A Girl's Guide to the Islands
Suzanne Kamata
Published by Gemmedia

The American writer Suzanne Kamata had lived in Japan for more than half of her life, yet she had never explored the small nearby islands of the Inland Sea. The islands, first made famous by Donald Richie’s The Inland Sea 50 years ago, are noted for displaying artwork created by prominent, and sometimes curious, international artists and sculptors: Naoshima’s wealth of museums, including one devoted to 007, Yayoi Kusama’s polka dot pumpkins, Kazuo Katase’s blue teacup, and a monster rising out of a well on the hour in Sakate, called “Anger at the Bottom of the Sea”—to name a few. Spurred by her teen-aged daughter Lilia’s burgeoning interest in art and adventure, Kamata sets out to show her the islands’ treasures. Mother and daughter must confront several barriers on their adventure. Lilia is deaf and uses a wheelchair. It is not always easy to get onto — or off of — the islands, not to mention the challenges of language, culture, and a generation gap. A Girls’ Guide to the Islands takes the reader on a rare visit by a unique mother and daughter team.

Dear Hong Kong
Xu Xi
Published by Penguin

From a writer whose body of work witnesses her love affair with Hong Kong comes Dear Hong Kong, a highly personal narrative that unravels Xu Xi’s recently finalised decision to leave the city for good. Xu Xi explores her tumultuous relationship with Hong Kong, her personal frustrations with how the city has developed in the recent past, and how these changes have informed her decision not to spend her most recent years there a farewell address to the place that has shaped so much of her own identity.

The Concubine and the Slave-Catcher
Qaisra Shahraz
Published by HopeRoad

Synopsis by Dr. Claire Chambers, author and editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, University of York

’An old man in Manchester dreams of his previous life in Pakistan, but on returning there realises he is no longer sure where home is. Two married couples from different cultures come into conflict over tourism, disability and betrayal in Malaysia. The horrors of the Holocaust and Birkenau concentration camp are writ large in one pregnant woman’s experiences. A young woman finds her engagement broken off because her fiancé’s family disapprove of her walking attire. Two women suffer the consequences when they breach superstitions around miscarriage in a Pakistani village. The sundering of India and Pakistan in the 1947 partition is revealed when a Muslim boy is adopted by a Hindu family during the chaos of mass migration. A British man witnesses the hard lot of Afghan workers in the Gulf. A family tries to cover up the shame of an elder daughter running away with her boyfriend. A well-meaning abolitionist learns the sordid and violent truth about slavery from her African American servants.

Up from the Sea

Liza Lowitz
Penguin Random House/Crown Books for Young Reader
A powerful novel-in-verse about how one teen boy survives the March 2011 tsunami that devastates his coastal Japanese village.
“Successfully captures the raw emotions of loss, grief, and what it means to move forward.” —BUZZFEED#1Pick for "YA Books You Should Be Reading"
On the day the tsunami strikes, Kai loses nearly everyone and everything he cares about. But a trip to New York to meet kids whose lives were changed by 9/11 gives him new hope and the chance to look for his estranged American father. Visiting Ground Zero on its tenth anniversary, Kai learns that the only way to make something good come out of disaster is to return and rebuild.
Heartrending yet hopeful, Up from the Sea is a story about loss, survival, and starting anew.

The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks

Foreword by Terrance Hayes
Edited by Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith
Published by University of Arkansas Press


The Golden Shovel Anthology celebrates the life and work of poet and civil rights icon Gwendolyn Brooks through a dynamic new poetic form, the Golden Shovel, created by National Book Award–winner Terrance Hayes.
The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken from a Brooks poem. The poems are, in a way, secretly encoded to enable both a horizontal reading of the new poem and vertical reading down the right-hand margin of Brooks’s original. An array of writers—including Pulitzer Prize winners, T. S. Eliot Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and National Poet Laureates—have written poems for this exciting new anthology: Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Nikki Giovani, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Doty, Sharon Draper, and Julia Glass are just a few of the contributing poets.
The poems found here will inspire a diversity of readers, teachers, and writers of poetry while at the same time providing remarkable access for newcomers, making it ideal for classrooms. The Golden Shovel Anthology will also honor Brooks with publication in 2017, the centenary of her birth.