Kit Gillet

The anti-hero of Chris Maden’s Price’s Price is a character who will divide readers of this accessible novel that highlights less-than-flattering aspects of Hong Kong.

Stories filled with vignettes of Cambodian-American life, and of generations trying to understand one another, are the legacy of writer who died at 28 on the cusp of literary stardom.

In The Jakarta Method, American journalist Vincent Bevins documents systematically for the first time the mass exterminations in Indonesia that became a blueprint for organised programmes of state terror around the world.

By charting the story of one Chinese scientist who came under the suspicion of the FBI, Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted author Mara Hvistendahl puts a human face to the issue of industrial espionage.


In The Great Successor, Anna Fifield digs deep into the dictator’s early life, speaking with former classmates and others who knew the reclusive leader when he struggled with foreign languages and social interaction.

In Maoism: A Global History, China scholar Julia Lovell explains Mao-era China’s influence across the globe, funding insurgencies from Africa to Nepal to Peru, and inspiring others closer to home in Cambodia and Malaya.

One of Catching Thunder’s strongest points is that the authors – investigative journalists who accompanied the chasing vessel – track down players on each side, piecing together their testimonies on the 110-day chase


Since the junta made way for democratic rule in 2011, deadly outbreaks of violence between Buddhists and Muslims have scarred the country. Francis Wade creates an impressively detailed picture of the tensions inside Myanmar

Richard Lloyd Parry’s focus on those caught up in the events of that tragic day, especially relatives of the 74 children killed at Okawa Elementary School, truly highlights the small decisions that spell the difference between life and death

By following individual monks and priests, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson personalises his account of the reawakening of religious belief and practices in China in this timely and important book

Joshua Kurlantzick’s engaging new history says the secret war in Southeast Asia was the beginning of the modern CIA – no longer merely an intelligence-gathering agency

John Pomfret’s history of the friends-to-allies-to-enemies-and-back-again relationship between China and America is a masterful account of the ties that have shaped the foremost powers in the world today

The countryside of Maramures, where farmers still use long scythes and home-made wooden pitchforks and there's no TV or internet, gives visitors a taste of how rural life was in much of Europe two centuries ago, writes Kit Gillet


Few people in history have achieved more in their lifetime than Napoleon Bonaparte, and it quickly becomes clear in this latest in a long line of biographies just how fitting the title "Napoleon the Great" is.

"Gradually, in my head, the boundaries between these slices of time - between wartime and post-war Sri Lanka - melted away. The phrase 'post-war' lost its meaning," journalist Samanth Subramanian writes in This Divided Island.

Death Fugue, Sheng Keyi's second novel to be translated into English after Northern Girls, is, at its core, an absurdist take on the legacy of June 4, 1989, and the totalitarian nature of the Chinese government still in place today.

Disregarding his own health, and barely able to visit his dying wife in hospital, Zhou Yuqing sacrifices everything in an attempt to finish Mao Zedong's crystal sarcophagus in time for the opening of his mausoleum in 10 months' time.

If you are looking for a timely antidote to the blanket coverage of lucratively paid footballers competing in the World Cup in Brazil starting next Thursday, it's time to grab a copy of Thirty-One Nil, a gripping tale of some of the many underdogs who dreamed, however briefly, of playing alongside the likes of Ronaldo and Messi.

Palestinians in the West Bank, which is being sealed off behind a barrier, continue to live their lives in limbo. Kit Gillet looks at the reality on the ground following the collapse of the latest round of peace talks with Israel. Pictures by Jeffrey Lau.

Evan Osnos, a staff writer at The New Yorker, recently left China after eight years covering the country, but not before writing a book on China's Age of Ambition , due to be released in early May. He spoke to Kit Gillet.

In 2009, scholars at Oxford University found themselves looking down at an ancient Chinese map that hadn't been seen for almost a century.

For decades, a province in western Cambodia has been ground zero for drug-resistant strains of malaria. Now, a number of organisations are hoping to end the disease's deadly grip once and for all. Kit Gillet visits Pailin. Pictures by Jeffrey Lau.

By the 1970s, the United States was a veritable scrapyard, with rusting cars and abandoned farming and factory equipment scattered all over the country. But then the Chinese came, Adam Minter writes in Junkyard Planet, his tour de force journey through the global scrap trade.

As overfishing empties Thailand's seas, Kit Gillet meets some of those desperate to take what is left and a local who is fighting back. Pictures by Luke Duggleby.

On January 23, 1960, Swiss explorer Jacques Piccard set down at the deepest depths of the ocean, 10,911 metres below the surface.

In 2011 Chinese author, poet and dissident Liao Yiwu slipped across a small border crossing into northern Vietnam, fleeing a country that had long repressed and imprisoned him for his protest writing.

It's one of the most notorious weapons of the 20th century, yet beyond its role in the Vietnam war, napalm is little known - both in its origins and nature, and in its use in warzones before and since that decade-long conflict.

Bangkok's city centre is on your doorstep, but you'd never know it at this chic eco-getaway, writes Kit Gillet.

Alone, save for her simple-minded grandson, the 90-year-old widow of one of the last chieftains of the Evenki reindeer herders contemplates her life, and the dying ways of her people.

Cockfighting may be frowned upon elsewhere, but in the Philippines it is a legal national pastime. Kit Gillet gets a bird's eye view of the action. Pictures by Jeffrey Lau.

In the most populous country on the planet, a nation where information is heavily controlled, there is perhaps nothing more powerful (or scary) than a state-controlled television network with a near-monopoly on the airwaves and the spread of news and discourse.

Richard Burger suggests a sexual reawakening has long been under way on the mainland, with a rapidly altering sexual landscape filled with unmarried sexual partners, flourishing sex shops, mistresses and an increasingly wifeless generation of young men.