Posted by UH Press Marketing on 10 June 2013
The Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer made a distinction between a “downstream” literary reality and an “upstream” historical reality. Pramoedya suggested that literature has an effect on the upstream flow of history and that it can in fact change history. In Situated Testimonies: Dread and Enchantment in an Indonesian Literary Archive, Laurie J. Sears illuminates this process by considering a selection of Dutch Indies and Indonesian literary works that span the twentieth century and beyond and by showing how authors like Louis Couperus and Maria Dermoût help retell and remodel history.
“This is a remarkable book in the way it attempts to tease out and crash through the barriers of self-restricting and self-restraining area studies. Situated Testimonies poses a challenge to Indonesianists as well as to many beyond the field. It is an adventure embarked upon with the help of Freud, Lacan, and other friends and foes. Sears demonstrates both the benefits and tribulations of such an endeavor. At its best, her book attains an impressive simplicity as it uncovers a sense of the world in both its subjects—the colonial and postcolonial literary figures—and its author as she thinks and writes about them.” —Rudolf Mrazek, University of Michigan
June 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3683-2 / $57.00 (CLOTH)
Posted in history, literature, Southeast Asia | Tagged: Indonesia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 3 April 2013
Lu Xun (1881–1936), arguably twentieth-century China’s greatest writer, is commonly cast in the mold of a radical iconoclast who vehemently rejected traditional culture. The contradictions and ambivalence so central to his writings, however, are often overlooked. Challenging conventional depictions, Literary Remains: Death, Trauma, and Lu Xun’s Refusal to Mourn, by Eileen J. Cheng, captures Lu Xun’s disenchantment with modernity and his transformative engagements with traditional literary conventions in his “modern” experimental works. Lurking behind the ambiguity at the heart of his writings are larger questions on the effects of cultural exchange, accommodation, and transformation that Lu Xun grappled with as a writer: How can a culture estranged from its vanishing traditions come to terms with its past? How can a culture, severed from its roots and alienated from the foreign conventions it appropriates, conceptualize its own present and future?
“Eileen Cheng’s study explores Lu Xun’s complex interaction with the past through sophisticated and nuanced analyses of a large corpus of his writings. With its solid textual scholarship and original and illuminating interpretations, her work constitutes an important contribution to Lu Xun studies.” —Kirk Denton, Ohio State University
April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3595-8 / $54.00 (CLOTH)
Posted in Asia, China, literature | Tagged: Lu Xun | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 28 February 2013
The UH Press Asian Studies 2013 catalog is now available! The catalog has been redesigned to showcase our new and forthcoming Asian studies titles. (All books published prior to late 2012 and currently in print can be found at our website.) To view the PDF, click on the catalog cover image to the left.
* An illustrated anthology of well-known masterpieces and unusual writing from 18th-century Edo’s counterculture — An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Mega-City, 1750–1850
*Four new titles in the Spatial Habitus series — The Hermit’s Hut: Asceticism and Architecutre in India, China’s Contested Capital: Architecture, Ritual, and Response in Nanjing, Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea, and Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China
* Short fiction from Japan’s foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji, including a new translation of an anticapitalist classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its publication — The Crab Cannery Ship and Other Novels of Struggle
* A timely collection of essays exploring Japan’s role in global environmental transformation and how Japanese ideas have shaped bodies and landscapes over the centuries — Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power
* An expansive new study on the varied roles Southeast Asia’s monumental remains (Angkor, Pagan, Borobudur, and Ayutthaya, among others) have played in the histories of its modern nations — A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation
* Close description and analysis of the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism by André Bareau, one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation — The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle
* Two volumes in the new series Korean Classics Library — Salvation through Dissent: Tonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea and Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society
Posted in anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art & visual culture, Asia, Buddhism, catalogs, China, Japan, Korea, literature, Okinawa, press news, religion, South Asia, Southeast Asia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 26 February 2013
During the eighteenth century, Edo (today’s Tokyo) became the world’s largest city, quickly surpassing London and Paris. Its rapidly expanding population and flourishing economy encouraged the development of a thriving popular culture. Innovative and ambitious young authors and artists soon began to look beyond the established categories of poetry, drama, and prose, banding together to invent completely new literary forms that focused on the fun and charm of Edo. Their writings were sometimes witty, wild, and bawdy, and other times sensitive, wise, and polished. Now some of these high spirited works, celebrating the rapid changes, extraordinary events, and scandalous news of the day, have been collected in An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Mega-City, 1750–1850, edited by Sumie Jones, with Kenji Watanabe, an accessible volume highlighting the city life of Edo.
