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By Sam Snake, Emerson S Coatsworth, David Coatsworth, Francis Kagige. 1979
During the 1930s, the stories told by the elders of the Rama Ojibway Band were compiled and translated into English.… These 16 stories tell of Nanabush, one of the most powerful, and most mischievous, spirits of the Ojibway world. Grades 4-7 and older readers. 1979.
By Basil Johnston. 1981
These legends, which include "Why birds go south in winter" and "The first butterflies", are an integral part of the… spiritual and cultural heritage of the Ojibway people. For all ages.
By Lu Xun. 2001
Call to Arms is a collection of revolutionary Chinese writer Lu Xun s most famous and most important short stories… Featuring A Madman s Diary a scathing attack of traditional Confucian civilization and The True Story of Ah Q a poignant satire about the hypocrisy of Chinese national character and the first work written entirely in the Chinese vernacular Together this collection exposes a contradictory legacy of cosmopolitan independence polemical fractiousness and anxious patriotism that continues to resonate in Chinese intellectual life today
By Howard Goldblatt, Bi Feiyu, Sylvia Li-chun Lin. 2010
In a small village in China the Wang family has produced seven sisters in its quest to have a… boy three of the sisters emerge as the lead characters in this remarkable novel From the small-town treachery of the village to the slogans of the Cultural Revolution to the harried pace of city life Bi Feiyu follows the women as they strive to change the course of their destinies and battle against an infinite ocean of people in a China that does not truly belong to them Yumi will use her dignity Yuxiu her powers of seduction and Yuyang her ambition--all in an effort to take control of their world their bodies and their lives Like Dai Sijie s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Arthur Golden s Memoirs of a Geisha and J G Ballard s Empire of the Sun Three Sisters transports us to and immerses us in a culture we think we know but will understand much more fully by the time we reach the end Bi s Moon Opera was praised by the Los Angeles Times the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other publications In one review Lisa See said I hope this is the first of many of Bi s works to come to us Three Sisters fulfills that wish with its irreplaceable portrait of contemporary Chinese life and indelible story of three tragic and sometimes triumphant heroines
By Lisa Huang Fleischman. 2000
Marking the debut of a stunning new literary talent, Lisa Huang Fleischman's extraordinary saga -- inspired by her grandmother's life… as an early feminist, political activist, and friend of Mao Zedong -- is a masterpiece about one clever and resourceful woman, growing up amidst the turmoil of twentieth-century China. Dream of the Walled City Born in 1890, the privileged and sheltered daughter of a high-ranking imperial official, Jade Virtue spends her childhood enclosed by the towering walls of her family's sprawling mansion, never glimpsing the desperate struggle of China's ancient society, as the old ways are challenged and the twentieth century?fast, fearsome, and tumultuous?rushes in. But when her father mysteriously dies, young Jade Virtue is suddenly thrust into poverty, and experiences firsthand a traditional culture falling apart under the onslaught of growing rebellion against the Emperor, rapid social changes, and the mounting aggression of Japan and the West. Fleischman has rendered a richly textured, panoramic vision of Chinese life in the perilous years between the end of the empire and the Communist triumph of 1949, charting Jade Virtue's arranged first marriage to the corrupt opium addict Wang Mang, who harbors a terrible secret in his family's past; her awakening independence and ambivalent politics; her struggles with motherhood; and her fascinating acquaintance with a gifted, idealistic, fiercely ambitious young man named Mao Zedong. But the most important choices of her life are shaped by her conflicting loyalties to her intense lifelong friendship with Jinyu, a fiery woman revolutionary, and to Guai, a government official and sworn enemy of the Communists, with whom she finally discovers true and redemptive love. Exquisitely nuanced and lyrical yet marked with a driving power, Dream Of The Walled City is an enthralling novel of hard-won personal independence set against the vivid backdrop of a rapidly changing world. From the final days of the last dynasty through the savage Japanese invasion during World War II to the formidable red dawn of the Communist triumph; from the backward rural province of Hunan to exile on the tropical shores of Taiwan; and from the binding chains of predetermined fate to the exhilarating liberation of a human spirit, this is a remarkable odyssey you will never forget.
