New Releases from Asia, December 2019


Title: Beast

Author: Krishna Udayasankar

Publisher: Penguin SEA

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 320

Price: SGD 20.90

Links : Penguin Random House

About: When mythical creatures commit a real crime, who gets to be the judge? It was always the same dream, a dream that began with darkness and blood. When Assistant Commissioner of Police Aditi Kashyap is called upon to solve a gruesome triple homicide, she is dragged into the terrifying world of the Saimhas — werelions — who have lived alongside humans, hiding amongst them, since ancient times.



Title: Boys from Good Families

Author: Usha K R

Publisher: Speaking Tiger

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 472

Price: Rs. 599/-

Links: Speaking Tiger

 About:  Thippy, the beautiful ‘girl from the outhouse’. Ashwath, only son of a feudal family of landowners. A love that could never be blessed by Destiny.

Disillusioned by his family’s rejection of his love for Thippy, stifled by its traditions and conservative ways, Ashwath leaves Bangalore for a university town in America’s Midwest. It is 1981, and the American economy is booming. Ashwath enjoys the three C’s of success: a condominium, a car and a credit card. But a decade later, when the market crashes, he sees the other side of the American dream—joblessness, dingy one-room tenements, and loneliness.

Casting its shadow over it all is Neel Kamal, his family home in Bangalore, now a piece of prime real estate. Ashwath is compelled to return after twenty-five years to lay claim to his inheritance. He finds that he has returned to a city changed unrecognisably by new wealth, a family who are strangers to each other, and a home that is now a contested piece of real estate, valuable enough to kill for. His childhood love has been transformed into the reigning deity of a new age ashram. His attempts to meet her lead to a violent spiral of events.




Title: Beauty Queens of Bishan

Author: Akshita Nanda

Publisher: Penguin SEA

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 272

Price: SGD 18.50

Links : Penguin Random House

About: A light-hearted story, Beauty Queens of Bishan centres around stereotypical rich Indian families in Singapore as well as other parts of the community, and how they all come together in the beauty parlours of the average-class heartland of Bishan.


Sunshine Blooms and Haiku - small.jpg

Title: Sunshine Blooms and Haiku

Author: Sneha Sundaram

Publisher: Sneha Sundaram

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 147

Price: US$14.99

Links: Amazon

 About: Sunshine Blooms and Haiku is Sneha Sundaram’s debut book of poems. This book is an exquisite collection of English language haiku and senryu exploring the nuances of this Japanese poetry form. Inspired by nature, Sunshine Blooms and Haiku is filled with little moments that celebrate life. The haikus draw you in as you travel through the seasons. Spring, Summer, Monsoon, Autumn and Winter are all represented in their full glory. The little poems gently nudge you to be more mindful, more joyful, more present.  Whether you are a lover of haiku and senryu or are new to the genre, this book is sure to entice you.



Title: Bukit Brown

Author: Sun Jung

Publisher: Penguin SEA

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 448

Price: SGD 27.90

Links: Penguin Random House

About: A time-travelling thriller combining the struggles from before and after. Bukit Brown follows the gripping journey of Ji-won, lonely and lost in modern-day cosmopolitan Singapore, who time travels to nineteenth century British Malaya and finds her true self through experiencing the deplorable lives of migrant workers, the veiled enmity among Chinese secret societies and a lavish Peranakan lifestyle.


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Title: School of Age

Author: Mihir Chitre

Publisher: Dhauli Books

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 111

Price: 295 INR

Links if any: Amazon  

Scroll Coverage 

About: After his debut book Hyphenated (Sahitya Akademi: 2014), Mihir Chitre returns to poetry, five years later, with School of Age.

This is a book that investigates the process of ageing through youth in contemporary India and employs several themes along the way such as loneliness, abuse, social injustice, travel, addiction, childhood trauma, gender, love and sex.

As for form, the book hosts a range from free verse to English ghazals and trivenis to poems in strict metre.



Title: Curse and Other Stories

Author: Noelle Q De Jesus

Publisher: Penguin SEA

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 176

Price: SGD 18.90

Links: Penguin Random House

About: In Cursed and Other Stories, readers will encounter the pain, the love, and the hope that reside in every Filipino… all these people all over the globe who are making lives easier for strangers in other countries, for all the people who wear their country with simultaneous pride and shame.


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