Just around the corner from Rome’s Pantheon, on the Via di Sant’Ignazio, is the famed Biblioteca Casanatense. Among its precious  books and manuscripts is an album of 76 striking watercolours made  in Goa around 1540, the work of an anonymous Indian painter for an unknown Portuguese patron.

Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding is a delightful comedy of manners, about relationships among an extended clan of Indian-American wedding-goers. Cast as a sort of Crazy Rich South Asians, the destination is Delhi. The wedding is that of Shefali and Pavan, a thoroughly-modern couple of rich kids with wacky families, whose wedding, unbeknownst to them, is the first ever staged by Bubbles Trivedi, their larger-than-life wedding planner.

Nonlocal, or Youth and Night, Christophe Bolduc (Gymnasia Press, July 2020)
Nonlocal, or Youth and Night, Christophe Bolduc (Gymnasia Press, July 2020)

Concerning education, Nietzsche asked, “How can the individual be integrated into the counterpoint of private and public culture; how can he both sing the melody and simultaneously make it the accompaniment?” At its core, this is the same question that Nonlocal explores.

The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing, Si Nae Park (Columbia University Press, August 2020)
The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing, Si Nae Park (Columbia University Press, August 2020)

As the political, economic, and cultural center of Chosŏn Korea, eighteenth-century Seoul epitomized a society in flux: It was a bustling, worldly metropolis into which things and people from all over the country flowed. In this book, Si Nae Park examines how the culture of Chosŏn Seoul gave rise to a new vernacular narrative form that was evocative of the spoken and written Korean language of the time.

Longmen's Stone Buddhas and Cultural Heritage: When Antiquity Met Modernity in China, Dong Wang (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2020)
Longmen’s Stone Buddhas and Cultural Heritage: When Antiquity Met Modernity in China, Dong Wang (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2020)

This thoroughly researched book provides the first comprehensive history of how a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Central China Plain, Longmen’s caves and the Buddhist statuary of Luoyang, was rediscovered in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Iris Weijun Wang is just like any other New Jersey teen. She enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends and spending time with her boyfriend. Her parents are Chinese immigrants who speak English at home and are pretty hands off when it comes to their daughter’s school work and extracurricular activities. But when they learn during Iris’s last semester of high school that she’s about to flunk out and has been rejected from every college she has applied to, Iris’s parents flip out. Her otherwise laid-back father comes up with the perfect solution to teach Iris some responsibility. Off to China she goes.