All Mine!: Happiness, Ownership, and Naming in Eleventh-Century China, Stephen Owen (Columbia University Press) Columbia University Press
All Mine!: Happiness, Ownership, and Naming in Eleventh-Century China, Stephen Owen (Columbia University Press)

Under the Song Dynasty, China experienced rapid commercial growth and monetization of the economy. In the same period, the austere ethical turn that led to neo-Confucianism was becoming increasingly prevalent in the imperial bureaucracy and literati culture. Tracing the influences of these trends in Chinese intellectual history, All Mine! explores the varied ways in which 11th-century writers worked through the conflicting values of this new world.

America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility, Rajika Bhandari (She Writes Press, September 2021)
America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility, Rajika Bhandari (She Writes Press, September 2021)

Growing up in India, Rajika Bhandari has seen generations of her family look westward, where an American education means status and success. But she resists the lure of America because those who leave never seem to return; they become flies trapped in honey in a land of opportunity. As a young woman, however, she follows her heart and a relationship—and finds herself heading to a US university to study. As she works her way through America’s tangled web of immigration, Bhandari lands in a job that immerses her in the lives of international students from over 200 countries and the universities that attract them.

Number One Realist: Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare, Nathaniel L Moir (Hurst, Oxford University Press, December 2021)
Number One Realist: Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare, Nathaniel L Moir (Hurst, Oxford University Press, December 2021)

In a 1965 letter to Newsweek, French writer and academic Bernard Fall (1926–67) staked a claim as the ‘Number One Realist’ on the Vietnam War. This is the first book to study the thought of this overlooked figure, one of the most important experts on counterinsurgency warfare in Indochina. Nathaniel L Moir’s intellectual history analyses Fall’s formative experiences: his service in the French underground and army during the Second World War; his father’s execution by the Germans and his mother’s murder in Auschwitz; and his work as a research analyst at the Nuremberg Trials.

Beyond English: World Literature and India, by Bhavya Tiwari (Bloomsbury Academic, September 2021)
Beyond English: World Literature and India, by Bhavya Tiwari (Bloomsbury Academic, September 2021)

Beyond English: World Literature and India radically alters the debates on world literature that hinge on the model of circulation and global capital by deeply engaging with the idea of the world and world-making in South Asia. Tiwari argues that Indic words for world (vishva, jagat, sansar) offer a nuanced understanding of world literature that is antithetical to a commodified and standardized monolingual globe.

Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization, Rosalind Galt (Columbia University Press, November 2021)
Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization, Rosalind Galt (Columbia University Press, November 2021)

The pontianak, a terrifying female vampire ghost, is a powerful figure in Malay cultures, as loved and feared in Southeast Asia as Dracula is in the West. In animist tradition, she is a woman who has died in childbirth, and her vengeful return upsets gender norms and social hierarchies. The pontianak first appeared on screen in late colonial Singapore in a series of popular films that combine indigenous animism and transnational production with the cultural and political force of the horror genre.

The Art and Craft of Asian Stories: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, Robin Hemley and Xu Xi (Bloomsbury Academic, September 2021)
The Art and Craft of Asian Stories: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, Robin Hemley and Xu Xi (Bloomsbury Academic, September 2021)

An all-in-one craft guide and anthology that examines stories by leading writers from Japan, China, India, Singapore and beyond as well as those from Asian diasporas in Europe and America. While still taking stock of the traditional elements of story such as character, viewpoint and setting, Xu and Hemley let these compelling stories speak for themselves to offer readers new ideas and approaches which could enrich their own creative work.

Thai Politics in Translation: Monarchy, Democracy and the Supra-constitution,  Michael K Connors (ed), Ukrist Pathmanand (ed) (NIAS Press, October 2021)
Thai Politics in Translation: Monarchy, Democracy and the Supra-constitution, Michael K Connors (ed), Ukrist Pathmanand (ed) (NIAS Press, October 2021)

Since Thailand’s political crisis began with royalist mobilization against prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2005, observers have been treated to easy clichés about reactionary Thai elites. The chapters in this book invite readers to refrain from quick judgement and engage with the conservative norms of sections of the middle class, military, intellectuals and state ideologues.