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Maritime Ryukyu, 1050-1650 • Gregory Smits

I’ve always taken Napoleon’s side when it comes to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. No, his ambitions never extended that far east. I’m referring to an 1817 conversation Napoleon – then a captive on the lonely island of Saint Helena – had with British naval officer Captain Basil Hall. As [...]

The Front Lines of the War, and other poems • Scott Ezell

I don’t review poetry. Well, until now. I’m breaking that commandment in posting this review of Scott Ezell’s outstanding poetry chapbook, The Front Lines of the War. The problem with reviewing poetry is I lack the knowledge and ability to appreciate and describe it, and I’m not a big fan of [...]

Okinawa Moon • Arthur Oroz

This likeable novel opens on the island of Guam in the Marianas, where twenty-year-old Airman 2nd Class John Montez is stationed with the 19th Bomb Group, Far East Air Force.  He’s angry with himself for not joining the Marines like many of his friends and relatives have. A tough fighting unit with [...]

Betwixt and Between: A Memoir of New China • Margaret Sun 

During a Publisher Interview last year with Graham Earnshaw, the man behind Earnshaw Books, I asked which era he thought was most underrepresented in English-language books on China. The 1950s he said without a moment’s hesitation, and I have to agree. Since that conversation, he’s been doing his bit to [...]

Hong Kong Noir • edited by Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason

Hong Kong is under siege. From property developers razing neighborhoods to build yet more skyscrapers. From the push-and-pull emanating from Beijing to demand greater subservience from this former British colony.  Even without all that pressure, Hong Kong could very well collapse under the weight of its own population, permanent and [...]