Friday, 15 February 2019

Voting now closed

Voting has now CLOSED in the poll to find the Asian Books Blog Book of the Lunar Year in the Year of the Dog, which has just turned to the Year of the Pig. 

Voting closes 5pm Singapore time TODAY

Asian Books Blog runs an annual poll to find the Asian Books Blog Book of the Lunar Year. We are about to close the poll to find the book of the Year of the Dog, which has just turned to the Year of the Pig. 

VOTING CLOSES AT 5PM SINGAPORE TIME TODAY.

More details here, but for quick reference, this is the shortlist...

Friday, 8 February 2019

May We Borrow Your Country guest post by Catherine Menon

The Whole Kahani (The Complete Story), is a collective of British fiction writers of South Asian origin. The group was formed in 2011 to provide a creative perspective that straddles cultures and boundaries. Its aim is to give a new voice to British Asian fiction and increase the visibility of South Asian writers in Britain. Their first anthology Love Across A Broken Map was published by Dahlia Publishing in 2016

May We Borrow Your Country is their second anthology. It is published by the Linen Press, which focuses on women’s writing. The anthology is a mix of short stories, poetry and essays. The pieces are set in the UK and India, but defy stereotypical stances on immigration, race and identity.

UK-based, prize-winning short story writer Catherine Menon is member of The Whole Kahani. Her debut anthology, Subjunctive Moods, was published last year by Dahlia Publishing.

Catherine here talks about some of the stories collected in May We Borrow Your Country.

米兔. 米兔 / rice rabbit Chinese word of the year

Following on from last week's post about the Oxford Dictionaries Hindi word of 2018, Paper Republic have nominated their Chinese word of the year for the Year of the Dog, just closed.

The Paper Republic translators collective promotes Chinese literature in English translation. It  concentrates on new writing from contemporary Chinese writers.

Paper Republic's word of the  Year of the Dog,  is (#)米兔. 米兔.

米兔. 米兔 means "rice rabbit", but it's pronounced mi-tu, so it represents the hashtag #MeToo.

Don't forget to vote!

Asian Books Blog is currently running poll to find its book of the lunar year in the Year of the Dog which has just closed.  Details here. Don't forget to vote!!!!

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Elaine Chiew Converses with Indonesian Feminist Gothic Writer Intan Paramaditha


Intan Paramaditha. Courtesy of the Author.


If you haven't yet heard of Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha, I am convinced you soon will. 

Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian fiction writer and academic based in Sydney. Her short story collection Apple and Knife, translated into English by Stephen J. Epstein was published by Brow Books (Australia) and Harvill Secker (UK) in 2018. Gentayangan (The Wandering), her debut novel on travel and displacement where readers choose their own narrative path, was selected as Tempo Best Literary Work for Prose Fiction in 2017. The novel received the PEN Translates Award from English PEN and the PEN/ Heim Translation Fund Grant from PEN America, and it will be also be published by Harvill Secker in 2020. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University and teaches Media and Film Studies at Macquarie University.


EC:   Welcome to AsianBooksBlog, Intan. A real pleasure to have you.

IP:     My pleasure! Thank you for having me, Elaine.

EC:   First, congratulations on the publication of your wonderful short story collection, Apple and Knife, full of fable-like and allegoric energy, a celebration of the transgressive and mysterious darkness of womanhood.

I’d like to start with your background. What were your favourite reads in childhood? Did you always know you’d be a writer?

IP:   As a child, I loved reading fairy tales of H.C. Andersen and Grimm. Growing up in a Muslim family, I was also familiar with stories of the prophets and I enjoyed reading them.

The story Apple and Knife which became the title of the collection, was inspired by the story of Yusuf (Joseph) in the Quran. I have always been fascinated with these tales because the moral messages tend to co-exist with violence, often in weird, uncomfortable ways. The “what if” question has always triggered me. What if we told the stories, maintaining all the elements including fantasy, darkness, and violence, but from a different perspective?

I starting writing when I was nine, and I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I sent my stories to a children’s magazine when I was in elementary school. So being a writer is quite predictable. But I did not expect that I would become an academic, which made things more complicated!


Friday, 1 February 2019

Paper Republic 2018 roll call of translations

Paper Republic promotes Chinese literature in English translation. It focusses on new writing from contemporary Chinese writers.

Balanced between the Western new year and the Chinese New Year of the Pig, Paper Republic has just launched its 2018 roll call of published English translations from Chinese. With 33 novels, six poetry collections and three young adult or children’s titles, it’s a unique resource you won’t find anywhere else on the web.

The roll call includes titles from established authors such as:

Girl power for grown-ups: nari shakti 2018 Hindi Word of the Year

The Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of attention and reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past year.  Oxford Dictionaries has just announced the 2018 Hindi Word of the Year. It is: nari shakti.

Nari shakti expresses the increasing activism of women in various fields.

Derived from Sanskrit, nari means women and shakti means power.  Today the term is used to  mean  women taking charge of their own lives - so girl power, for grown-ups.

Indie Spotlight: Dr. Salman Waqar

Indie spotlight is a regular column focussing on indie authors and self-publishing.

The Surgeon is a work of science fiction recently self-published through Createspace by U.K based, Pakistani-born eye surgeon Dr Salman Waqar. It imagines the shape healthcare might take in the years ahead and explores the profound ethical questions that advances in medicine will provoke worldwide.

The Surgeon is set in London in 2030. By this time, advanced robotic systems are commonly used for surgery. Mortality and complication rates are non-existent, even in operations that were once considered perilous.

But now a prominent politician, and close friend of the UK Prime Minister, dies during routine heart surgery. Why? It seems a killer doctor is on the loose. Join Professor Daniyaal Ashraf, a prominent surgeon originally from Pakistan, as he teams up with the medical authorities, Scotland Yard and even the UK intelligence services, to stop the culprit before more innocent lives are compromised.

Here, Dr Salman Waqar talks about his motivation and inspiration for writing The Surgeon.

Don't forget to vote!

Asian Books Blog is currently running poll to find its book of the lunar year in the Year of the Dog just closing.  Details here. Don't forget to vote!!!!