Refreshing the Singapore System: Recalibrating Socio-Economic Policy for the 21st Century, Terence WL Ho (World Scientific, August 2021) By (author): Terence W L Ho
Refreshing the Singapore System: Recalibrating Socio-Economic Policy for the 21st Century, Terence WL Ho (World Scientific, August 2021)

Entering the 21st century, however, slowing economic growth, an ageing population, global competition, and widening income dispersion have put the Singapore System under strain. This has prompted a significant refresh of social and economic policies over the past 15-20 years.

House of Glass Hearts, Leila Siddiqui (Yali, September 2021)
House of Glass Hearts, Leila Siddiqui (Yali, September 2021)

Maera and her ammi never talk about the Past, a place where they’ve banished their family’s heartache and grief forever. They especially never mention the night Maera’s older brother Asad disappeared from her naana’s house in Karachi ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies and his derelict greenhouse appears in her backyard from thousands of miles away, Maera is forced to confront the horrors of her grandfather’s past. To find out what happened to her brother, she must face the keepers of her family’s secrets—the monsters that live inside her grandfather’s mysterious house of glass.

Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm: Poems and Essays, Yu Xiuhua, Fiona Sze-Lorrain (Astra House, September 2021)
Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm: Poems and Essays, Yu Xiuhua, Fiona Sze-Lorrain (trans) (Astra House, September 2021)

Born in 1976 in Hengdian village, Hubei Province, Yu Xiuhua is a poet from an impoverished rural background who was born with cerebral palsy. She began writing poetry in 1998. Her poetry collection Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm sold over 300,000 copies in China. Yu received the Peasant Literature Award in 2016 and the Hubei Literary Prize in 2018. 

Em’s Awful Good Fortune: A Novel, Marcie Maxfield (She Writes Press, August 2021)
Em’s Awful Good Fortune: A Novel, Marcie Maxfield (She Writes Press, August 2021)

Not your typical story about an American abroad. Instead, Marcie Maxfield pulls back the curtain on the globe-trotting world of a “tagalong” wife to explore issues of marriage and compromise. Moving backward and forward—both in time and between cities and countries (Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul)—Em’s Awful Good Fortune is woven together thematically by bit and pieces of Em’s life: love, loss and betrayal.

The Hunter’s Walk, Nabeel Ismeer (Penguin Random House Southeast Asia, June 2021)
The Hunter’s Walk, Nabeel Ismeer (Penguin Random House Southeast Asia, June 2021)

Generations of prolonged drought and hunger have allowed the harsher voices of the Zarda tribe to set edicts of discrimination against their fair skin members. Ghar, a dark skin cave painter and Dun, his fair skin brother, push back on this discrimination to ensure that Dun and the fair skins can take part in the Hunter’s Walk, a Zardan rite of passage.

Seaways and Gatekeepers: Trade and State in the Eastern Archipelagos of Southeast Asia, c.1600–c.1906, Heather Sutherland (NUS Press, May 2021)
Seaways and Gatekeepers: Trade and State in the Eastern Archipelagos of Southeast Asia, c.1600–c.1906, Heather Sutherland (NUS Press, May 2021)

The eastern archipelagos stretch from Mindanao and Sulu in the north to Bali in the southwest and New Guinea in the southeast. Many of their inhabitants are regarded as “people without history”, while colonial borders cut across shared underlying patterns. Yet many of these societies were linked to trans-oceanic trading systems for millennia. Indeed, some of the world’s most prized commodities once came from territories which were either “stateless” or under the very tenuous control of loosely structured polities. Although individual regimes sought to control traffic, exchange between trans-regional or even trans-oceanic shippers and local communities was often direct, without mediation by overarching authorities.