My Village: Selected Poems 1972-2014, Wu Sheng, John Balcom (trans) (Zephyr Press, May 2020)
My Village: Selected Poems 1972-2014, Wu Sheng, John Balcom (trans) (Zephyr Press, May 2020)

Wu Sheng has written vivid poems about rural life and the land since the 1960s, when he became one of Taiwan’s most popular poets. His poems are rooted in the soil, imbued with an unshakable affinity for the people who till it, sweat over it, and eventually are buried in it, and serve as his personal response to the industrialization, urbanization and globalization of his vanishing world.

Floral Mutter, Ya Shi, Nick Admussen (trans) (Zephyr Press, March 2020) Poetry
Floral Mutter, Ya Shi, Nick Admussen (trans) (Zephyr Press, March 2020)

A math teacher by day, Ya Shi lives 1,000 miles from the Beijing literary scene, but is celebrated among lovers of Chinese poetry from the conservative to the avant-garde. His jagged and intense short lyrics, wild nature sonnets, punchy couplets, and genre-bending, surreal poetic essays daringly combine iconoclasm and heart.

 Saving Sun Bears: One Man’s Quest to Save a Species, Sarah Pye (Signal8Press, June 2020)
Saving Sun Bears: One Man’s Quest to Save a Species, Sarah Pye (Signal8Press, June 2020)

In Asia, adult sun bears are poached for body parts which are thought to have medicinal properties. Many orphaned cubs, with their small size and endearing features, are kept illegally as pets. Malaysian ecologist Dr Wong Siew Te, or “papa bear”, has dedicated his life to saving the world’s smallest bear from extinction.

Corporate Conquests: Business, the State, and the Origins of Ethnic Inequality in Southwest China, C Patterson Giersch (Stanford University Press, April 2020)
Corporate Conquests: Business, the State, and the Origins of Ethnic Inequality in Southwest China, C Patterson Giersch (Stanford University Press, April 2020)

Tenacious patterns of ethnic and economic inequality persist in the rural, largely minority regions of China’s north- and southwest. Such inequality is commonly attributed to geography, access to resources, and recent political developments. In Corporate Conquests, C Patterson Giersch provides a desperately-needed challenge to these conventional understandings by tracing the disempowerment of minority communities to the very beginnings of China’s modern development.

Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu: Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic, Xu Xu, Frederik H Green (trans) (Stone Bridge Press, May 2020
Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu: Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic, Xu Xu, Frederik H Green (trans) (Stone Bridge Press, May 2020)

Xu Xu (1908-1980) was one of the most widely read Chinese authors of the 1930s to 1960s. His popular urban gothic tales, his exotic spy fiction, and his quasi-existentialist love stories full of nostalgia and melancholy offer today’s readers an unusual glimpse into China’s turbulent twentieth century.

Red Affairs, White Affairs, Felicia Nay (Cinnamon Press, March 2020>
Red Affairs, White Affairs, Felicia Nay (Cinnamon Press, March 2020)

Hong Kong at the beginning of a new millennium—a teeming city where ritual, religion, the spirits of the dead and the spirit of enterprise meet and clash. For Reini “Kim” Kranich, a young German aid worker obsessed with death, Chinese underwear, Emily Dickinson and cockroaches, it’s a place of fragile hopes.