Monday, February 18, 2013

Asian Literature Selection

Recent additions to our fast-expanding Asian Literature section:

Paradise On Earth by Zhu Lin. Paradise on Earth is the deeply moving story of five travelers taking a creative writing expedition through some of China's most scenic landscapes. As these five lonely people make their way from the Fu River running through Sichuan's ancient mountains to the famous Jiuzhaigou Valley, their personal stories unfold and intertwine. A story of lovers and rivals, fathers and daughters, legends and modern history, Paradise on Earth captures the complex and sometimes disturbing experience of a changing society, and stands as a significant addition to the growing body of fiction exploring China's recent past.

Beautiful Days: Two Novellas by Teng Xiaolan. Discover the beauty of everyday life in this two-story collection from China. The first, A Riot of Brilliant Purple and Tender Crimson, examines the disparate love lives of a father and his daughter. Echoing the lyrics in the Kun Opera The Peony Pavilion, this is a brilliantly executed story. Beautiful Days, the title story, is a deceptively simple story of an old woman trying to pick a daughter-in-law for her son, and the difficulties of the task. The novel, focusing on daily subjects, reflects how extraordinary things can be seen in ordinary people and the motions of their lives.

A Woman of Angkor: A Novel by John Burgess. A Woman of Angkor is a powerful work of imagination that takes the reader to a faraway time and place and makes the story vividly real. Through the voice of his heroine, Sray, John Burgess conjures a story of a Khmer family whose lives are interwoven with the building of the magical, mysterious temple of Angkor Wat. This is historical fiction with a difference - about a people whose history has been obscured and abandoned like the magnificent shrine that for so many centuries lay hidden in the jungle.

Asura: Tale of the Vanquished - The Story of Ravana and his People by Anand Neelakantan. The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors, that lives on. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. You have heard the victor's tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.

Article 109 by Peter Gregoire. Set in Beijing and Hong Kong, Article 109 is a high-octane, page-turning thriller. A young solicitor, investigating the suicide of his former colleague, unravels a conspiracy to cause chaos on the financial markets by instigating the downfall of one of Asia's richest tycoons. It lifts the lid on Hong Kong's fragile status as an international financial centre and the role it plays in China's unrelenting march towards becoming the most powerful global economic superpower.

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