Reading India Now: Contemporary Formations in Literature and Popular , Ulka Anjaria (Temple University Press, April 2019)
Reading India Now: Contemporary Formations in Literature and Popular, Ulka Anjaria (Temple University Press, April 2019)

In an age of social media and reality television, reading and consumption habits in India now demand homegrown pulp fictions. Ulka Anjaria categorizes post-2000 Indian literature and popular culture as constituting “the contemporary,” a movement defined by new and experimental forms—where high- and low-brow meet, and genres break down.

Iran, Islam and Democracy: The Politics of Managing Change, Ali M. Ansari (Gingko, Fenruary 2019)
Iran, Islam and Democracy: The Politics of Managing Change, Ali M. Ansari (Gingko, February 2019)

The most comprehensive account of the politics of reform in contemporary Iran. The surprise election of Hassan Rouhani in 2013 and his re-election in 2017 has focused attention on the dynamics between Islam and democracy in Iran after the hiatus of the Ahmadinejad presidency. With comparisons being drawn between Rouhani and his predecessor but one, the reformist president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), there has never been a better time for a review and detailed analysis of the rise and fall of the reform movement in Iran.

They Told Us To Move: Dakota—Cassia, by Ng Kok Hoe, The Cassia Resettlement Team (Ethos Books, February 2019)
They Told Us To Move: Dakota—Cassia, Ng Kok Hoe, The Cassia Resettlement Team (Ethos Books, February 2019)

Dakota Crescent was one of Singapore’s oldest public housing estates and a rental flat neighbourhood for low-income households. In 2016, its residents—many of whom are elderly—were relocated to Cassia Crescent to make way for redevelopment. To help them resettle, a group of volunteers came together and formed the Cassia Resettlement Team.

The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me, Janet Pocorobba (Stone Bridge Press, March 2019)
The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me, Janet Pocorobba (Stone Bridge Press, March 2019)

The word sensei in Japanese literally means “one who came before,” but that’s not what Janet Pocorobba’s teacher wanted to be called. She used her first name, Western-style. She wore a velour Beatles cap and leather jacket, and she taught foreigners, in English, the three-stringed shamisen, an instrument that fell out of tune as soon as you started to play it. Vexed by the music and Sensei’s mission to upend an elite musical system, Pocorobba, on the cusp of thirty, gives up her return ticket home to become a lifelong student of her teacher. She is eventually featured in Japan Cosmo as one of the most accomplished gaijin, “outside people”, to play the instrument.

Southeast Asia's Modern Architecture: Questions of Translation, Epistemology and Power, Jiat-Hwee Chang (ed), Imran bin Tajudeen (ed) (NUS Press, January 2019)
Southeast Asia’s Modern Architecture: Questions of Translation, Epistemology and Power, Jiat-Hwee Chang (ed), Imran bin Tajudeen (ed) (NUS Press, January 2019)

What is the modern in Southeast Asia’s architecture and how do we approach its study critically? This pathbreaking multidisciplinary volume is the first critical survey of Southeast Asia’s modern architecture. It looks at the challenges of studying this complex history through the conceptual frameworks of translation, epistemology, and power.

Las Vegas in Singapore: Violence, Progress and the Crisis of Nationalist Modernity, Lee Kah-Wee (NUS Press, December 2018)
Las Vegas in Singapore: Violence, Progress and the Crisis of Nationalist Modernity, Lee Kah-Wee (NUS Press, December 2018)

Las Vegas in Singapore looks at the collision of the histories of Singapore and Las Vegas in the form of Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s two Integrated Resorts.

Where I Have Never Been: Migration, Melancholia, and Memory in Asian American Narratives of Return , Patricia P Chu (Temple University Press, January 2019)
Where I Have Never Been: Migration, Melancholia, and Memory in Asian American Narratives of Return , Patricia P Chu (Temple University Press, January 2019)

In researching accounts of diasporic Chinese offspring who returned to their parents’ ancestral country, author Patricia Chu learned that she was not alone in the experience of growing up in America with an abstract affinity to an ancestral homeland and community. The bittersweet emotions she had are shared in Asian American literature that depicts migration-related melancholia, contests official histories, and portrays Asian American families as flexible and transpacific.