My Village: Selected Poems 1972-2014, Wu Sheng, John Balcom (trans) (Zephyr Press, May 2020)
My Village: Selected Poems 1972-2014, Wu Sheng, John Balcom (trans) (Zephyr Press, May 2020)

Wu Sheng has written vivid poems about rural life and the land since the 1960s, when he became one of Taiwan’s most popular poets. His poems are rooted in the soil, imbued with an unshakable affinity for the people who till it, sweat over it, and eventually are buried in it, and serve as his personal response to the industrialization, urbanization and globalization of his vanishing world.

Floral Mutter, Ya Shi, Nick Admussen (trans) (Zephyr Press, March 2020) Poetry
Floral Mutter, Ya Shi, Nick Admussen (trans) (Zephyr Press, March 2020)

A math teacher by day, Ya Shi lives 1,000 miles from the Beijing literary scene, but is celebrated among lovers of Chinese poetry from the conservative to the avant-garde. His jagged and intense short lyrics, wild nature sonnets, punchy couplets, and genre-bending, surreal poetic essays daringly combine iconoclasm and heart.

 Saving Sun Bears: One Man’s Quest to Save a Species, Sarah Pye (Signal8Press, June 2020)
Saving Sun Bears: One Man’s Quest to Save a Species, Sarah Pye (Signal8Press, June 2020)

In Asia, adult sun bears are poached for body parts which are thought to have medicinal properties. Many orphaned cubs, with their small size and endearing features, are kept illegally as pets. Malaysian ecologist Dr Wong Siew Te, or “papa bear”, has dedicated his life to saving the world’s smallest bear from extinction.

Tales of Ming Courtesans, by Alice Poon (Earnshaw, June 2020)
Tales of Ming Courtesans, by Alice Poon (Earnshaw, June 2020)

From the author of The Green Phoenix comes a riveting tale of female friendship, honor, and sacrifice for love, set in 17th century China and featuring the intertwined stories of three of the era’s most renowned courtesans, escorts skilled in music, poetry and painting who could decide themselves whether or not to offer patrons bed favors.

Corporate Conquests: Business, the State, and the Origins of Ethnic Inequality in Southwest China, C Patterson Giersch (Stanford University Press, April 2020)
Corporate Conquests: Business, the State, and the Origins of Ethnic Inequality in Southwest China, C Patterson Giersch (Stanford University Press, April 2020)

Tenacious patterns of ethnic and economic inequality persist in the rural, largely minority regions of China’s north- and southwest. Such inequality is commonly attributed to geography, access to resources, and recent political developments. In Corporate Conquests, C Patterson Giersch provides a desperately-needed challenge to these conventional understandings by tracing the disempowerment of minority communities to the very beginnings of China’s modern development.