A Shameful Life: (Ningen Shikkaku), Osamu Dazai, Mark Gibeau (trans) (Stone Bridge Press, November 2018)
A Shameful Life: (Ningen Shikkaku), Osamu Dazai, Mark Gibeau (trans) (Stone Bridge Press, November 2018)

Osamu Dazai is one of the most famous—and infamous—writers of 20th-century Japan. A Shameful Life (Ningen shikkaku) is his final published work and has become a bestselling classic for its depiction of the tortured struggle of a young man to survive in a world that he cannot comprehend.

Formosa Moon, Joshua Samuel Brown, Stephanie Huffman (Things Asian Press, October 2018)
Formosa Moon, Joshua Samuel Brown, Stephanie Huffman (Things Asian Press, October 2018)

Formosa Moon is a romantic, geeky cultural journey around Taiwan undertaken by a couple comprised of a seasoned guidebook writer intimately familiar with Asia and a first-time visitor who agreed to relocate sight unseen. Join the couple on their journey of discovery through Formosa, “The Beautiful Island”.

No Third Person: Rewriting the Hong Kong Story, Christine Loh and Richard Cullen (Abbreviated Press, October 2018)
No Third Person: Rewriting the Hong Kong Story, Christine Loh and Richard Cullen (Abbreviated Press, October 2018)

British Hong Kong had a good story in the run-up to 1997. Its people worked hard and had an indomitable spirit. China had its own story about Hong Kong: after reunification, the city would prosper as never before due to China’s wise and pragmatic “one country, two systems” policy.

Monsoon on the Fingers of God, Sasenarine Persaud (Mawenzi House, July 2018)
Monsoon on the Fingers of God,
Sasenarine Persaud (Mawenzi House, July 2018)

Using the 2014 Scottish referendum to separate from the UK as a touchstone, this book examines the fluidity of identity and tensions regarding languages and belonging in a modern, global world where peoples, ideas and cultures migrate and interact on a scale never before seen in human history.

Sticky Rice: A Politics of Intraracial Desire, Cynthia Wu (Temple University Press, September 2018)
Sticky Rice: A Politics of Intraracial Desire, Cynthia Wu (Temple University Press, September 2018)

Cynthia Wu’s provocative Sticky Rice examines representations of same-sex desires and intraracial intimacies in some of the most widely read pieces of Asian American literature. Analyzing canonical works such as John Okada’s No-No Boy, Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt, H. T. Tsiang’s And China Has Hands, and Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging, as well as Philip Kan Gotanda’s play, Yankee Dawg You Die, Wu considers how male relationships in these texts blur the boundaries among the homosocial, the homoerotic, and the homosexual in ways that lie beyond our concepts of modern gay identity.

Ascension to Death, Mamdouh Azzam, Max Weiss (trans) (Haus Publishing, June 2018)
Ascension to Death, Mamdouh Azzam, Max Weiss (trans) (Haus Publishing, June 2018)

Ascension to Death is a heartbreaking love story set against the backdrop of a conservative Druze region of southern Syria. It recounts the story of an orphan girl named Salma who falls in love with a boy from her village but is forced into an arranged marriage. Salma’s fate is controlled by her tyrannical guardian uncle, a powerful community leader with connections to the government, who is only too pleased to unload the burden of his brother’s daughter onto the first man to propose.