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An Exclusive Books Preview to Celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon

Tertulia •
Feb 8th, 2024

In celebration of Lunar New Year, we're highlighting 5 anticipated books by Asian and Asian American writers that should be on your radar. Enter our giveaway for the chance to receive an early copy of one these books. Featured authors include prize-winning poet and short story writer Nam Le, National Book Award finalist Lisa Ko and International Booker Prize finalist Bora Chung.

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Your Utopia: Stories by Bora Chung

A speculative short story collection by the author of Cursed Bunny

Bora Chung's debut story collection Cursed Bunny was met with effusive critical praise, and recognized as a finalist for both the National Book Award Finalist for Translated Literature and the International Booker Prize. She is back with her signature blend of AI-infused future-forward surrealism in this newly released sophomore story collection, translated from the Korean by Anton Hur. "Nothing concentrates the mind like Chung's terrors, which will shrivel you to a bouillon cube of your most primal instincts" (Vulture), yet these stories are suffused with Chung's inimitable wry humor and surprisingly tender moments, too.

36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem by Nam Le

A poetry collection by the author of the acclaimed short story collection The Boat 

Vietnam-born Australian writer Nam Le has won the PEN/Malamud Award, Dylan Thomas Prize, Pushcart Prize, and even been honored by the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 honor. Fifteen years after his story collection The Boat, widely acclaimed as a best book of 2008, Nam Le returns to his first love of poetry with this highly anticipated collection. "With a cool outsider's eye, Nam Le takes the English language to pieces and reassembles it with a virtuoso ease not seen since Finnegans Wake, raved Nobel laureate J.M. Coatzee. "There is wit aplenty, of a dancing, ironic kind, but the fury and the bitterness that underlie 36 Ways come without disguise, as do its moments of aching love and loss..."

Memory Piece by Lisa Ko

A highly anticipated novel by the National Book Award finalist author of The Leavers

National Book Award fiction finalist Lisa Ko's new novel follows the journey of three lifelong friends from the pre-digital 1980s all the way to the 2040s. Memory Piece was named one of the most anticipated books of the year by LitHub, BookRiot and others, and has already been selected by Vogue for its running "best books of the year" list. "The teenage Giselle, Jackie and Ellen promise one another that they will develop their artistry into adulthood, which comes up against challenges like surveillance, gentrification and social codes that they previously couldn’t dream of. A keen look at the move from the pre-digital era to the age of technology, Memory Piece is as ambitious as it is innovative." — Dazed

Shanghailanders by Juli Min

A debut by the editor of the Shanghai Literary Review

This debut novel by Chinese author and editor of The Shanghai Literary Review, Juli Min, moves backward in time from 2040 to 2014 following a family and their secrets over a period of inmense change in the ever-evolving metropolis of Shanghai. Forbidden City author Vanessa Hua called the book an extraordinary debut: "Lyrical and haunting, Shanghailanders explores the enduring mysteries of family. With its inventive structure—the years spooling in reverse, told through rotating perspectives—Juli Min movingly portrays the Yangs and their many seasons of love and loss in a metropolis that perpetually rises, falls, and emerges from the ashes."

Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

An epic coming-of-age novel set in the time of the Tiananmen Square protests by pseudonymized author Lai Wen

In the years leading up to the Tiananmen protests, the young protagonist of this debut novel falls in with a band of individualists and gets swept up in the demonstrations against the Communist Party. The story follows her social and intellectual journey during that explosive time in China, culminating in the historic event that would define her generation. 

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