, the power and respect that accrued to the guild members, and the lasting legacy of the Tokugawa guilds into the current moment.

Island of Bewilderment: A Novel of Modern Iran, Simin Daneshvar, Patricia J Higgins (trans), Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi (trans) (Syracuse University Press, October 2022)
Island of Bewilderment: A Novel of Modern Iran, Simin Daneshvar, Patricia J Higgins (trans), Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi (trans) (Syracuse University Press, October 2022)

Twenty-six-year-old college graduate, artist, and employee of the Ministry of Art and Culture, Hasti Nourian aspires to be a “new woman”—independent-minded, strong-willed, and in control of her own destiny. A destiny that includes Morad, an idealistic young architect and artist with whom Hasti is deeply in love. Morad is a sharp critic of Iran’s Westernized bourgeois class, the one that Hasti’s mother relishes. After Hasti’s father died, her mother had married a wealthy businessman and moved to an exclusive neighborhood of northern Tehran.

Salted Plums: A Memoir of Culture and Identity, Alison Hong Nguyễn Lihalakha (Kahana Press, July 2022)
Salted Plums: A Memoir of Culture and Identity, Alison Hong Nguyễn Lihalakha (Kahana Press, July 2022)

Alison Hồng Nguyễn Lihalakha was just a small child when her family fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. From a refugee camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Alison’s family settled in Panama City, Florida, where her father worked as a fisherman until his sudden death. Left to raise seven kids on her own, Alison’s mother moved the family to Kansas to be near relatives. There, Alison found herself torn between her dual identities as both an immigrant and an American kid.

Songs of Memory: Traditional Music of the Golden Triangle, Victoria Vorreiter (Resonance Press, July 2022)
Songs of Memory: Traditional Music of the Golden Triangle, Victoria Vorreiter (Resonance Press, July 2022)

High in the mountains of the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar once knew no boundaries, lives a rich multiplicity of traditional peoples. Prominent among them are the Karen, Hmong, Iu Mien, Lahu, Akha, and Lisu, six distinct groups who have maintained their independence, identity, and worldview to a high degree.