So, as ever, let’s start with some new fiction...
Abir Mukherjee is back with the Wyndham and Bannerjee series set in 1920s Calcutta and India (and this time in 1905 London's East End too) with Death in the East - the fourth book in this excellent series..
Mu Cao's novel In the Face of Death We Are Equal, is an unrelentingly realistic portrait of working-class gay men in the underbelly of Chinese society. He Donghai is days away from his sixtieth birthday and long-awaited retirement from his job as a corpse burner at a Beijing crematorium. As he approaches the momentous day, he reflects on his life and his relationship with a special group of young men who live and love on the margins of Chinese society in Henan. In the Face of Death We Are Equal will be a valuable addition to queer and Chinese literature in translation.
Jonathan Maberry's new thriller Rage features Joe Ledger and Rogue Team International. A small island off the coast of Korea is torn apart by a bio-weapon that drives everyone - men, women, and children - insane with murderous rage. The people behind the attack want Korea reunified or destroyed. Soon Japan, China, and the United States are pushed to the brink of war, while terrorists threaten to release the rage bio-weapon in a way of pure destructive slaughter.
In Once Upon a Time in Shanghai Photographer Mark Parascandola spent five years photographing movie production sites and outdoor sets across China. The movie sets, rivaling real-world cities and monuments in their scale, have themselves become destinations for domestic and international tourists. Despite the fiction, they bear witness to a dynamic and changing China.
Drunk in China follows Derek Sandhaus’s long and liver busting journey of discovery into the world’s oldest drinking culture - baijiu. China is one of the world’s leading producers and consumers of liquor. In turn, alcohol infuses all aspects of China’s culture, from religion and literature to business and warfare. Yet to the outside world, China’s most famous spirit remains a mystery. That’s about to change: baijiu, the most popular alcoholic drink in China, is now being served in cocktail bars overseas. Sandhaus visits production floors, karaoke parlors, hotpot joints and speakeasies. But is the West ready to clink glasses with China, or will deeply rooted stereotypes prove too difficult to overcome?