The year’s middle point has just arrived along with a harvest of interesting and exciting books. Here we’ve gathered six Asian writers’ recently released ranging from short-fiction stories to a long novel, a youthful adventure, a selection of philosophical essays, and a historical dichotomy. Go forth and put your reading specs on!
Men without Women by Haruki Murakami
After three years waiting, Murakami’s wry humour in seven short stories is finally translated into English. Just as readers’ curiosity is piqued about the characters contained within, Murakami’s lonely—or alone by circumstances and happenstances—men and women are also wondering about their life stories. Adding to many other elements in the collection, including appearances and allusions to “baseball and the Beatles, and vanishing cats and smoky bars”, Murakami’s latest sure is worth the wait.
Released date: May 9, 2017
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
A collection of short stories by last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Nguyen now turned his pen to characters that are leading lives between their birthplace and the Promised Land. In the adopted homeland, there’s a young Vietnamese refugee who’s now living with a gay couple in San Francisco. In another story, a girl in Vietnam is having her half-sister back from America—along with achievements she never could.
Released date: February 7, 2017
Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra
In an attempt to explore the origins of fast-growing terrorism-based, nationalist-fueled, isolationist-driven, and many other such groups in an increasingly globalised and Westernised world, Mishra cited modern thinkers of yesterday into his thesis of today. To those curious about the historical theories on events unfolding today, this book presents a good balance to arguments by Francis Fukuyama in The End of History and Samuel P. Huntington in Clash of Civilisation.
Released date: January 26, 2017
One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi
With a crippled father due to a bomb explosion in Kabul, Obayda moves to a small village and becomes Obayd. She is now a bacha posh, an Afghani tradition that place girls into an in-between state and dress them as boys until puberty, in hopes that fortune in her family would turn for the better. Hashimi not only explores the coming-of-age and familial relationship themes, she also delves into modern-day Afghani society and how traditions exist together.
Released date: September 6, 2016
Daur by Emha Ainun Nadjib
One of Indonesia’s leading poet, essayist and Islamic scholar has just published four books containing 309 writings from the past year. Originally published on his site, these essays are Najib’s reflections to provoke thinking about issues in Indonesia as of late—from political to social media, religion, culture, and many more. Under the tetralogy name, Daur, in order the books are Anak Asuh Indonesia, Iblis Tidak Butuh Pengikut, Mencari Buah Simalakama, and Kapal Nuh Abad 21.
Released date: June 13, 2017
The Ministry of Utmost Hapiness by Arundhati Roy
Through many years across South Asia from the traffic-congested Delhi to deep dales and tall tops of Kashmir and beyond, the Man Booker Prize winner leads readers and a band of ragtag into intimately humane stories. A hijra—India’s third gender that falls between man and woman into more of a spiritual role—opens Roy’s book followed by her intertwined adventures with a Kashmiri freedom fighter, low-caste Hindus and Muslims, activists, orphans, and even animals.
Released date: June 6, 2017
See also: Beautiful Coffee Table Books