The Village Maestro & 100 Other Stories, Varghese Mathai (Pippa Rann, January 2023)
The Village Maestro & 100 Other Stories, Varghese Mathai (Pippa Rann, January 2023)

Power tales. Brief by design (micro-stories, really). But unforgettably impactful. Their professor-author first delivered them as his signature “class-openers” on US university campuses.Literature, history, science, philosophy, the scriptures, and even personal life – all are raided for these stories. Nimble and quick, they bridge diverse knowledge fields, never failing to leave an inspirational stamp on the reader’s soul.

Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk, Lu Xun. Eileen J Cheng (trans), Theodore Huters (ed) (Harvard University Press, September 2022)
Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk, Lu Xun, Eileen J Cheng (trans), Theodore Huters (ed) (Harvard University Press, September 2022)

This captivating translation assembles two volumes by Lu Xun, the founder of modern Chinese literature and one of East Asia’s most important thinkers at the turn of the 20th century. Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk represent a pinnacle of achievement alongside Lu Xun’s famed short stories.

Island of Bewilderment: A Novel of Modern Iran, Simin Daneshvar, Patricia J Higgins (trans), Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi (trans) (Syracuse University Press, October 2022)
Island of Bewilderment: A Novel of Modern Iran, Simin Daneshvar, Patricia J Higgins (trans), Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi (trans) (Syracuse University Press, October 2022)

Twenty-six-year-old college graduate, artist, and employee of the Ministry of Art and Culture, Hasti Nourian aspires to be a “new woman”—independent-minded, strong-willed, and in control of her own destiny. A destiny that includes Morad, an idealistic young architect and artist with whom Hasti is deeply in love. Morad is a sharp critic of Iran’s Westernized bourgeois class, the one that Hasti’s mother relishes. After Hasti’s father died, her mother had married a wealthy businessman and moved to an exclusive neighborhood of northern Tehran.

Kyoto Stories, Steve Alpert (Stone Bridge 2022)
Kyoto Stories, Steve Alpert (Stone Bridge 2022)

Don Ascher is a young American living in Kyoto in the 1970s. He is a student of Japanese. He also teaches English, works at a shabu-shabu restaurant, and hangs out in the company of gangsters, hostesses, housewives, tea teachers, and fellow foreigners. Set amidst the timeless beauty of the ancient capital and its garish modern entertainments, this collection of fanciful episodes from Don’s life is a window into Japanese culture and a chronicle of romance and human connections.

A Flutter in the Colony, Sandeep Ray (Penguin Random House SEA, July 2022)
A Flutter in the Colony, Sandeep Ray (Penguin Random House SEA, July 2022)

In 1956, the Senguptas travel from Calcutta to rural Malaya to start afresh. In their new hamlet of anonymity—a small settlement on the edge of a British rubber plantation—the couple gradually forget their troubled pasts and form new ties. But this second home is not entirely free and gentle. A complex, racially charged society, it is on the brink of independence even as communist insurgents hover on the periphery. How much can a newcomer meddle before it starts to destroy him?

Self-Portrait with Ghost: Short Stories, Meng Jin (Mariner Books , July 2022)
Self-Portrait with Ghost: Short Stories, Meng Jin (Mariner Books, July 2022)

From the acclaimed author of Little Gods, whose “gift merges science, politics and art: the kind of audacity our world needs now” (Gina Apostol), comes an immersive and electrifying story collection that explores self-construction, female resilience, and migrations both literal and transformative.

Into the Desert, Xuemo, Howard Goldblatt (trans), Sylvia Li-chun Lin (trans) (
Into the Desert, Xuemo, Howard Goldblatt (trans), Sylvia Li-chun Lin (trans) (Long River Press, May 2022)

This is the story of two women in Western China in the 1990s, on the edge of the Gobi Desert, near the site of the ancient Silk Road. Bound together by both poverty and tradition, they embark upon a perilous journey to change their lives. In Into the Desert, acclaimed Chinese author Xuemo has recreated a bygone village in Gansu province in Western China, a place where camels are as common as automobiles and potatoes replace rice. With his discerning eye for desert landscape, a fine ear for colorful local expressions, and an acute sensitivity to the inner world of his characters, the reader is led on a fantastic journey where hope and tragedy go hand in hand, and where centuries of tradition both suppress and compel the forces of change.