The Betrayed

by Reine Arcache Melvin
Ateneo de Manila University Press

Melvin The Betrayed is set in a time of dictatorship and political unrest, and it tells the story of two sisters who love the same man. Their passion threatens to lead to betray each other as well as everything that their father stood for. Shy, idealistic Pilar initially resolves to continue her father’s fight against the dictator, while her flamboyant older sister Lali reacts by marrying Arturo, the dicator’s godson. Each tries to find their place in the violent world and continues against the struggle of political corruption and desire. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Reine Arcache Melvin now lives in Paris. Her short stories have appeared in literary reviews and anthologies in the United States, France, and Philippines.

 

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Some Unquenchable Desire

by Bhartrihari

translation by Andrew Schelling

Shambhala Publications, 2018

schelling1schelling2Although little is known about his life, the Indian poet Bhartrihari’s poetry shows himself “torn between sexual desire and a hunger to be free of failed love affairs and turbulent karma.” Bhartrihari was a linguist, courtier, and hermit, and he used poetry to look at themes of love, desire, impermanence, despair, anger, and fear. Some Unquenchable Desire covers themes of love, sex, and disappointment, as well as Hindu mythology, and Buddhist philosophical concepts to recall ancient India through the voice of one of its most celebrated poets.

Schelling has also translated Erotic Love Poems from India: 101 Classics on Desire and Passion. The poems in this collection were compiled in the eighth century, and it offers different perspectives of erotic love that range from graceful to playful and intensely passionate while hinting at divine transcendence. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Andrew Schelling is poet, translator, essay writer, and editor. He edited for a samizdat literary journal and studied Sanskrit and Zen Buddhism. His translation for Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India received the Academy of American Poets award in translation in 1992. Schelling teaches at Naropa University.

Stealing with the Eyes

by Will Buckingham
University of Chicago Press, 2018

Stealing with the Eyes.inddAs an anthropologist in training, Will Buckingham went to the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia with a mission to meet three sculptors: the crippled Matias Fatruan, the buffalo hunter Abraham Amelwatin, Damianus Masele, who was skilled in black magic, but who abstains out of Christian principle. Stealing with the Eyes acts as part memoir and part travelogue, and focuses on the story of these three sculptors. After getting involved with witchcraft, fever, and sickness, Buckingham questions the validity of his anthropological studies before eventually abandoning them.

Buckingham’s encounters with these sculptors also interweaves Tanimbarese history, myth, and philosophy that dates back to ancient times. This story reveals the tension between the past and future, and raises questions on how to make sense of a world that is in constant flux.

Will Buckingham is a writer of fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. He is currently a reader in Writing and Creativity at the Faculty of Humanities at De Montfort University and the author of Sixty-Four Chance Pieces and Lucy and the Rocket Dog.

(Adapted from the publisher’s description)

Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees

980bc04e50f7eba0586b67f750fe2c01edited Laren McClung
foreword by Yusef Komunyakaa
W.W. Norton & Company, 2018

Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees answers questions that have remained unanswered for over fifty years: what is the difference between history and the past, how do people come to terms to what they have inherited, who is given a voice and who remains silent, and what resolutions result from examining the past. This anthology by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees―American, Vietnamese, Vietnamese Diaspora, Hmong, Australian, and others―confronts war and its aftermath. It is an affecting portrait of the effects of war and family―an intercultural, generational dialogue on silence, memory, landscape, imagination, Agent Orange, displacement, postwar trauma, and the severe realities that are carried home.

While Inheriting the War depicts the burdens of the war, and refuses to deny brutal realities, it presents literature that unifies. It crosses cultural and generational boundaries, and connects veterans, writers, and readers. (Adapted from publisher’s description and press release)

Laren McClung teaches at New York University, and is a poet and the author of Between Here and Monkey Mountain. Her father served one tour in Vietnam (1968-1969) deployed with the 173rd Airborne. Her poetry has appeared in several journals and reviews, and she has been the recipient of a Teachers & Writers Collaborative Van Lier Fellowship, an Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran Workshop Teaching Fellowship, and has led workshops in poetry at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in the Creative Writing Program at New York University.

Tracks Along the Left Coast

51er9-Er4gLby Andrew Schelling
Counterpoint Press, 2017

Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture is a story of the life of the Old Coyote of Big Sur, Jaime de Angulo. In addition to being a tale capturing de Angulo’s time as a cowboy, miner, poet, doctor, linguist, and ethnomusicologist, the book provides insight on the persecuted Native Californian cultures and languages that have endured to modern times.

Jaime de Angulo’s poetry and prose represented the bohemian sensibilities of the twenties, thirties, and forties. He was also known for his reworkings of coyote tales and shamanic mysticism. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Andrew Schelling has written or edited twenty books, including Love and the Turning Seasons: India’s Poetry and Erotic Longing. For over twenty years he’s been teaching at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School and also teaches at Deer Park Institute, in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Jaime de Angulo (1887-1950) was born in Paris to Spanish parents. At eighteen, he fled to America to become a cowboy. In his lifetime, he was also a rancher, doctor, lecturer, anthropologist, linguist, and musicologist, as well as wrote poetry and fiction. He also published articles on indigenous languages and music systems of Northern California and Mexico. The year before he died, he broadcasted retellings of Native Californian myths and stories over the radio, which are still available today.

Benedicta Takes Wing

Montes_BendictaTakesWing

by Veronica Montes
Philippine American Literary House, 2018

Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories is a collection of fourteen fictional stories focused on Filipino families. It explores their struggles as navigate through a world influenced by both their native customs and American media. It depicts the grief and joy, and denials and affections that keep these families together. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Veronica Montes is a Filipino-American writer who lives in the Bay Area of Northern California. Her stories are inspired by the Filipino and mainstream American cultures that she grew up in.

Old Demons, New Deities

Dickie_OldDemonsNewDeities

edited by Tenzin Dickie
OR Books, New York and London, 2017

Old Demons, New Deities is the first anthology of contemporary Tibetan fiction available in English. Though Tibetan literature dates back millennia, its modern form is under forty years old. It began in 1980 and 1981 with literary journals, Tibetan Art and Literature and Light Rain.

In this book, readers will get an authentic look at the the lives of Tibetans in various settings such as the Himalayas, India, and New York, as they understand the relationships between tradition and modernity, occupation and exile, and the personal and the national. (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Tenzin Dickie is a writer and literary translator living in New York. Her writings have been published in Indian Literature, Apogee Journal, Tibetan Review, Himal SouthAsian, and Cultural Anthropology, and anthologized in The Yellow Nib: Modern English Poetry by Indians from The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and The Tibet Reader, forthcoming from the Duke University Press. Her translations have been published in The Washington Post online and Modern Poetry in Translation. She is an editor at treasuryoflives.org, a biographical encyclopedia of significant figures from Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan Region.