by 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.
by 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.
by 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.
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.
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.