Pin Ups, Yi Shun Lai (Homebound Publications, September 2020)
Pin Ups, Yi Shun Lai (Homebound Publications, September 2020)

Pin Ups is a memoir about Yi Shun Lai’s long, ragged relationship with outdoor sports. Along the way, she discovers what it means to find a place for herself in the great outdoors—and what the act of carving out a place of her own taught her about tokenism, women’s leadership, and representation in a white world.

Quagmire in Civil War, by Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl (Cambridge University press, February 2020)
Quagmire in Civil War, by Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl (Cambridge University Press, February 2020)

Our understanding of civil war is shot through with the spectre of quagmire, a situation that traps belligerents, compounding and entrenching war’s dangers. Despite the subject’s importance, its causes are obscure. A pervasive “folk” notion that quagmire is intrinsic to certain countries or wars has foreclosed inquiry, and scholarship has failed to identify quagmire as an object of study in its own right.

The ‘Other’ Shangri-la: Journeys through the Sino-Tibetan frontier in Sichuan, Shivaji Das (Kornark Publishers, July 2020)
The ‘Other’ Shangri-la: Journeys through the Sino-Tibetan frontier in Sichuan, Shivaji Das (Konark Publishers, July 2020)

The ‘Other’ Shangri-La is a work of narrative non-fiction based on Shivaji Das and his wife’s journey through the Sino-Tibetan frontier land of western Sichuan. It describes the rugged landscape of this region that comprises 7,000-metre-high mountains, deep gorges, vast grasslands and the world’s most dangerous roads.

Just around the corner from Rome’s Pantheon, on the Via di Sant’Ignazio, is the famed Biblioteca Casanatense. Among its precious  books and manuscripts is an album of 76 striking watercolours made  in Goa around 1540, the work of an anonymous Indian painter for an unknown Portuguese patron.

The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing, Si Nae Park (Columbia University Press, August 2020)
The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing, Si Nae Park (Columbia University Press, August 2020)

As the political, economic, and cultural center of Chosŏn Korea, eighteenth-century Seoul epitomized a society in flux: It was a bustling, worldly metropolis into which things and people from all over the country flowed. In this book, Si Nae Park examines how the culture of Chosŏn Seoul gave rise to a new vernacular narrative form that was evocative of the spoken and written Korean language of the time.

Longmen's Stone Buddhas and Cultural Heritage: When Antiquity Met Modernity in China, Dong Wang (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2020)
Longmen’s Stone Buddhas and Cultural Heritage: When Antiquity Met Modernity in China, Dong Wang (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2020)

This thoroughly researched book provides the first comprehensive history of how a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Central China Plain, Longmen’s caves and the Buddhist statuary of Luoyang, was rediscovered in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 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.