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Celebrating Asian Voices: Your Recommendation
Celebrating Asian voices through books and literature.
In the first week of December 2021, members of the UBCO community participated in sharing their great recommendations of books written by authors from Asia. On this page, you will find the recommended books that are also available through UBC Library catalogue!
From the author of the internationally bestselling, award-winningThe Devotion of Suspect X comes the latest novel featuring "Detective Galileo" In 2011,The Devotion of Suspect X was a hit with critics and readers alike. The first major English language publication from the most popular bestselling writer in Japan, it was acclaimed as "stunning," "brilliant," and "ingenious." Now physics professor Manabu Yukawa--Detective Galileo--returns in a new case of impossible murder, where instincts clash with facts and theory with reality. Yoshitaka, who was about to leave his marriage and his wife, is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee and dies. His wife, Ayane, is the logical suspect--except that she was hundreds of miles away when he was murdered. The lead detective, Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi, is immediately smitten with her and refuses to believe that she could have had anything to do with the crime. His assistant, Kaoru Utsumi, however, is convinced Ayane is guilty. While Utsumi's instincts tell her one thing, thefacts of the case are another matter. So she does what her boss has done for years when stymied--she calls upon Professor Manabu Yukawa. But even the brilliant mind of Dr. Yukawa has trouble with this one, and he must somehow find a way to solve an impossible murder and capture a very real, very deadly murderer. Salvation of a Saint is Keigo Higashino at his mind-bending best, pitting emotion against fact in a beautifully plotted crime novel filled with twists and reverses that will astonish and surprise even the most attentive and jaded of readers.
Portraying himself as a failure, the protagonist of Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human narrates a seemingly normal life even while he feels himself incapable of understanding human beings. Oba Yozo's attempts to reconcile himself to the world around him begin in early childhood, continue through high school, where he becomes a "clown" to mask his alienation, and eventually lead to a failed suicide attempt as an adult. Without sentimentality, he records the casual cruelties of life and its fleeting moments of human connection and tenderness.
Are there other dimensions beyond our own? Is time travel possible? Can we change the past? Are there gateways to parallel universes? All of us have pondered such questions, but there was a time when scientists dismissed these notions as outlandish speculations. Not any more. Today, they are the focus of the most intense scientific activity in recent memory. In Hyperspace, Michio Kaku, author of the widely acclaimed Beyond Einstein and a leading theoretical physicist, offers the first book-length tour of the most exciting (and perhaps most bizarre) work in modern physics, work which includes research on the tenth dimension, time warps, black holes, and multiple universes. The theory of hyperspace (or higher dimensional space)--and its newest wrinkle, superstring theory--stand at the center of this revolution, with adherents in every major research laboratory in the world, including several Nobel laureates. Beginning where Hawking's Brief History of Time left off, Kaku paints a vivid portrayal of the breakthroughs now rocking the physics establishment. Why all the excitement? As the author points out, for over half a century, scientists have puzzled over why the basic forces of the cosmos--gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces--require markedly different mathematical descriptions. But if we see these forces as vibrations in a higher dimensional space, their field equations suddenly fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, perfectly snug, in an elegant, astonishingly simple form. This may thus be our leading candidate for the Theory of Everything. If so, it would be the crowning achievement of 2,000 years of scientific investigation into matter and its forces. Already, the theory has inspired several thousand research papers, and has been the focus of over 200 international conferences. Michio Kaku is one of the leading pioneers in superstring theory and has been at the forefront of this revolution in modern physics. With Hyperspace, he has produced a book for general readers which conveys the vitality of the field and the excitement as scientists grapple with the meaning of space and time. It is an exhilarating look at physics today and an eye-opening glimpse into the ultimate nature of the universe.
Solo Leveling by Dubu
Known as the the Weakest Hunter of All Mankind, E-rank hunter Jinwoo Sung's contribution to raids amounts to trying not to get killed. Unfortunately, between his mother's hospital bills, his sister's tuition, and his own lack of job prospects, he has no choice but to continue to put his life on the line. So when an opportunity arises for a bigger payout, he takes it…only to come face-to-face with a being whose power outranks anything he's ever seen! With the party leader missing an arm and the only healer a quivering mess, can Jinwoo somehow find them a way out?