“Anyone who wishes to soak up the atmosphere of Japanese urban life in those marvellous years before Edo became Tokyo need look no further than this anthology. Designed around six thematic categories, the book leads us right to the heart of the colorful, the earthy, the comic, the scabrous world of what in the mid-eighteenth century was in all likelihood the largest city in the world. A special strength of this collection is its successful attempt to capture one of the most remarkable aspects of popular literature of the time: the visual excitement of the woodblock printed page. A superb teaching resource that puts Edo within reach of the classroom.” —Richard Bowring, Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge
ISBN 978-0-8248-3629-0 / $70.00 (CLOTH)
ISBN 978-0-8248-3740-2 / $30.00 (PAPER)
Posted in Asia, Japan, literature | Tagged: anthology, Edo period, Japanese fiction in English | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 28 January 2013
This collection, translated by Zeljko Cipris, introduces the work of Japan’s foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji (1903–1933), to an English-speaking audience, providing access to a vibrant, dramatic, politically engaged side of Japanese literature that is seldom seen outside Japan. The volume presents a new translation of Takiji’s fiercely anticapitalist Kani kosen—a classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its 1929 publication. It also offers the first-ever translations of Yasuko and Life of a Party Member, two outstanding works that unforgettably explore both the costs and fulfillments of revolutionary activism for men and women. The book features a comprehensive introduction by Komori Yoichi, a prominent Takiji scholar and professor of Japanese literature at Tokyo University.
“A miracle happened in the world of Japanese letters in 2008: an eighty-year-old masterwork of Japanese proletarian literature appeared on best-seller lists. Embraced and reviled in its own day, dismissed and forgotten once revolution was declared both impossible and unnecessary, Kobayashi Takiji’s The Crab Cannery Ship, reborn here in zeljko Cipris’s fresh translation, stirred in Japanese a forgotten hunger for a literature that answers to bleak times with an incandescent anger and life-giving solidarity. This volume, which includes two novels never before translated, Yasuko and the Life of a Party Member, gives us a trio of works that speak to readers with prescient urgency.” —Norma Field, Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of Japanese Studies, University of Chicago
January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3742-6 / $25.00 (PAPER)
Posted in Asia, Japan, literature | Tagged: Japanese fiction in English, Kanikosen, Marxist fiction, Zekjko Cipris | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 3 January 2013
Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1965) was a great admirer of Edgar Allan Poe and like Poe drew on his penchant for the grotesque and the bizarre to explore the boundaries of conventional thought. Best known as the founder of the modern Japanese detective novel, Ranpo wrote for a youthful audience, and a taste for playacting and theatre animates his stories. His writing is often associated with the era of ero guro nansense (erotic grotesque nonsense), which accompanied the rise of mass culture and mass media in urban Japan in the 1920s. Characterized by an almost lurid fascination with simulacra and illusion, the era’s sensibility permeates Ranpo’s first major work and one of his finest achievements, Strange Tale of Panorama Island (Panoramato kidan), published in 1926.
This first English translation of Panoramato kidan by Elaine Kazu Gerbert includes a critical introduction and notes and uncovers for English-language readers an important new dimension of an ever stimulating, provocative talent.
