The Newspaper Widow

The Newspaper Widowby Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2017

Set in 1909, during the early years of American occupation in the Philippines, The Newspaper Widow tells the story of a woman who searches for answers to a murder so that she may free her son from jail. While the story begins as a murder mystery, it develops into an exploration of the meanings of love, loyalty, and friendship.

The Newspaper Widow was inspired by the story of Cecilia Brainard’s great-grandmother, who was widowed at the age of thirty-nine and took over Imprenta Rosario, her late husband’s press in Cebu, Philippines. (Adapted from publisher’s description and press release)

Cecilia Brainard teaches creative writing at UCLA-Extension.

On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood

OnNotLosingMyFather'sAshesintheFloodby Richard Harrison
Wolsak & Wynn Publishers, 2016

In 2013, Richard Harrison feared that his father’s ashes were lost in the flood that had devastated Alberta.

Using elements of memoir, elegy, lyrical essay, and personal correspondence, as well as showing his appreciation for haiku and comic books, Harrison has written a book of mourning for his father. Despite dementia, Harrison’s father died without forgetting the poems that he had memorized as a student and taught his son. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

A Canadian writer and professor at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, Harrison is the author of seven books of poetry, including Big Breath of a Wish, a volume about his daughter’s acquisition of language, and Hero of the Play, the first collection of poetry launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame. His poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.

Unearthing the Polynesian Past: Explorations and Adventures of an Island Archaeologist

KirchBookby Patrick Vinton Kirch
University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015

In this memoir, archaeologist Patrick Vinton Kirch describes his fieldwork in over two dozen islands in the Pacific.

Kirch started out as an intern under Bishop Museum zoologist Yoshio Kondo and took part in archaeological digs on the islands of Hawai‘i and Maui. During his high school years at Punahou, he apprenticed with eminent archaeologist Kenneth Emory. After Kirch obtained his anthropology degree from the University of Pennsylvania, he joined a Bishop Museum expedition to Anuta Island, where a traditional Polynesian culture still flourished. He went on to earn his doctorate at Yale University with a study of the traditional irrigation-based chiefdoms of Futuna Island. Since then, Kirch has worked with ecologists, soil scientists, and paleontologists to explain how Polynesians adapted to and altered their island ecosystems.

In Unearthing the Polynesian Past, Kirch reflects on how archaeological methods have advanced and how knowledge of the Polynesian past has developed. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Patrick Vinton Kirch is Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley.

Meeting with My Brother: A Novella

MeetingWithMyBrother

by Yi Mun-Yol
Translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl with Yoosup Chang
Columbia University Press, 2017

Meeting with My Brother is narrated by Professor Yi, a South Korean who lived under suspicion for many years as the son of a traitor. At the start of the Korean War, Yi’s father had defected to the North. Many years later, Yi made plans to meet his father, but before this could happen, his father died.

Later, Yi learns of the existence of a half-brother and contacts him. Though carefully arranged, their encounter takes an unexpected turn.

Meeting with My Brother provides readers with insights into the complex perspectives of a divided Korea and explores the difficulties of both a political and personal reunification. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Yi Mun-yol is one of the most prominent and socially significant literary figures of post–1980s Korea.

Heinz Insu Fenkl is an associate professor of English and Asian studies at SUNY New Paltz.

The Borderlands of Asia

The_Borderlands_of_Asia

introduced and edited by Mark Bender
Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania, Cambria Sinophone World Series, 2017

The Borderlands of Asia is a collection of works by poets of diverse cultural backgrounds from the borders of China and India: the Himalayas, Northeast India, Myanmar, West and Southwest China, and Mongolia. The book is the result of Mark Bender’s personal connection and research in those areas since the early 1980s. The themes include rapid environmental change, such as resource extraction; damming of rivers; loss of wildlife and habitat; population displacement; and how these changes influence traditional culture. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Mark Bender is a professor of Chinese literature and folklore at The Ohio State University.

 

The Paths Men Take

by Jack London716mzqfrvgl
Introduction by Davide Sapienza
Contrasto, 2016

London was a significant writer of the early twentieth century; his most notable works include include Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf. But more than that, he was also a photographer (referring to his images as human documents) and the camera was to become his inseparable companion on adventures and assignments all over the world. This book presents a wide selection of his photographs, accompanied by passages taken from some of his greatest works, of fiction and journalism: essential milestones in which London became witness to the great events of his time, their contours expanding and emerging from the human documents of The People of the Abyss, the Russo-Japanese War, the San Francisco earthquake and the incredible voyage of the Snark. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Davide Sapienza is an Italian writer, translator, and journalist.

The Conference of the Birds

51fzz9mvysl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Translated by Sholeh Wolpé
W. W. Norton & Company, 2017

Considered by Rumi to be “the master” of Sufi mystic poetry, Attar is best known for his epic poem The Conference of the Birds, a magnificent allegorical tale about the soul’s search for meaning. The poem recounts the perilous journey of the world’s birds to the faraway peaks of Mount Qaf―a mythical mountain that wraps around the earth―in search of the mysterious Simurgh, their king. Attar’s beguiling anecdotes and humor intermingle the sublime with the mundane, the spiritual with the worldly, and the religious with the metaphysical. Reflecting the entire evolution of Sufi mystic tradition, Attar’s poem models the soul’s escape from the mind’s rational embrace. (Publisher’s Description)

Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-American poet and writer. She is the recipient of the PEN/Heim Grant, the Midwest Book Award, and the Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize, among others.