A stunning Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of the world's most famous military treatise, by the award-winning translator of the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching For more than two thousand years, Sun-tzu's The Art of War has provided leaders with essential advice on battlefield tactics and management strategies. An elemental part of Chinese culture, it has also become a touchstone for the Western struggle for survival and success, whether in battle, in business, or in relationships. Now, in this crisp, accessible translation, eminent scholar John Minford brings this seminal work to life for today's readers. Capturing the literary quality of the work, Minford presents the core text in two formats: first, the unadorned ancient words of wisdom ascribed to Sun-tzu; then, the same text with extensive running commentary from the canon of traditional Chinese commentators. A lively, learned introduction and other valuable apparatus round out this authoritative volume. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Revives the literary masterpiece of the same name in modern-day Tokyo. Beautifully rendered through Usamaru Furuya's striking visuals, this adaptation of Osamu Dazai's self-destructive semi-autobiography draws an eerie parallel to Furuya's own life as a struggling cartoonist. Considered a classic in Japan, Dazai's No Longer Human (New Directions, 1973) details the life of a youth whose traumatic past renders him incapable of revealing his true emotions. Now told through Furuya's eyes, this tragic tale of loathing and suicide is taken to new levels of dismay.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a memoir by Haruki Murakami in which he writes about his interest and participation in long-distance running. The book is translated by Philip Gabriel. Murakami started running in the early 1980s and since then has competed in over twenty marathons and an ultramarathon.
Shusaku Endo is Japan's foremost novelist, and Silence is generally regarded to be his masterpiece. In a perfect fusion of treatment and theme, this powerful novel tells the story of a seventeenth-century Portuguese priest in Japan at the height of the fearful persecution of the small Christian community.
"An extraordinary novel set in China before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989--the breakout book we've been waiting for from a bestselling, Amazon.ca First Novel Award winner. Madeleine Thien's new novel is breathtaking in scope and ambition even as it is hauntingly intimate. With the ease and skill of a master storyteller, Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations--those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century. With exquisite writing sharpened by a surprising vein of wit and sly humour, Thien has crafted unforgettable characters who are by turns flinty and headstrong, dreamy and tender, foolish and wise. At the centre of this epic tale, as capacious and mysterious as life itself, are enigmatic Sparrow, a genius composer who wishes desperately to create music yet can find truth only in silence; his mother and aunt, Big Mother Knife and Swirl, survivors with captivating singing voices and an unbreakable bond; Sparrow's ethereal cousin Zhuli, daughter of Swirl and storyteller Wen the Dreamer, who as a child witnesses the denunciation of her parents and as a young woman becomes the target of denunciations herself; and headstrong, talented Kai, best friend of Sparrow and Zhuli, and a determinedly successful musician who is a virtuoso at masking his true self until the day he can hide no longer. Here, too, is Kai's daughter, the ever-questioning mathematician Marie, who pieces together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking a fragile meaning in the layers of their collective story. With maturity and sophistication, humour and beauty, a huge heart and impressive understanding, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once beautifully intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of daily life inside China, yet transcendent in its universality."
The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall of China. It doesn't matter that the girls die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But when she gets her vengeance, it becomes clear that she is an Iron Widow, a rare kind of female pilot who can sacrifice males to power up Chrysalises instead. To tame her frightening yet valuable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest male pilot in Huaxia, yet feared and ostracized for killing his father and brothers. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will take over instead, then leverage their combined strength to force her society to stop failing its women and girls. Or die trying.
The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.
Soon to be a Netflix Original Series! An NPR Best Book of the Decade Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel "War of the Worlds for the 21st century." - Wall Street Journal The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin. Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision. The Three-Body Problem Series The Three-Body Problem The Dark Forest Death's End Other Books Ball Lightning Supernova Era To Hold Up The Sky (forthcoming)
In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew. "There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones." In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. *Includes reading group guide*
Cat Country by Lao She; Ian Johnson (Introduction by)
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
Lao She's only work of science fiction is both a dark, dystopian tale of one man's close encounter with the feline kind and a scathing indictment of a country gone awry When a traveler from China crash-lands on Mars, he finds himself in a country inhabited entirely by Cat People. Befriended by a local cat-man, he becomes acquainted in all aspects of cat-life: he learns to speak Felinese, masters cat-poetry, and appreciates the narcotic effects of the reverie leaf--their food staple. But curiosity turns to despair when he ventures further into the heart of the country and the culture, and realizes that he is witnessing the bleak decline of a civilization.
