Cambodian-American poet Monica Sok recalls transgeneration trauma in her debut collection, A Nail the Evening Hangs On. Born in Pennsylvania to parents who have sought refuge in the United States, Sok retraces the contours of a difficult and important conversation on identity. She succeeds in using her Americanness to question her sense of belonging in the Cambodian narrative, while inviting the reader in two countries’ complex political history.

In the newly-translated I Live in the Slums, her first collection of short stories in a decade, Chinese writer Can Xue invites us on a bizarre, at times whimsical, dark and unclassifiable journey exploring the terrain of and interaction with China’s urban geography. She keeps with her unique unconventional voice, as is best known in her earlier novels such as Love in the New Millennium, and Frontier.

In the Sahara Desert, Ukhayyad, the son of a powerful tribal leader, receives a camel as a gift. The Mahri camel is not an ordinary breed. It is beautiful, unique. Ukhayyad develops an endearment towards the animal which only grows and runs parallel with his coming-of-age. Gold Dust, its English edition recently republished, follows their bond, as events quickly trouble their tranquillity.

Tehran bus driver Yunus Turabi, participates in a city-wide strike called by the union. The strike is forcefully repressed. Violence begets more violence. Yunus loses his temper in a bus ride as he remembers his peers beaten by police forces. He is imprisoned shortly after, in a life-altering departure from a previous existence marked by small pleasures and industrious routine. Thrown into a brutal prison world he has no previous acquaintance with, in the notorious Evin Prison no less (“the black hole of Tehran”), 44-year-old Yunus comes to grip with his charges in a story that carefully threads social justice, solitude, and draws on classical prison literature for its depiction of settings, nuance and conflict.