Jacaranda’s 2016 That Was

Jacaranda is four years old. Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 was quite memorable for us, the trio of women based in Bangalore, Singapore and Manila, whose authors were as perse as the faces before the people we introduced ourselves to, proud to represent ideas and stories that come from the many places there are in this world.

The year 2016 was quite a year for most everybody around the world, especially for Jacaranda, but in many respects it was wonderful, too. It was the year we saw National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin find a home in Penguin Classics with his collection of short stories and a play The Woman with Two Navels and Tales from the Tropical Gothic (April 2017). Larawan, a musical film adaptation into film of his play Portrait of the Artist as Filipino will also be shown this year as the Philippine nation celebrates Nick Joaquin’s centenary (trailer’s here). FH Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles (Soho) has also been adapted into a film and will be shown this year directed by Raya Martin (trailer’s here, too). In Frankfurt, we toasted Jennifer Waldo’s Old Buildings in North Texas (Arcadia) with her publishers; a precious memory for us (see Helen with Arcadia’s Joe Harper here and a closer look at the book, which you can get here, while you take a closer look at the bubbly here)!

We also rejoice at the release Maya Thiagarajan’s Beyond the Tiger Mom (Tuttle), which examines the differences between Asian and Western approaches to parenting, family values and education. With practical tips and interviews and the latest educational research, this invaluable guide blends the best of East and West to help raise successful children (get the book here). Jennifer Aquino’s The International Family’s Guide to US University Admissions (Wiley, June 2017) is something to watch out for!

We’re all excited to see Scott Myer’s translation of Bei Tong’s Beijing Comrades (Feminist Press, buy it here) get further translated into French, and will see print in India, too! Jessie de Boer’s The Elephant and the Bees (Jacaranda Books, Art, and Music, 2016), an insightful, hilarious memoir from a twenty-something girl with big Oprah-esque dreams, is out. She is a young, ecological voice of her generation determined to make a difference, and what a joy to have had this kind of book on our list! And if you’ve read Tiffany Tsao’s The Oddfits Book 1 (Amazon Crossings, 2016), it’s time to get The Oddfits Book 2 or The More Known World in August of this year! Of course Krishna Udayasankar, author of The Aryavarta Chronicles (Hachette), has been frantically typing away, thus, her new novel Immortal (Hachette) chronicles a warrior/professor’s search for the Vajra, an artifact that just might contain the secrets to his unending life, yet again a bestseller continues to blow people away. Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind will see translation into two Indian languages.

Adeline Foo’s Tiny Feet, Tiny Shoes, a beautiful picture book that tells of a transition from the old to the new in a most respectful loving manner, beautifully illustrated by Beth Parrocha-Doctolero is coming soon (Scholastic), is done and may be launched in AFCC 2017. Watch this space for breaking news. Sophia Lee’s much-awaited What Things Mean (Scholastic), which won the Scholastic Asian Book Prize, is out and made quite a splash, and you can see more of the news on it everywhere. We also can’t wait for all of you to meet Hitomi Otani, our first Japanese author, who is both an author and illustrator to boot whose book will be released by Scholastic soon! She is fab!

Also, our audio rights sales have been going well, kicking off with the sale of Anita Nair’s six books and Krishna Udayasankar’s novels to Audible, lots of format choices here. Speaking of Anita brings us to the publication of Suchen Christime Lim’s book in India by Anita Nair who opens a new literary imprint Anita’s Attic.

The year 2016 also brought about a big change in Jacaranda: this year, Andrea Pasion-Flores begins a new chapter in her publishing life as general manager of Anvil Publishing, Inc., one of the longest and biggest trade publisher in the Philippines. But since we couldn’t let her go completely, we have made her part of our Board of Advisers. It will be a different agency without Andrea, but we see a future of many collaborations with her, so she is not completely gone from Jacaranda.

Like the rest of the world, Jacaranda’s 2016 was a year of many changes, challenges, and successes! We brace ourselves for a 2017 that will bring the best of the world’s books to us all, especially from authors whose stories and voices resonate with the persity of our world. It’s still January, so we feel it’s still okay to wish you all a happy new year!