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
Yummah by Sarah Al Shafei
Publication Date: 2005-03-01
Khadeeja is a child who is forced into womanhood early. She is compelled to marry a man much older than she through arranged marriage and lives a world of hardships from then on. Her mother dies soon after her wedding, leaving her with a husband she hardly knows and two brothers she knows nothing of. Khadeeja learns to love her husband and win his love in return, but just as she thought her life was a beautiful love story her precious son dies from a scorpion bite. Grief and sadness become her new best friends. Her husband, whom she can't live without, abandons her without warning and she is left to raise and support eight children while pregnant with the ninth. Her brother, who finds out about his sister's misfortune and the truth behind his brother-in-law's actions, returns to Bahrain to take care of Khadeeja, but when he finds out about his cheating wife falls ill with sadness and grief and soon dies. Khadeeja forces herself to survive with the faith and patience she has inherited from her late mother and faces life's war with strength, courage and pride. She grows with her children; she grows with time; she grows with history - her country's history. She succeeds in raising wonderful children who go through their own share of happiness and misfortune. Her husband, who married another woman for money, returns filled with regret and in a wheelchair. Though Khadeeja was hurt and angry she opens her arms for him with love and forgiveness, but watching him die in her arms takes her back in time as she goes through the grief all over again. As a great-grandmother Khadeeja sits back to watch her triumph, her success and dies with dignity, leaving behind a legend to be remembered by many.
QuixotiQ by Ali Al Saeed
Publication Date: 2004-08-01
Guy Kelton is a young man with a troubled mind. His shattered dream and the relentless mundane life he's been living, alone and broken away from his family, takes an unexpected toll on him, driving him to violent, reckless extremes. He falls deeper and deeper into a bloody abyss; through extremes that would eventually lead him to the most devastating discovery about his existence. Going through his mid-twenties, Patrick Roymint, lost and confused, still struggles to come to terms with the loss of his whole family many years ago. But soon as he decides to change all that and try to rebuild the future he's not had, he is dragged into the unseen, disturbing and filthy underworld of the little, diminishing Okay County. As both men go through a series of mysterious and bizarre events, their lives take dramatic turns that lead them to new revelations about their past, present and future. They somehow find their fates connected by some mystic, unfathomable power. QuixotiQ is a story about hate, love, dark secrets and self-realization, one in which hope and despair are found in the remains of shattered dreams.
The author presents a critique of the Western World's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East and Arab people. In this study, the author traces the origins of the West's concept of "Orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East.
At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers. The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn’t know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery–or crime? –lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power. Translated from the Turkish by Erda M Göknar
When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women—their private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture—she caused a sensation across the Arab world.
Now in English, Alsanea’s tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home.
The Lady from Tel Aviv by Raba'i al-Madhoun; Elliott Colla (Translator)
Publication Date: 2014-05-13
Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2010. "Will take you to the height of reading pleasure."--Elias Khoury Walid Dahman is going home. Returning to Gaza after nearly four decades in exile, he looks forward to reconnecting with the people and places he once left behind. Boarding the flight from London, Walid's life intersects with that of Dana, an Israeli actress, on her way back to Tel Aviv. As the night sky hurtles past, what each confides and conceals will expose the chasm between them in the land they both call home. Born in Palestine in 1945,Raba'i al-Madhoun is one of the Arab world's rising literary stars.
As Nahr sits, locked away in solitary confinement, she spends her days reflecting on the dramatic events that landed her in prison in a country she barely knows. Born in Kuwait in the 70s to Palestinian refugees, she dreamed of falling in love with the perfect man, raising children, and possibly opening her own beauty salon. Instead, the man she thinks she loves jilts her after a brief marriage, her family teeters on the brink of poverty, she’s forced to prostitute herself, and the US invasion of Iraq makes her a refugee, as her parents had been. After trekking through another temporary home in Jordan, she lands in Palestine, where she finally makes a home, falls in love, and her destiny unfolds under Israeli occupation.