By Holly Thompson. 2001
Caitlin Ober is back in Japan, teaching English in Kyushu. Some 15 years ago, as a little girl, Caitlin lived… in Kyoto, but a tragic accident drove her and her family back to America. Now guilt obscures her path, just as ashfall from a nearby volcano covers Kagoshima in dust. In a garden Caitlin meets a teenage half-Japanese girl, Naomi, who may be someone Caitlin can save this time around. Together the two travel to Kyoto during O-Bon, the festival when the dead return. Amid bonfires, temple grounds, and ghostly memories, Caitlin bravely embraces her future. Ash is a bittersweet novel of redemptive beauty, of startling images and alluring details.Holly Thompson lives in Kamakura and writes frequently about Japan. This is her first novel.
By Chen Zeping, Karen Gernant, Can Xue, Porochista Khakpour. 2008
Though the story of Liujin, a young woman seeking a new kind of human freedom, Frontier attempts to unify the… grand opposites of life--barbarism and civilization, the spiritual and the material, the mundane and the sublime, beauty and death, Eastern and Western cultures. A layered, multifaceted masterpiece from the 2015 winner of the Best Translated Book Award.
By Allen Say. 2005
Using two very different and remarkable styles of art, Caldecott medalist Allen Say tells a tale within a tale, transporting… readers seamlessly to the Japan of his childhood, when he used to come running with the children of his own neighborhood at the sound of the kamishibai man's clappers.
By Drew Hayden Taylor. 2008
Internationally acclaimed as a playwright, screen-writer, comic and sardonic commentator on the endless gaffs, absurdities and the profound and painful… misunderstandings that continue to characterize social interactions between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples, Taylor's stories in Fearless Warriors are a full frontal assault on stereotypes of all kinds and an edifying affirmation of humanity unlike anything else in fiction.
By Ha Jin. 2011
The award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash returns to his homeland in a searing new novel that unfurls during… one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century: the Rape of Nanjing. In 1937, with the Japanese poised to invade Nanjing, Minnie Vautrin--an American missionary and the dean of Jinling Women's College--decides to remain at the school, convinced that her American citizenship will help her safeguard the welfare of the Chinese men and women who work there. She is painfully mistaken. In the aftermath of the invasion, the school becomes a refugee camp for more than ten thousand homeless women and children, and Vautrin must struggle, day after day, to intercede on behalf of the hapless victims. Even when order and civility are eventually restored, Vautrin remains deeply embattled, and she is haunted by the lives she could not save.With extraordinarily evocative precision, Ha Jin re-creates the terror, the harrowing deprivations, and the menace of unexpected violence that defined life in Nanjing during the occupation. In Minnie Vautrin he has given us an indelible portrait of a woman whose convictions and bravery prove, in the end, to be no match for the maelstrom of history. At once epic and intimate, Nanjing Requiem is historical fiction at its most resonant.From the Hardcover edition.
By Suzanne Kamata. 2007
A young mother fights impossible odds to be reunited with her child in this acutely insightful first novel about an… intercultural marriage gone terribly wrong.Jill Parker is an American painter living in Japan. Far from the trendy gaijin neighborhoods of downtown Tokyo, she's settled in a remote seaside village where she makes ends meet as a bar hostess. Her world appears to open when she meets Yusuke, a savvy and sensitive art gallery owner who believes in her talent. But their love affair, and subsequent marriage, is doomed to a life of domestic hell, for Yusuke is the chonan, the eldest son, who assumes the role of rigid patriarch in his traditional family while Jill's duty is that of a servile Japanese wife. A daily battle of wills ensues as Jill resists instruction in the proper womanly arts. Even the long-anticipated birth of a son, Kei, fails to unite them. Divorce is the only way out, but in Japan a foreigner has no rights to custody, and Jill must choose between freedom and abandoning her child.Told with tenderness, humor, and an insider's knowledge of contemporary Japan, Losing Kei is the debut novel of an exceptional expatriate voice. Suzanne Kamata's work has appeared in over one hundred publications. She is the editor of The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan and a forthcoming anthology from Beacon Press on parenting children with disabilities. A five-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she has twice won the Nippon Airways/Wingspan Fiction Contest.
