Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.
Sixteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.
Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman—who both contributed stories to this edition, as well—the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.
A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.
From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Ellen Oh is the cofounder of We Need Diverse Books and author of the award-winning Spirit Hunters series for middle grade readers and the Prophecy trilogy (Prophecy, Warrior, and King) for young adults. Originally from New York City, Ellen is a former adjunct college instructor and lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history. Ellen lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and three children and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel. You can visit her online at www.ellenoh.com.
Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton met while attending the New School’s acclaimed Writing for Children MFA program. Sona is a journalist who has written for the New York Times, People, Parade, Cosmopolitan, and other major media. Dhonielle is a librarian at a middle school in Harlem, and taught English at a cutthroat ballet academy. Together, the pair cofounded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent. Find them online at www.cakeliterary.com.
Melissa de la Cruz grew up in Manila and San Francisco. She is the author of the novels Cat's Meow (Scribner, 2001) and The Au Pairs (Simon & Schuster, 2004). She coauthored the nonfiction books How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less (Ballantine, 2003) and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-Inch Heels and Faux Pas (Ballantine, 2004). Her work has been translated into many languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Rahul Kanakia's novels include We Are Totally Normal and Enter Title Here. Additionally, his stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Indiana Review, and Nature, and he has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Lambda Literary Foundation. Originally from Washington, DC, Rahul now lives in San Francisco. Visit him at www.rahulkanakia.com.
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix, named one of the top ten fantasy novels for youth by Booklist. She lives with her husband and two children in San Diego, California.
Aisha Saeed is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novel Amal Unbound; the Bank Street Books Best Book Written in the Stars; Aladdin: Far from Agrabah; and Bilal Cooks Daal. Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and sons. You can find her online at www.aishasaeed.com.
Table of Contents
From the Editors 1
Forbidden Fruit Roshani Chokshi, Filipino 5
Olivia's Table Alyssa Wong, Chinese 20
Steel Skin Lori M. Lee, Hmong 47
Still Star-Crossed Sona Charaipotra, Punjabi 73
The Counting of Vermillion Beads Aliette De Bodard, Vietnamese 90
The Land of the Morning Calm E. C. Myers, Korean 109
The Smile Aisha Saeed, South Asian 139
Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers Preeti Chhibber, Gujarati 155
Nothing into All Renée Ahdieh, Korean 184
Spear Carrier Rahul Kanakia, South Asian 202
Code of Honor Melissa de la Cruz, Filipino 224
Bullet Butterfly Elsie Chapman, Chinese 238
Daughter of the Sun Shveta Thakrar, South Asian 259
The Crimson Cloak Cindy Pon, Chinese 282
Eyes like Candlelight Julie Kagawa, Japanese 302
Author Biographies 324
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This anthology of tales derived from Asian cultures, is a treat for those who have been waiting for something like this. There are some wonderful stories – some presenting the folklore in a modern setting, some exploring nuances of the old stories with a feminist view, some expanding the stories in its original setting – but they all make a good collection, and each of them beautifully written. For my own culture, the stories were all inspired from the Mahabharata/Hindu folklore and explored different stories in different aspects. There was a time-spanning retelling of the battle in Mahabharata, a Dusshera story inspired by the goddess’ fight against a demon (that one didn’t feel as good a retelling, though), and a reincarnation story that was equal parts chilling and intriguing. The other, non-Indian stories included a wonderful tale about two sisters, a tale of a mountain deity with her own agency, and two stories about fox deities – tricksters in a futuristic game setting, with a daughter seeking out the remnants of her mother in a digital world (which was such a hopeful and positive exploration of a digital landscape instead of a regular ‘the robots will kill us’ story), and another a historical fiction about the origin of kitsune stories. There was even an aswang story that Cruz manages to link to her existing Blue Bloods series! My only little complaint was that the background/author’s notes about which story inspired the particular retelling would come after the story – which takes away half the joy of looking at the parallels of the story, particularly if you’re not familiar with the story. After the first two stories, I started going ahead and reading the author’s notes first and then the story. Overall, this is a wonderful collection of stories, and a delight for Asian and diaspora readers specifically!