Crystal Z Lee’s debut novel, Love and Other Moods, begins—as one does—with a lavish wedding à la Crazy Rich Asians. Chinese-American Joss Kong is marrying ultra-wealthy Tay Kai Tang at a swanky Shanghai hotel with an audience of friends and family that speak a variety of Chinese dialects and English with a variety of accents. There’s a Who’s Who of designer and luxury goods on everyone in the wedding party and on every guest.
The Russian cultural presence in Japan after the Meiji Revolution was immense. Indeed, Japanese cultural negotiations with Russian intellectuals and Russian literature, art, theology and political thought, formed an important basis for modern Japanese transnational intellectual, cultural, literary, and artistic production.
Tom is a young boy who is “ordinary most of the time”—that is, unless he’s visiting his grandmother Bea, an archaeologist whose artifacts have the power to transport Tom back into time.
Around the Chinese New Year period, millions of Chinese migrant workers return home from jobs in China’s major cities to their rural villages to visit their families. China’s urban centers and factory towns rely on migrant workers from provinces like Guizhou: places that are still relatively underdeveloped, despite the massive growth seen on China’s coasts. The fact that, this year, many migrants likely can’t return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the instability that defines much of their lives.
Laura Moretti’s Pleasure in Profit begins and ends with the image of a bookshop in 17th-century Kyoto:
Now step back in time, to seventeenth-century Japan. Imagine yourself on Teramachi Street, in the heart of Kyoto.
A novel set in capitalist Hong Kong in the 1960s and steeped in alcohol, prostitution and stream-of-consciousness narration might not suggest a controlled work of fiction. Yet Liu Yichang’s classic The Drunkard, in Charlotte Chun-lam Yiu’s new translation, is measured, uninhibited and very good.
Power corrupts is the message from author Megha Majumdar in her blistering debut novel of prejudice and injustice set in contemporary Kolkata.