The Lacquered Talisman: A novel of fourteenth century China, Laurie Dennis (Earnshaw 2020)
The Lacquered Talisman: A novel of fourteenth century China, Laurie Dennis (Earnshaw 2020)

A sweeping coming-of-age epic, The Lacquered Talisman launches the story of one of the most influential figures in Chinese history. He is the son of a bean curd seller and he will found the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368-1644.

With the exception of Singapore and Malaysia, where English is relatively widely used, and with the further exception of so-called “expat fiction” featuring foreign protagonists, Southeast Asia seemingly generates fewer novels in English—whether in translation or written directly in the language—than other regions of South and East Asia. This situation has ameliorated somewhat in recent years, a period that has coincided with the rise of a regional Southeast Asian culture and media market. Southeast Asian publishers are increasing sourcing and marketing books regionally.

A Korean nonagenarian learns on the news that the last remaining “comfort woman” is on her deathbed. The narrator, unnamed until the end of the book, is determined to meet this last victim: she wants to know if she knew the woman from 70 years earlier. She also wants to assure her that she’s not in fact the last one left. The narrator has never told anyone about her past—not even her siblings and their children; it’s finally a chance to talk about it.

Chinese Brothers, American Sons, Ed Shew (Earnshaw, June 2020)
Chinese Brothers, American Sons, Ed Shew (Earnshaw, June 2020)

Tens of thousands of men from southern China changed the course of American history with their tireless work in the California gold fields in the 1850s and their crucial contribution in the building of the first Transcontinental Railroad in the following decade.

Tales of Ming Courtesans, by Alice Poon (Earnshaw, June 2020)
Tales of Ming Courtesans, by Alice Poon (Earnshaw, June 2020)

From the author of The Green Phoenix comes a riveting tale of female friendship, honor, and sacrifice for love, set in 17th century China and featuring the intertwined stories of three of the era’s most renowned courtesans, escorts skilled in music, poetry and painting who could decide themselves whether or not to offer patrons bed favors.