Sapphire Promise: Based on a true story of loyalty, trust, and unfailing love, Sally Brandle (May 2021)
Sapphire Promise: Based on a true story of loyalty, trust, and unfailing love, Sally Brandle (May 2021)

Loyalty to family. Trusting instincts. The will to survive. These virtues are deeply embedded in a mature Dutch teenager, Annika Wolter. Her attributes prove useful as she navigates typical coming-of-age insecurities and a blossoming romance with a handsome lieutenant in 1939 Batavia, Java.

Top Graduate Zhang Xie: The Earliest Extant Chinese Southern Play, Regina S Llamas (trans, intro) (Columbia University Press, June 2021)
Top Graduate Zhang Xie: The Earliest Extant Chinese Southern Play, Regina S Llamas (trans, intro) (Columbia University Press, June 2021)

Top Graduate Zhang Xie is the first extant play in the Chinese southern dramatic tradition and a milestone in the history of Chinese literature. Dating from the early fifteenth century, but possibly composed earlier, it is the work of a writing club called the Nine Mountain Society.

Our Home in Myanmar: Four years in Yangon, Jessica Mudditt (March 2021)
Our Home in Myanmar: Four years in Yangon, Jessica Mudditt (March 2021)

Myanmar—shrouded in mystery, misunderstood and isolated for half a century. After a whirlwind romance in Bangladesh, Australian journalist Jessica Mudditt and her Bangladeshi husband Sherpa arrive in Yangon in 2012—just as the military junta is beginning to relax its ironclad grip on power.

China and the Cholera Pandemic Restructuring Society under Mao, Xiaoping Fang (University of Pittsburgh Press, April 2021)
China and the Cholera Pandemic: Restructuring Society under Mao, Xiaoping Fang (University of Pittsburgh Press, April 2021)

Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward campaign organized millions of Chinese peasants into communes in a misguided attempt to rapidly collectivize agriculture with disastrous effects. Catastrophic famine lingered as the global cholera pandemic of the early 1960s spread rampantly through the infected waters of southeastern coastal China. Confronted with a political crisis and the seventh global cholera pandemic in recorded history, the communist government committed to social restructuring in order to affirm its legitimacy and prevent transmission of the disease.

Chinese Film Classics, 1922–1949, Christopher Rea (Columbia University Press, June 2021)
Chinese Film Classics, 1922–1949, Christopher Rea (Columbia University Press, June 2021)

Chinese Film Classics, 1922–1949 is an essential guide to the first golden age of Chinese cinema. Offering detailed introductions to fourteen films, this study highlights the creative achievements of Chinese filmmakers in the decades leading up to 1949, when the Communists won the civil war and began nationalizing cultural industries.

A Son of Taiwan: Stories of Government Atrocity, Howard Goldblatt (trans), Sylvia Li-chun Lin (trans), (Cambria Press, April 2021)
A Son of Taiwan: Stories of Government Atrocity, Howard Goldblatt (ed), Sylvia Li-chun Lin (ed), (Cambria Press, April 2021)

In many ways, Taiwan presents a compelling example of how autocratic regimes impose their will on a population, often as colonial overlords. A peaceful island peopled by Austronesians and ethnic Chinese, rich in agricultural output, has been a geopolitical pawn in recent history, first by the Japanese and then the defeated regime of Chiang Kai-shek in China. Parallels throughout the world are not difficult to find.

Nomad, Nomad, Jonan Pilet (Bound to Brew, June 2021)
Nomad, Nomad, Jonan Pilet (Bound to Brew, June 2021)

In his debut short story collection, Jonan Pilet explores the lives of Mongols and expats, looking for a sense of home within the nomadic culture. Based on the author’s insights having grown up in Mongolia, the series of interlinked narratives capture the cultural turmoil Mongolia experienced after the fall of the Soviet Union, painting a vivid picture of Mongol landscapes, Western interactions, and the rise of cultural tensions.