Born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Marilyn Chin is one of the most celebrated contemporary Chinese-American poets. Winner of the 2020 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, her collections include A Portrait of the Self as Nation (2018), Hard Love Province (2014), Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (2002), Dwarf Bamboo (1987) and The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994, 2009) alongside a novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (2009). Also a translator, she has translated poems by the modern Chinese poet Ai Qing and co-translated poems by the Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu.
A compilation of reviews and other coverage in the past twelve months for Women in Translation month (August 2020): by author, translator and language. Click on the “link” symbol over each cover for the review, author, translator and publisher information.
Francesca Cavallo, best known for her best-selling children’s book, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, has written and released a new, free e-book for children, Dr Li and the Crown-Wearing Virus. The short, 11-page book explains how Wuhan ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang first noticed how many of his patients suffered from the severe flu-like symptoms that didn’t resemble any known disease.
Poet and dancer, Tishani Doshi’s latest book, Small Days and Nights, released April 2019, narrates the story of Grace (half-Italian, half-Indian), who moves from the US to India, owing to the passing away of her mother. Her life unravels when a house is bequeathed to her, in a village by the sea, and she meets Lucia, a sister, she never knew she had. While Doshi’s last book, Girls are Coming Out Of The Woods, was a poetry collection that evoked feelings of resilience, fear, pain and wonder, her latest novel takes the reader deeper into the realms of familial relationships, loss, endearment and rebirth of emotions that get buried through time and distance.
In 1942, Jewish refugee Max Faerber opened Paragon Book Gallery in Shanghai. Faerber had worked for a newspaper in Vienna before he fled the Nazis for the brighter shores of Shanghai. During his first few years in China, Faerber put his newspaper skills to use and managed a German Jewish newspaper, one of many publications produced in the refugee communities in Shanghai. But when the Japanese occupied the whole of Shanghai in December 1941, Max looked for another profession. He turned to bookselling.
Hong Kong’s year in books: fiction, film, politics, children’s books, photography, history, botany.
How did Asia fare in the “Best Books” sweepstakes of 2019? This is partly keeping score, but there are also undoubtedly many excellent recommendations and hidden gems in these many lists.