By Yu Young-Nan, Yom Sang-Seop. 2005
Touted as one of Korea's most important works of fiction, Three Generations (published in 1931 as a serial in Chosun… Ilbo) charts the tensions in the Jo family in 1930s Japanese occupied Seoul. Yom's keenly observant eye reveals family tensions withprofound insight. Delving deeply into each character's history and beliefs, he illuminates the diverse pressures and impulses driving each. This Korean classic, often compared to Junichiro Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters, reveals the country's situation under Japanese rule, the traditional Korean familial structure, and the battle between the modern and the traditional. The long-awaited publication of this masterpiece is a vital addition to Korean literature in English.
By Marilyn Booth, Hassan Daoud. 2014
"I loved this book when I read it in Arabic. The Penguin's Song is a classic novel of the Lebanese… civil war."--Rabih Alameddine, author of An Unnecessary Woman"In The Penguin's Song, a city falls, a father dies, two women walk the same road over and over, a boy with a broken body dreams of love. Like Agota Kristof's Notebook Trilogy, this spare yet lyrical parable tells us more about exile, loss and the wearing away of hope than most us want to know. I love this beautiful book."--Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances and The End of Youth"Daoud's novel is an elegiac account of loneliness and separation. . . . This is a haunting story inhabited by the ghosts of past lives and demolished buildings, where desires are left unfulfilled and loneliness sweeps through every soul."--Publishers Weekly"Daoud's claustrophobic novel hauntingly conveys one family's isolation after being relocated during the Lebanese civil war. . . . Daoud's evocation of history as it is experienced is excellent. His characters live through momentous events, but their struggles to survive land them in a kind of purgatory. A novel that defies expectations as it summons up the displacement and dehumanization that can come with war."--Kirkus Reviews" . . . deftly explores how people cope with the aftermath of war and the tremendous struggle of rebuilding not only with bricks and concrete but with heart, hopes, and dreams."--Lisa Rohrbaugh, Leetonia Community P.L., OH, and Library Journal"Nothing about reading Hassan Daoud's novels is easy, but the effort is always rewarded. The complex but mundane beauty of his prose is skillfully rendered in Marilyn Booth's translation, The Penguin's Song, a novel as much about the dreary loneliness of daily life as it is about the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath. Slowly paced, heavy with the burden of waiting, Daoud's text unfolds painstakingly, page after page. The horror of war, the pain of isolation, the longing of unfulfilled desire, and the power of the printed word all shine through in this finely-crafted narrative."--Michelle Hartman, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill UniversityAs war wreaks havoc on the historic heart of Beirut, tenants of the old city are pushed to the margins and obliged to live on the surrounding hillsides, where it seems they will stay forever, waiting. The dream of return becomes a way of life in the unending time of war."The Penguin" is a physically deformed young man who lives with his aging mother and father in one of the "temporary" buildings. His father spends his days on the balcony of their apartment, looking at the far-off city and pining for his lost way of life. Mother and father both find their purpose each day in worrying about the future for their son, while he spends his time in an erotic fantasy world, centered on a young woman who lives in the apartment below. Poverty and family crisis go hand in hand as the young man struggles with his isolation and unfulfilled sexual longing.Voted "The Best Arabic Novel of the Year" when it was first published, The Penguin's Song is a finely wrought parable of how one can live out an entire life in the dream of returning to another.
By Tony D'Souza. 2008
Francisco D'Sai is a firstborn son of a firstborn son-all the way back to the beginning of a long line… of proud Konkans, the "Jews of India," who abandoned their Hindu traditions, knelt before Vasco da Gama's sword and Saint Francis Xavier's cross, and became Catholics.In Chicago circa 1973, Francisco's Konkan father, Lawrence, does his best to assimilate into American culture, drinking a lot and speaking little. But Francisco's American, Peace Corps-veteran mother,Denise, and his uncle Sam (aka Samuel Erasmus D'Sai) are passionate raconteurs set on preserving the family's Konkan heritage. Friends, allies, and eventually lovers, Sam and Denise feed Francisco's imagination with proud visions of India and Konkan history.Like his acclaimed debutWhiteman and like the works of Monica Ali or Jhumpa Lahiri,Tony D'Souza's The Konkans is an absorbing portrait of assimilation filled with romance, comedy,masterly storytelling, and the truth of family life in any country.