“Ranpo is already a hot commodity on the international literary and cultural scene, and Strange Tale of Panorama Island should find its way onto many a ‘modern Japan’ or ‘modern East Asia’ syllabus. Gerbert, one of the really gifted translators of her generation, provides a graceful, seductive rendering of a landscape that incubates horror, and a superb introduction to this metaphysical thriller—one of Ranpo’’s most significant works.” —Paul Anderer, Columbia University
January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3703-7 / $17.00 (PAPER)
Posted in Asia, Japan, literature | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 4 December 2012
Late in 2011, the world was gearing up for the Olympics in London and Ann Morgan was planning to meet it more than halfway by reading “as many of the globe’s 196 independent countries . . . one book from every nation.” Her blog “A year of reading the world” tracks her progress and is filled with thoughtful commentary on not only what Morgan is reading (she’s not done yet) and her thoughts on the work, but also how she got there: the recommendations she received, the reasons behind her decision to read one book over another (e.g., for Bulgaria, Georgi Gospodinov over Elias Canetti: She discovered Gospodinov’s Natural Novel in a NYC bookstore “and it sounded so intriguing that I had to buy it and read it then and there”).
Morgan’s November 29, 2012 entry, “China: one in 1.3 billion,”details her discovery of Han Dong’s Banished!, published by UH Press in 2008. Forgoing this year’s Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan, Morgan decided on Han Dong after a meeting with translator, Nicky Harman:
“I couldn’t help being intrigued by [Harman’s] description of the book, which, by the sound of it, provided an unusual—even quirky—perspective on the events of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. My interest was also piqued by the translator’s comment that the structure of the book, which reads like a memoir, with each chapter devoted to a different character in the village, reflected a popular tradition in Chinese fiction. I decided it would be the book for me.”
Last year Morgan blogged “A year of reading women,” an equally insightful and entertaining trip through books, this time by women writers (largely British and North American) through the centuries.
Posted in Asia, China, literature | Tagged: Han Dong | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 27 November 2012
Yesterday Albert Wendt (shown with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key) was presented with this year’s Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Fiction in Wellington. The Samoan-born writer’s previous awards include the Wattie Book of the Year, the Montana Book Award, and two Commonwealth Book Prizes. He is acknowledged as one of the Pacific’s major novelists and poets and an important influence in the development of indigenous writing around the world.
Wendt is the author or editor of numerous books published by University of Hawai‘i Press, including Leaves of the Banyan Tree, Pouliuli, The Adventures of Vela, Sons for the Return Home, Black Rainbow, and Ola. His most recent book, Ancestry, is published by Huia Publishers and will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada by UH Press later this year.
Posted in awards, literature, Pacific | Tagged: Albert Wendt, Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement | 1 Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 26 October 2012
Almost Heaven: On the Human and Divine, the winter 2011 issue of Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, edited by UH Professor Frank Stewart and published by University of Hawai‘i Press, has been recognized as a “Notable Special Issue” of 2011 in Best American Essays 2012. Published by Houghton Mifflin, the award series is edited by Robert Atwan; the guest editor of the 2012 volume is New York Times columnist and best-selling author David Brooks.
Houghton Mifflin’s Best American series is the literary world’s premier showcase for each year’s outstanding essays and fiction. Work in such journals as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s is considered for selection.
Almost Heaven was supported in part by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities and The Mānoa Foundation. HCH also supported the humanities discourse about the issue by co-sponsoring the July 2012 production of Damien and an educational reader’s guide distributed during the performances. Damien, Aldyth Morris’s play about Father Damien, was the centerpiece of Almost Heaven. The play was a presentation of Mānoa Readers / Theatre Ensemble, which stages events for university, community, and statewide audiences. MR / TE is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary initiative of the UHM Outreach College, Community Services Division, and the UHM College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature.
Gates of Reconciliation, edited by Stewart and Barry Lopez in 2008, was the first Mānoa issue recognized as a “Notable Special Issue” by Best American Essays.
Posted in Hawaii, literature | Tagged: Manoa Journal | Leave a Comment »