Minjian: The Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals, Sebastian Veg (Columbia University Press. April 2019)
Minjian: The Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals, Sebastian Veg (Columbia University Press. April 2019)

Who are the new Chinese intellectuals? In the wake of the crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement and the rapid marketization of the 1990s, a novel type of grassroots intellectual emerged. Instead of harking back to the traditional role of the literati or pronouncing on democracy and modernity like 1980s public intellectuals, they derive legitimacy from their work with the vulnerable and the marginalized, often proclaiming their independence with a heavy dose of anti-elitist rhetoric. They are proudly minjian—unofficial, unaffiliated, and among the people.

Indigo Girl, Suzanne Kamata (GemmaMedia, May 2019)
Indigo Girl, Suzanne Kamata (GemmaMedia, May 2019)

Fifteen-year-old Aiko Cassidy, a bicultural girl with cerebral palsy, grew up in Michigan with her single mother. For as long as she could remember, it was just the two of them. When a new stepfather and a baby half sister enter her life, she finds herself on the margins. Having recently come into contact with her biological father, she is invited to spend the summer with his indigo-growing family in a small Japanese farming village. Aiko thinks she just might fit in better in Japan. If nothing else, she figures the trip will inspire her manga story, Gadget Girl.

Anna May Wong: Performing the Modern, Shirley Jennifer Lim (Temple University Press, April 2019)
Anna May Wong: Performing the Modern, Shirley Jennifer Lim (Temple University Press, April 2019)

Pioneering Chinese American actress Anna May Wong made more than sixty films, headlined theater and vaudeville productions, and even starred in her own television show. Her work helped shape racial modernity as she embodied the dominant image of Chinese and, more generally, “Oriental” women between 1925 and 1940.

China Smart: What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know ~ A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language, Larry Herzberg (Stone Bridge Press, May 2019)
China Smart: What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know ~ A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language, Larry Herzberg (Stone Bridge Press, May 2019)

How is China organized politically? What are the issues that young people face in today’s China? What is China doing about its problem with pollution? Is the Chinese internet like our internet? What’s China’s role in the world today? And how much do you know about China’s great woman emperor or the Chinese explorer whose voyages may have inspired the legend of Sinbad the Sailor? What are the major Chinese holidays, their superstitions regarding numbers, and the true nature of the Chinese written language?

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.

Under the Indian Umbrella : A Collage of Short-Stories, Murli Melwani, (LiFi Publications, January 2019)
Under the Indian Umbrella : A Collage of Short-Stories, Murli Melwani, (LiFi Publications, January 2019)

The 15 stories in the book deal with the contradictions, paradoxes and ironies of Indian life. The combination of setting, memorable characters, clear writing, and themes suggest a vision of an expansive and vast country of wonder. Among the stories, “Hawana of the East” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2012. “Sunday with Mary” was part of the list for Best of the Net 2013 Prize.