Asian Literatures


Anderson, G. L. Asian Literature in English: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1981. 336 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 31. Z3001.A655 [PR9410] 016.895.

A bibliography of English-language translations and important studies (published through c. 1978) of East Asian literature. Indian literature, which is the subject of Singh, Verma, and Joshi, Indian Literature in English (R4800), is excluded. The 2,224 entries are organized in 16 divisions: Far East, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaya and Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, Turkic and other literatures, and periodicals about Central Asian literature. The divisions are variously classified, but most have sections for bibliographies, reference works, anthologies, general literary history and criticism, periodicals, genres, earlier literature, and modern literature, as well as individual authors and anonymous works. About half of the very brief annotations are descriptive, with the remainder offering an evaluative comment; however, few adequately describe the content or significance of a work. Indexed by persons and English-language titles of literary works. Users should be sure to note the explanation on p. xiv of conventions governing names (however, the use of brackets around variant pen names and parentheses around real names is not consistently followed). Although marred by an insufficient explanation of scope and criteria governing selection, omitting several important studies, and inadequately annotated, Anderson is useful as a preliminary compilation of English-language translations and studies of East Asian literature.

Some additional studies on Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China are listed in Patricia Herbert and Anthony Milner, eds., South-east Asia Languages and Literatures: A Select Guide (Honolulu: U of Hawaiʻi P, 1989; 182 pp.).