China Tomorrow: Democracy or Dictatorship?, Jean-Pierre Cabestan (Rowman & Littlefield, July 2019)
China Tomorrow: Democracy or Dictatorship?, Jean-Pierre Cabestan (Rowman & Littlefield, July 2019)

In his review of my book China Tomorrow: Democracy or Dictatorship?, Francis Sempa took issue with the point I made that China’s willingness to become a “respected great power and full member of the international community” may convince her elites in the future to democratize her political system, in arguing that this country has already acquired this status.

Rated R Boy: Growing Up Korean in 1980s Queens, Yongsoo Park (Piggycorn, March 2020)
Rated R Boy: Growing Up Korean in 1980s Queens, Yongsoo Park (Piggycorn, March 2020)

Rated R Boy: Growing Up Korean in 1980s Queens is a memoir of one family’s move from South Korea to the United States. Told by its child narrator, it describes life in mid-1970s Korea and compares it to life in America, where he is exposed to things that challenge what he’d held to be sacrosanct.

Cherry Blossoms Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress, Mari Nakahara, Katherine Blood (Smithsonian Books, February 2020)
Cherry Blossoms Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress, Mari Nakahara, Katherine Blood (Smithsonian Books, February 2020)

Experience the splendor of the annual spring viewing of the nation’s sakura (cherry blossoms) with this stunning keepsake book. Original artwork, photographs, and objects from the Library of Congress collections illuminate the story of these landmark trees and how they came to the nation’s capital as a symbol of friendship with Japan.

The United States of India: Anticolonial Literature and Transnational Refraction, Manan Desai (Temple University Press, April 2020)
The United States of India: Anticolonial Literature and Transnational Refraction, Manan Desai (Temple University Press, April 2020)

The United States of India shows how Indian and American writers in the United States played a key role in the development of anticolonial thought in the years during and immediately following the First World War. For Indians Lajpat Rai and Dhan Gopal Mukerji, and Americans Agnes Smedley, WEB Du Bois, and Katherine Mayo, the social and historical landscape of America and India acted as a reflective surface. Manan Desai considers how their interactions provided a “transnational refraction”—a political optic and discursive strategy that offered ways to imagine how American history could shed light on an anticolonial Indian future.

The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories from Japan, Rebecca Otowa (Tuttle, March 2020)
The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories from Japan, Rebecca Otowa (Tuttle, March 2020)

From the unique standpoint of an American woman who married into a Japanese family and has lived in Japan for more than thirty years, Rebecca Otowa weaves enchanting tales of her adopted home that portray the perspective of both the Japanese and the foreigner on the universal issues that face us all—love, work, marriage, death, and family conflict.