While I’ve only been reading romance for just under ten years, I’ve figured out which tropes are my favourite to watch unfold, and the kind of characters I respond to and want to read about all the time. But there’s one trope I didn’t anticipate becoming a fan of in my reading life, and that’s the alternate universe Filipino family dynasty romance.
I’m sure I’m not the only movie monster/del Toro fan who’s waiting eagerly for the premiere of the film next month, so here’s a few books that will tide you over (pun very much intended) till you can be at the theatre.
In The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi introduces an ensemble cast that does exactly this as they embark on a magical hunt through the streets of Paris in 1899, with a deft and clever hand. We spoke with Roshani about favourite myths, developing and balancing individual characters within a larger cast, and finding oneself on bookshelves.
In a quiet village near the Black Sea, the people speak through birdsong. Sibel is the story of a 25-year-old mute woman in this village who is caught between long-held traditions and the modern world. When a man explodes into the forest she knows as well as her own mind, Sibel (Damla Sönmez) must choose between pushing her way into a new path for herself, or conforming with the traditions of her village and the women around her.
Looking for a new creepy show to add to your fall plans? HBO Asia’s Folklore, a new horror anthology series premiering on October 7, has got you covered. Six episodes written and directed by some of Asia’s up-and-coming filmmakers explore the shadows of Asian folklore and legends, and based off this year’s screening at TIFF, there’s lots of horror to look forward to.
There’s something to be said for atmosphere when done right: it has the ability to slice through whatever assumptions one might bring to a film, and usher an audience into a world they never quite expected. If Gwen is any indication, writer/director William McGregor understands the power of atmosphere and what it could yield on the rocky rural hills of Wales. The results are far from satisfying, however, and viewers will be hard-pressed to leave the theatre without more questions than they might have started with.
Given the lackluster state of Asian representation in mainstream, Hollywood films, it can almost feel like the film must be all things at once, and do everything all at once, and be pretty about it too. What Crazy Rich Asians does—and does well—is finally, joyfully put Asian faces into a frothy and delightful story, with a healthy helping of diaspora feelings to boot.
Emily Wilson is a British classicist whose translation of The Odyssey not only modernizes the text into a invitation to every reader, but also marks her as the first woman to completely translate the poem into English. I spoke with Wilson about the project and her own history as a translator, and her enthusiasm and passion for the work and the story is clear in every answer.
I never quite know what I’m looking for in YA historical fiction until I find it, that intangible quality that makes me sit up and commit to the story, my curiousity and interest stoked in events long past. Sometimes it’s a voice, telling me about things that have rarely been mentioned in history books. Sometimes it’s an event that, despite past exploration, still yields truths that are worth revisiting. Sometimes it’s both, that perfect mix of honesty and fact that tell us how flawed and brave human beings can be.
A new film adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is in the works from Warner Bros, but it’s not the classic novel many of us will recognize. Writers Scott McGehee and David Siegel are adapting the story but they’ll be making a pretty major change–the film’s students will all be girls.
I built my book collection carefully, combining my burgeoning interest in literature with my fascination with history and medicine. It was an eclectic set of books that I wish I could see today, now that I’m almost 30 and have the space and funds to keep the collection going. There are a couple titles that I do think about a lot, however, and that I wish I’d managed to hold on to during my moves.
There’s something about being heard, and knowing that there are stories of others like you, that is deeply empowering. While we don’t all share the same stories or experiences, the vast spectrum of our lives means there is a story for everyone. 2018 is going to be bringing some fantastic books about immigrants, and by immigrants, to your nearest bookstore or library.
When it comes to books, there are few things I love more than stories driven by fearless, determined girls. The conflicts might be different from story to story, but all of these characters are bold, and stubborn, and indomitable, even when things are at their worst. Here are some books led by intrepid girls across worlds and universes, blazing trails and changing their futures.
With two films screening at the New York Asian Film Festival this month, Filipino-Australian actress Anne Curtis is giving audiences a wide-ranging look at the possibilities of Philippine cinema and the stories it can tell. I spoke with Anne about the challenges and satisfaction of her first action role, what working on BuyBust revealed about her, and where she’ll be heading next.
Over the course of one night, beneath the incessant rain on tin roofs, Erik Matti’s BuyBust puts the war—and the people caught and shot in the crossfire—into sharp relief, begging the question: who can win in a battle where death is the endgame?