Eight books to look out for this March

Eight books to look out for this March

02 March 2020

Priyanka Mogul, Literature Programme Manager

New month, new releases.

Here’s a few March releases we can’t wait for you to read.

Tweet us your March reads at @asiahousearts and sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on Asian arts and culture in the UK.

Naoki Matayoshi, translated by Alison Watts
Pushkin Press

Winner of Japan’s most prestigious literary prize, The Akutagawa

Sold more than three million copies in Japan

Spark has been adapted for manga, stage, film and TV – the series is available now on Netflix UK

Tokunaga is a young comedian struggling to make a name for himself when he is taken under the wing of Kamiya, who is either a crazy genius or perhaps just crazy. Kamiya’s indestructible confidence inspires Tokunaga, but it also makes him doubt the limits of his own talent, and dedication to Manzai comedy.

Spark is a story about art and friendship, about countless bizarre drunken conversations and how far it’s acceptable to go for a laugh. A novel about comedy that’s as moving and thoughtful as it is funny, it’s already been a sensation in Japan.


Find out more and buy the book here

Three Brothers
Yan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas
Chatto & Windus

Winner of the Franz Kafka, Independent Foreign Fiction, Prix Femina Etranger prizes and shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize three times.

In the first work of non-fiction from ‘One of the masters of modern Chinese literature’ (Jung Chang), Yan Lianke brings the reader into his boyhood home in Song County, Henan Province, painting a richly detailed portrait of rural China during the Cultural Revolution. 

Chronicling the lives of his father and two uncles, as well as his own, Three Brothers is a celebration of the power of one family to hold together in the most punishing of circumstances. Sharply alive to the cyclical nature of history, and the power of familial guilt, it also shows how the pen can be a route to freedom. 


Find out more and buy the book here

Minor Feelings: A Reckoning on Race and the Asian Condition
Cathy Park Hong
Profile Books

A fearless work of creative non-fiction about racism in cultural pursuits by an award-winning poet and essayist

‘Brilliant, penetrating and unforgettable, Minor Feelings is what was missing on our shelf of classics.’ – Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen

What happens when an immigrant believes the lies they’re told about their own racial identity? 

For Cathy Park Hong, they experience the shame and difficulty of “minor feelings”. 

The daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up in America steeped with shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality. 

With sly humour and a poet’s searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and artmaking, and to family and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche – and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth. 


Find out more and buy the book here

Nazanine Hozar

‘Immaculate… follows a group of Iranians in the lead-up to the 1979 revolution and marks the arrival of a major new voice.’ –  Observer 2020 highlights

‘A sweeping saga about the Iranian revolution as it explodes – told from the ground level and centre of the chaos. A Doctor Zhivago of Iran’ – Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

Nazanine Hozar’s stunning debut takes us inside the Iranian revolution–but seen like never before, through the eyes of an orphan girl. Through Aria, we meet three very different women who are fated to mother the lost child: reckless and self-absorbed Zahra, wife of the kind-hearted soldier; wealthy and compassionate Fereshteh, who welcomes Aria into her home, adopting her as an heir; and finally, the mysterious, impoverished Mehri, whose connection to Aria is both a blessing and a burden. 

The novel’s heart-pounding conclusion takes us through the brutal revolution that installs the Ayatollah Khomeini as Iran’s supreme leader, even as Aria falls in love and becomes a young mother herself.


Find out more and buy the book here

Inferno: A Memoir
Catherine Cho

‘Completely devastating. Completely heartbreaking. Written in luminous, spiralling prose’ – Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under

‘Crystalline … A brave, brilliant exploration of madness and motherhood’ – Harper’s Bazaar, 10 women who will shape what you watch, see and read in 2020

My psychosis, for all its destruction and wrath, was a love story.

When Catherine left London for the US with her husband James, to introduce her family to their newborn son, she could not have envisaged how that trip would end. Catherine would find herself in an involuntary psych ward in New Jersey, separated from her husband and child, unable to understand who she was, and how she had got there.

It’s difficult to know where the story of psychosis begins. Was it the moment I met my son? Or was it decided in the before, something rooted deeper in my fate, generations ago?

In an attempt to hold on to her sense of self, Catherine had to reconstruct her life, from her early childhood, to a harrowing previous relationship, and her eventual marriage to James.

The result is a powerful exploration of psychosis and motherhood, at once intensely personal, yet holding within it a universal experience – of how we love, live and understand ourselves in relation to each other.


Find out more and buy the book here


To Lahore, With Love
Hina Belitz

‘Warm, delicious and so beautifully written.’ – Beth O’Leary

Addy Mayford has always struggled with her identity. Brought up in a household of stories, food and faith by her Irish mother and Pakistani Nana, she feels constantly torn between the two sides of her upbringing. Since the death of her father, she’s found contentment cooking delicious recipes from his home city of Lahore, despite the protestations of her mother that being a chef is no career for a young woman. It’s only with the love of her gorgeous husband, Gabe, that she’s truly found happiness.

When Addy stumbles across a secret that shatters her world, she desperately needs to escape and is drawn to the sights of Lahore and the family she’s never known. Waiting for her there is Addy’s final acceptance of who she is, and a long-buried family secret that will change her life for ever.


Find out more and buy the book here

Run Me To Earth
Paul Yoon

‘[R]ichly layered… Throughout the novel, beauty and violence coexist in a universe that seems by turns cruel and wonderous… Yoon has stitched an intense mediation on the devastating nature of war and displacement.’ – New York Times Book Review

‘If you truly believe in the transformative power of literature then you must read this book. Run Me To Earth is a genuine masterpiece; fierce, tender, wise, earth-shattering, pulsating with love and hope.’ – Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking

From award-winning author Paul Yoon comes a beautiful, aching novel about three kids orphaned in 1960s Laos—and how their destinies are entwined across decades, anointed by Hernan Diaz as, “one of those rare novels that stays with us to become a standard with which we measure other books.”

Alisak, Prany, and Noi—three orphans united by devastating loss—must do what is necessary to survive the perilous landscape of 1960s Laos. When they take shelter in a bombed out field hospital, they meet Vang, a doctor dedicated to helping the wounded at all costs. Soon the teens are serving as motorcycle couriers, delicately navigating their bikes across the fields filled with unexploded bombs, beneath the indiscriminate barrage from the sky.

In a world where the landscape and the roads have turned into an ocean of bombs, we follow their gruelling days of rescuing civilians and searching for medical supplies, until Vang secures their evacuation on the last helicopters leaving the country. It’s a move with irrevocable consequences—and sets them on disparate and treacherous paths across the world.

Spanning decades and magically weaving together storylines laced with beauty and cruelty, Paul Yoon crafts a gorgeous story that is a breathtaking historical feat and a fierce study of the powers of hope, perseverance, and grace.


Find out more and buy the book here


Saffron Jack
Rishi Dastidar
Nine Arches Press

‘Wherever he is, whatever he’s up to, I declare Dastidar to be one of the most ingenious, modern, thrilling, hilarious and tender poets writing today.’ – Daljit Nagra

‘A bravura meditation on crown and country, borders, and what it means to belong.’ – Niven Govinden 

Using innovative form Saffron Jack is a narrative poem that boldly updates Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King, exploring empire, exile and migration.

An outcast, an outsider, an oddball. With too much ambition and not enough talent, Saffron Jack has never fitted in wherever he’s been. Now, with the feeling that his time is running out, he needs to do something drastic to change his life. So what better idea than to run away to the nearest war zone, and within the bullets, destruction and fighting to do the thing he’s always wanted to do: start his own country and declare himself king… 


Find out more and buy the book here




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