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The Ventriloquist's Daughter

Lin Man-Chiu

Winner 2017 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation (Bronze and Sunflower)

Translated by Helen Wang

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The Story of Ink and Water

Illustrated by Liang Peilong

Text by Li Qingye

Translated and adapted by Chun Zhang

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Yeng Pway Ngon
Singapore Literature Prize
Translated by Jeremy Tiang
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The Pidgin Warrior

Zhang Tianyi
— C. T. Hsia, A History of Modern Chinese Fiction
“Satiric brilliance and unusual comic verve.”

Translated by David Hull

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The Chilli Bean Paste Clan
Winner English PEN AWARD
Translated by Nicky Harman
"A fascinating glimpse into the life of a dysfunctional family in modern China." —Marina Lewycka
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Time for the World to Learn from Africa
Ruth Finnegan
The insight of a story -- excerpts at The Mantle

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Balestier Press

@ Frankfurt Book Fair 2019

Visit us at Frankfurt Book Fair, Hall 5.1, Invitation Programme


The Chilli Bean Paste Clan

Winner of English Pen Award

The Chilli Bean Paste Clan by YAN Ge

Set in a fictional town in West China, this is the story of the Duan-Xue family, owners of the lucrative chilli bean paste factory, and their formidable matriarch. As Gran’s eightieth birthday approaches, her middle-aged children get together to make preparations. Family secrets are revealed and long-time sibling rivalries flare up with renewed vigour. As Shengqiang struggles unsuccessfully to juggle the demands of his mistress and his wife, the biggest surprises of all come from Gran herself……

Translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman

“A fascinating glimpse into the life of a dysfunctional family in modern China.”—Marina Lewycka, author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

New in Chinese: “The Chilli Bean Paste Clan” Words Without Borders

Time for the World to Learn From Africa

By Ruth Finnegan

It is a common notion that Africa has, and indeed ought to have, learned much from the west. This is not wrong; all cultures rightly learn from each other. But less is said of what there is to learn from Africa: from her stories, myths, music, proverbs, insights – and more. Here an acclaimed African scholar steps into the gap by uncovering for us something of the great legacy of African thought and practice in ways that will astonish many. Written with verve and authority and directed above all to students and sixth formers, this book will also delight and often surprise those who know something of Africa as well as those hitherto ignorant.

Ruth Finnegan OBE FBA is Emeritus Professor The Open University, Foreign Associate of the Finnish Literature Bureau, and International Fellow of the American Folklore Society. An anthropologist and multi-award author, she has published extensively, chiefly on Africa, musical practice, and English urban life. Recent books include How is Language?, Fiji’s Music: Where Did It Come From?, her edited Entrancement: The Consciousness of Dreaming, Music and The World, and two prize-winning Africa-influenced novels Black Inked Pearl and Voyage of Pearl of the Seas.

The Ventriloquist's Daughter

By Lin Man-Chiu

Translated by Helen Wang (Winner 2017 Marsh Award)

The Ventriloquist’s Daughter – Between Fantasy and Reality, by Lin Man-chiu (Global Literature in Libraries Initiative blog)

Riku and the Kingdom of White


Riku and the Kingdom of White is a coming-of-age story of a wide-eyed boy’s courage, brimming with hope of a bright and shining future. It is also the story of the lost innocence of an untold number of children who continue to live, day after day, undaunted, in Fukushima, after March 11, 2011, in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Translated from the Japanese by Raj Mahtani

With Foreword by Yuki Masami (Professor of Human and Socio-Environmental Studies, Kanazawa University)

Masked Dolls

An Australian woman, burdened by the original sin of her Caucasian ancestors, and a Taiwanese woman, haunted by the memories of 100 years of conflict in her homeland, meet as backpackers while travelling in South Korea. As they live and travel together, two women in flight, one from the East and the other from the West, struggle to find a way out of their personal dilemmas.


Masked Dolls is one of those rare books which after reading reveals itself to be greater than the sum of its parts. Brutal, intense, fascinating.” — The Writes of Woman


“Set in turn-of-the-century Seoul and Taipei, Shih Chiung-yu’s novel depicts what it means to be a woman reconciling the scars of a tortured past with living in a globalized era.” — The Taipei Times


By Roger Pulvers

London Launch Event, 19th Feb 2018, Daiwa Foundation Japan House

‘Liv’: The truth of war in a pair of cornflower-blue eyes – Japan Times

Liv is a gripping mystery, of a present haunted by the past, but also a profoundly moral book, asking of the reader: what would you do? In this, Liv deserves comparison with novels as great as An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.” — David Peace, author of Tokyo Year Zero.


By Yeng Pway Ngon

Translated by Jeremy Tiang

When the fervour of revolution is gone, what remains?

Four leftist teenagers in 1950s Malaya dedicate themselves to overthrowing colonialism and bringing about a better world. With time, their paths diverge — into capitalism, into adultery, into the dark heart of the Cultural Revolution. Disillusioned and middle-aged, they look back at their lives from the prosperous but soulless 1980s, wondering what has become of their dreams and ideals.

Winner of the Singapore Literature Prize

Book reviews:

‘The fiery radicals became businessmen, housewives, and pensioners — ordinary people. Yet such ordinary people once shook the world, and could do so again.’— The White Review

Leeds University Writing Chinese Reviews

Asian Review of Books

Crystal Wedding

Winner of English Pen Award

2016 Financial Times Emerging Voices Fiction Awards Longlist (Special Report)


Yang Tianyi is a “leftover woman” and under pressure to find a husband. She is attractive and intelligent but knows little of the world, and finally makes a disastrous marriage to a man, Wang Lian. At the end of the 1980s, in Tiananmen Square, she meets her love Hua Zheng again. However, after the political turmoil, Hua Zheng is framed as one of the perpetrators of the disturbances, and is sentenced to prison. Set against the background of China’s turbulent 1980s and 1990s, Crystal Wedding is a novel of searing emotional honesty.

Amid a Sea of Red Flags: Xu Xiaobin on her life-long relationship with literature: featured in ENGLISH PEN ATLAS

Crystal Wedding Preface by the Author

Snow – a short story by Xu Xiaobin (Read Paper Republic Week 41)

Xu Xiaobin and Nicky Harman in Conversation (Wednesday 20th April 2016, University of Leeds)

“A most wonderful, unsparing and uplifting book, not one ever to forget.” – Ruth Finnegan FBA (Emeritus Professor, Open University)

“This is a powerful and sensitively constructed novel about a literary woman’s search for a fulfilling love against the background of the Tian’anmen tragedy and its aftermath.” – Laifong Leung (Emeritus Professor, University of Alberta)

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