The Hashish Waiter by Khairy Shalaby; Adam Talib (Translator)
Publication Date: 2016-01-30
Tucked away in a rundown quarter, just out of sight of fashionable downtown Cairo, a group of intellectuals gather regularly to smoke hashish in Hakeem's den. The den is the center of their lives, both a refuge and a stimulus, and at the center of the den is the remarkable man who keeps their hashish bowls topped up--Rowdy Salih.While his former life is a mystery to his loyal clientele of writers, painters, film directors, and even window dressers, each sees himself reflected in Salih; but without his humor, humility, or insight, or his occasional passions fueled by hootch. And when the nation has to face its own demons during the peace initiative of the 1970s, it is Rowdy Salih who speaks for them all.This is a comic novel with a broken heart very like Salih himself, whose warm rough voice calls out long after we have recovered from the novel's painful conclusion.
Between 1965 and 1992, Satyajit Ray wrote a total of 35 Feluda stories, featuring the master sleuth Pradosh C. Mitter, AKA Feluda. The plots involve murder, mystery and adventure, most of the times in exotic locations, narrated in a racy, humorous style by the detective's cousin-cum-assistant Topeshranjan Mitter AKA Topshe, and in most cases, accompanied by the funny Lalmohan Ganguly AKA Jatayu, who himself was a famous crime writer. All of this makes for enormously entertaining fare - and it is no wonder that each Feluda book has been a best-seller. All the stories are now available together in this two volume omnibus. For the first time ever, the stories are arranged in chronological order of composition, and one can note Feluda's development from an unknown amateur detective to a famous investigator. This first volume contains some of the best Feluda stories ever written.
A reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharat—told from the point of view of an amazing woman. Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale. The novel traces the princess Panchaali's life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India. Meanwhile, we never lose sight of her strategic duels with her mother-in-law, her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna, or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy. Panchaali is a fiery female redefining for us a world of warriors, gods, and the ever-manipulating hands of fate.
It is a touching story of a Bengali woman who married for love and moved to Afghanistan. Butshe was harassed by the Taliban for refusing to obey their orders such as converting to Islam. The book tells us how she fled the country and the Taliban to return to her homeland...to live on her own terms again.
HALF GIRLFRIEND (HINDI) Once upon a time, there was a Bihari boy called Madhav. He fell in love with a girl from Delhi called Riya. Madhav didn't speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didn't. Riya just wanted friendship. Madhav didn't. Riya suggested a compromise. She agreed to be his half girlfriend. From the author of the blockbuster novels Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 States and Revolution 2020 comes a simple and beautiful love story that will touch your heart and inspire you to chase your dreams.
Note: UBC does not have this title, but has several titles by this author.
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’ s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
Death: An Inside Story by Sadhguru
Death is a taboo in most societies in the world. But what if we have got this completely wrong? What if death was not the catastrophe it is made out to be but an essential aspect of life, rife with spiritual possibilities for transcendence? For the first time, someone is saying just that.
In this unique treatise-like exposition, Sadhguru dwells extensively upon his inner experience as he expounds on the more profound aspects of death that are rarely spoken about. From a practical standpoint, he elaborates on what preparations one can make for one’s death, how best we can assist someone who is dying and how we can continue to support their journey even after death.
Whether a believer or not, a devotee or an agnostic, an accomplished seeker or a simpleton, this is truly a book for all those who shall die!
With a new epilogue about Bill Gates's global agenda and how we can resist the billionaires' war on life "This is what globalization looks like: Opportunism. Exploitation. Further centralization of power. Further disempowerment of ordinary people. . . . Vandana Shiva is an expert whose analysis has helped us understand this situation much more deeply."--Russell Brand Widespread poverty, social unrest, and economic polarization have become our lived reality as the top 1% of the world's seven-billion-plus population pushes the planet―and all its people―to the social and ecological brink. In Oneness vs. the 1%, Vandana Shiva takes on the billionaire dictators of Gates, Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg, as well as other modern empires like Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Big Ag, whose blindness to the rights of people, and to the destructive impact of their construct of linear progress, have wrought havoc across the world. Their single-minded pursuit of profit has undemocratically enforced uniformity and monocultures, division and separation, monopolies and external control―over finance, food, energy, information, healthcare, and even relationships. Basing her analysis on explosive facts, Shiva exposes the 1%'s model of philanthrocapitalism, which is about deploying unaccountable money to bypass democratic structures, derail diversity, and impose totalitarian ideas based on One Science, One Agriculture, and One History. Instead, Shiva calls for the resurgence of: Real knowledge Real intelligence Real wealth Real work Real well-being With these core goals, people can reclaim their right to: Live Free. Think Free. Breathe Free. Eat Free.