By Charlotte Mandell, Mathias Énard. 2014
Recipient of three French literary awards, Mathias Énard's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Zone is a timely novel about a… young Moroccan boy caught up in the turbulent events of the Middle East, and a possible murder.Exiled from his family for religious transgressions related to his feelings for his cousin, Lekhdar finds himself on the streets of Barcelona hiding from both the police and the Muslim Group for the Propagation of Koranic Thoughts, a group he worked for in Tangier not long after being thrown out on the streets by his father.Lekhdar's transformations--from a boy into a man, from a devout Muslim into a sinner--take place against the backdrop of some of the most important events of the past few years: the violence and exciting eruption of the Arab Spring and the devastating collapse of Europe's economy.If all that isn't enough, Lekhdar reunites with a childhood friend--one who is planning an assassination, a murder Lekhdar opposes.A finalist for the prestigious Prix Goncourt, Street of Thieves solidifies Énard's place as one of France's most ambitious and keyed-in novelists of this century. This novel may even take Zone's place in Christophe Claro's bold pronouncement that Énard's earlier work is "the novel of the decade, if not of the century."Mathias Énard studied Persian and Arabic and spent long periods in the Middle East. A professor of Arabic at the University of Barcelona, he received several awards for Zone--also available from Open Letter--including the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Décembre.Charlotte Mandell has translated works from a number of important French authors, including Marcel Proust, Gustave Flaubert, Jean Genet, Guy de Maupassant, and Maurice Blanchot, among others.
By Li Miao Lovett. 2010
"An important, even invaluable book, a moving farewell to the old, more humane way of life as China and all… the world become technologized and globalized."-Maxine Hong KingstonA dam rises on the Yangtze, uprooting a million lives in a government-made, modern environmental and human rights disaster, and a poor salvager who has lost everything finds an abandoned baby girl. A tale of defiance, of a lost man finding his place-and a new kind of love-in modern China, and of a rich man reclaiming his soul and the woman he loved before the revolution tore them apart.
By Sau-Ling Wong, Hualing Nieh. 1981
This extraordinary novel tells the story of two women-Mulberry and Peach-who are really one. Mulberry is a young Chinese-American woman… who has fled the turmoil of postwar China to settle in the United States. Unable to forget the terrors she has witnessed or to resolve the conflicts between her new life and her old, she copes by developing a second personality: the fearless, tough-talking, sexually uninhibited Peach. While Mulberry clings to her cultural and ethical roots, Peach renounces her past to embrace the American way of life with a vengeance. These two women-both in flight-speak to their readers through an innovative narrative structure, combining journal entries, interior dialogue, letters, poetry, and myth. Mulberry's past-mainly her experiences during the Japanese occupation of China and the years of civil war between Communists and Nationalists-haunts the text. Separated from her family, she seeks refuge in the home of wealthy cousins, who try desperately to maintain their rigid traditions as warrign forces close in around Peking and the house is systematically looted. Mulberry escapes downriver in a boat carrying a strange assortiment of refugees. But her escape to Taiwan only brings new terrors: when her new husband is targeted by the police, Mulberry msut go into hiding with him in a tiny attic room. There her young daughterm who cannot remember life "outside", descends into a fantasy world of her own invention and unwittingly ensures her family's doom, Mulberry's journal entires alternate with a series of letters from Peach to "the man from the USA immigration service." Peach has embarked on a cross-country journey in flight from possible deportation. Pregnant and penniless, she lives by her wits while taunting her pursuers and ridiculing her alter ego Mulberry, whom she seeks, finally, to conquer. In Mulberry and Peach Hualing Nieh offers a rare perspective, through the eyes of a young refugee woman, of the upheavals of contemporary China (where the book was banned upon its first publication in 1976). Through her experimental, highly effective narrative, she also presents an unforgettable portrait of the pain of cultural dislocation and the anguish of psychological disintegration.
