It is heartening to see Asian writing move out of shadows into the mainstream of literary circles with major publishers, like Penguin, giving a hand to not only greats like Satyajit Ray, Han Suyin and Tagore but also to immigrant writers who crossed the seas to find new life rejecting the violence and angst of political doings in their home countries.

In China, stories of how people swam across the seas and got picked up by boats and emigrated to America in the early and mid-twentieth century were circulated among expats by children of these immigrants; young people who returned to plush new jobs in American multi-nationals in the twenty first century. Now Penguin has classified stories  by some Asian immigrants in the twentieth century as ‘classics’ and is reprinting them. Are these classics as exciting as the first hand stories of immigrants crossing oceans?

UnknownRecently, Zhu Xiaodan, Governor of Guangdong Province, was visiting Gujarat to explore bi-lateral trade relations. He had little idea of a unique association being harboured between his province and the land of Mahatma Gandhi.

In a first for China, a researcher from the School of International Studies, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Huang Yinghong along with his team will launch a Chinese version of one of the representative collection of Gandhian literature, The Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.

Superficial but fun, this satire describes life for Chinese old money and nouveaux: The Independent

CrazyRichAsiansAt the heart of the novel are Nick and Rachel, a couple of university professors living in New York. Nick comes from a vastly affluent family, but Rachel is unaware of this. Their relationship has become serious, and Nick invites Rachel to accompany him to Singapore for the wedding of a friend at which Nick is to be Best Man. Nick wants Rachel to finally meet his family.

MurakamiInterview with Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami in The Asahi Shimbun

For the legions of admirers of Haruki Murakami, the recent release of his latest best-seller, “Shikisai wo Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, Kare no Junrei no Toshi” (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage) could be a harbinger of a long hoped-for honor.

When the Nobel Prize in literature is announced in October, bookmakers are favoring the author of such classic works as “Norwegian Wood” and “Kafka on the Shore” to finally be tabbed.

One of those anxiously awaiting the announcement is Mao Danqing, a professor at Kobe International University. Mao dreams of bringing two contemporary literary giants face to face: Murakami and China’s Mo Yan, the author of such historical sagas as “Red Sorghum Clan,” who last year edged out the Japanese author for the coveted Nobel Prize.