Note: UBC does not have this title, but has many titles by this author.
Panchatantra, is perhaps the oldest collection of Indian Fables still surviving. It is written around 200BC by the great Hindu Scholar Pandit Vishnu Sharma. Panchatantra means "the five books". It is a "Nitishastra" which means book of wise conduct in life. The book is written in the form of simple stories and each story has a moral and philosophical theme which has stood the test of time in modern age of atomic fear and madness. It guides us to attain success in life by understanding human nature. Panchatantra is commonly available in an abridged form written for children. Here is the complete translation of the book as written by Vishnu Sharma.
The God of Small Things is a family drama novel written by Indian writer Arundhati Roy. Roy's debut novel, it is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the "Love Laws" prevalent in 1960s Kerala, India.
When Daru Shezad gets himself fired from his banking job, he instantly removes himself from the ranks of Pakistan's cellphone-toting elite and sets in motion the tragicomedy that will drag him into a life of drugs and crime. Nor can he help falling in love with his oldest friend's wife, to whom he is drawn like moth to flame. But when a heist goes awry, Daru finds himself on trial for a murder he may not have committed. His uncertain fate mirrors that of Pakistan itself, animated by nuclear weapons and sapped by corruption.
"Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity"
Minke is a young Javanese student of great intelligence and ambition. Living equally among the colonists and colonized of 19th-century Java, he battles against the confines of colonial strictures. It is his love for Annelies that enables him to find the strength to embrace his world.
Originally written in Bahasa, The Rainbow Troops was first published in 2005 and sold a record-breaking five million copies in Indonesia. The novel tells the inspiring and closely autobiographical tale of the trials and tribulations that the ten motley students (nicknamed the Rainbow Troops) and two teachers from Muhammadiyah Elementary School on Belitong Island, Indonesia, undergo to ensure the continuation of the children’ s education. The poverty-stricken school suffers the constant threat of closure by government officials, greedy corporations, natural disasters and the students’ own lack of self-confidence. The story is written from the perspective of Ikal, who is six years old when the novel opens. Just as the author himself did as a young man, Ikal goes to college and eventually wins a scholarship to go abroad, beating incredible odds to become a writer.
The spirit of Dukuh Paruk has revived since Srintil was named the new ronggeng, replacing the last ronggeng who died twelve years ago. For the small, poor, remote and humble hamlet, ronggeng is a symbol. Without it, the hamlet has lost its identity.
Srintil soon became a very well-known and loved figure. Beautiful and seductive. Everyone wants to be with that ronggeng. From ordinary subjects to village and district officials.
However, the political catastrophe of 1965 destroyed the hamlet, both physically and mentally. Because of their stupidity, they are carried away and convicted as humans who have shaken this country. The hamlet was burned. Ronggeng and the calung musicians were arrested. Just because of his beauty, Srintil was not treated arbitrarily by the prison authorities.
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Publication Date: 2019-02-05
A music loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut. Melati Ahmad looks like your typical movie-going, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother's death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied. A trip to the movies after school turns into a nightmare when the city erupts into violent race riots between the Chinese and the Malay. When gangsters come into the theater and hold movie-goers hostage, Mel, a Malay, is saved by a Chinese woman, but has to leave her best friend behind to die. On their journey through town, Mel sees for herself the devastation caused by the riots. In her village, a neighbor tells her that her mother, a nurse, was called in to help with the many bodies piling up at the hospital. Mel must survive on her own, with the help of a few kind strangers, until she finds her mother. But the djinn in her mind threatens her ability to cope.