By Bruce Fulton, Ch'Oe Yun, Ju-Chan Fulton. 2008
Ch'oe Yun is a Korean author known for her breathtaking versatility, subversion of authority, and bold exploration of the inner… life. Readers celebrate her creative play with fantasy and admire her deep engagement with trauma, history, and the vagaries of remembrance. In this collection's title work, There a Petal Silently Falls, Ch'oe explores both the genesis and the aftershocks of historical outrages such as the Kwangju Massacre of 1980, in which a reported 2,000 civilians were killed for protesting government military rule. The novella follows the wanderings of a girl traumatized by her mother's murder and strikes home the injustice of state-sanctioned violence against men and especially women. "Whisper Yet" illuminates the harsh treatment of leftist intellectuals during the years of national division, at the same time offering the hope of reconciliation between ideological enemies. The third story, "The Thirteen-Scent Flower," satirizes consumerism and academic rivalries by focusing on a young man and woman who engender an exotic flower that is coveted far and wide for its various fragrances. Elegantly crafted and quietly moving, Ch'oe Yun's stories are among the most incisive portrayals of the psychological and spiritual reality of post-World War II Korea. Her fiction, which began to appear in the late 1980s, represents a turn toward a more experimental, deconstructionist, and postmodern Korean style of writing, and offers a new focus on the role of gender in the making of Korean history.
By Intizar Husain, Asif Farrukhi, Frances W. Pritchett. 1979
An NYRB Classics OriginalBasti is a beautifully written reckoning with the tragic history of Pakistan. Basti means settlement, a common… place, and Intizar Husain's extraordinary novel begins with a mythic, even mystic, vision of harmony between old and young, man and woman, Muslim and Hindu. Then Zakir, the hero, wakes to the modern world. Crowds gather. Slogans echo. Cities burn. Whether hunkered down with family or furtively meeting to exchange news with friends in cafés, Zakir is alone in a country lost to the politics of loneliness.history. The new country of Pakistan is born, separating him once and for all from the woman he loves, and in a jagged and jarring sequence of scenes we witness a nation and a psyche torn into existence only to be torn apart again and again by political, religious, economic, linguistic, personal, and sexual conflicts--in effect, a world of loneliness. Zakir, whose name means "remember," serves as the historian of this troubled place, while the ties he maintains across the years with old friends--friends who run into one another in cafés and on corners and the odd other places where history takes a time-out--suggest that the possibility of reconciliation is not simply a dream. The characters wait for a sign that minds and hearts may still meet. In the meantime, the dazzling artistry of Basti itself gives us reason to hope against hope.
By Karen Tei Yamashita. 1990
Through the Arc of the Rain Forest is a burlesque of comic-strip adventures and apocalyptic portents that stretches familiar truths… to their logical extreme in a future world that is just recognizable enough to be frightening. In the Author's Note," Karen Tei Yamashita writes that her book is like a Brazilian soap opera called a novela: "the novela's story is completely changeable according to the whims of the public psyche and approval, although most likely, the unhappy find happiness; the bad are punished; true love reigns; a popular actor is saved from death ... an idyll striking innocence, boundless nostalgia and terrible ruthlessness." The stage is a vast, mysterious field of impenetrable plastic in the Brazilian rain forest set against a backdrop of rampant environmental destruction, commercialization, poverty, and religious rapture. Through the Arc of the Rainforest is narrated by a small satellite hovering permanently around the head of an innocent character named Kazumasa. Through no fault of his own, Kazumasa seems to draw strange and significant people into his orbit and to find himself at the center of cataclysmic events that involve carrier pigeons, religious pilgrims, industrial espionage, magic feathers, big money, miracles, epidemics, true love, and the virtual end of the world. This book is simultaneously entertaining and depressing, with all the rollicking pessimism you'd expect of a good soap opera or a good political satire."- Kirsten Backstrom, 500 Great Books by Women