Saturday, 29 November 2014

New & Notable: International & Regional

International: The Book of Gold Leaves by Mirza Waheed

In an ancient house in the city of Srinagar, Faiz paints exquisite papier mache pencil boxes for tourists. Evening is beginning to slip into night when he sets off for the shrine. He looks up to see the girl with the long black hair.

Roohi has been waiting for him. She wants a love story. And so it begins.

An age-old tale of love and conflict, within families, between worlds, The Book of Gold Leaves is a heart-breaking tale of what might have been, what could have been, if only.

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the fifth annual DSC Prize for South Asian Literature was announced at the London School of Economics and Political Science late last week. 

A dynamic mix of books made the cut. The shortlist of five features: two authors of Indian origin, Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland - Vintage Books / Random House, India) and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (The Mirror of Beauty - Penguin Books, India); Pakistani authors Bilal Tanweer (The Scatter Here is Too Great - Vintage Books / Random House, India) and Kamila Shamsie (A God in Every Stone - Bloomsbury, India); and Sri Lankan born British writer Romesh Gunesekera (Noontide Toll - Hamish Hamilton / Penguin, India).

Thursday, 27 November 2014

500 Words From Ovidia Yu

500 Words a series of guest posts from authors, in which they talk about their books and characters.  Here, Ovidia Yu, one of Singapore’s most acclaimed authors, talks about Aunty Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of The Lion City’s best-loved home-cooking restaurant.  Aunty Lee has now brought her charm and wit - not to mention her intelligence, nosiness, and crime-solving skills - to two delectable mysteries, Aunty Lee’s Delights, and Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials.  Both books are published internationally by William Morrow Paperbacks, enabling readers far beyond Singapore to be beguiled by Aunty Lee. 

So, over to Ovidia…

“Inspiration for Aunty Lee? Parts of Aunty Lee came from various so-called aunties I know - not necessarily older, good at cooking or even female! She loves cooking and feeding people and as far as she is concerned, eating together is the best way of becoming friends. She also loves sorting out other people’s problems for them, including murders they may be suspected of committing.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Indie Spotlight / Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries by Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson
It can be a hard slog being an indie author.  To keep self-published writers inspired our indie correspondent Raelee Chapman chats to Tim Anderson, a native of North Carolina, whose self-published memoir about his time living and working in Tokyo, Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, published in 2010, was picked up by AmazonEncore and republished to a wider audience a year later. It has now been translated into Thai.  

The original cover
Why did you choose to self-publish Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries and which company/tools did you choose for this path?

I actually went the self-publishing route after a few years of my agent pitching the book, getting close to closing a deal, then getting the dreaded "not right for us at this time" response. One editor told us that, because David Sedaris had just released a book featuring a chapter set in Tokyo, she was going to pass, since that one chapter in that one book had obviously saturated the market with the one comical story set in Tokyo that could be told! So I started on the next book, but couldn't shake the feeling that there was an audience for Tune in Tokyo and I wanted to try to find it. I used the CreateSpace platform available from Amazon. I chose CreateSpace because the process seemed pretty straightforward, and it pretty much was!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Friday, 21 November 2014

New In Paperback: The Strangler Vine by M.J.Carter

Calcutta, 1837. Young Ensign William Avery is tasked by his employers - the East India Company - to track down disgraced agent Xavier Mountstuart, lost to the jungle. Forced to take with him dissolute, disillusioned, errant genius ex-officer Jeremiah Blake, Avery is sure their mission is doomed. When their search leads them into Kali-worshipping, Thugee territory, survival depends upon trust. Fighting for their lives, the pair close in to their elusive quarry only to discover the horrifying truth behind their mission. With death and danger on all sides, is it too late to save themselves?

“M.J. Carter has cooked up a spicy dish: a pinch of Moonstone, a dash of Sherlock and a soupçon of Fu Manchu added to a rich stew of John Masters. A splendid romp” - William Dalrymple

“A splendid novel with an enthralling story, a wonderfully drawn atmosphere, and an exotic mystery that captivated me” - Bernard Cornwell

“A rattling good yarn” - A. N. Wilson, Financial Times

“The Strangler Vine is a considerable achievement, which left me waiting impatiently for a promised sequel” - The Times (London)

Published by Penguin.  Priced in local currencies.