Tiny Moons is a collection of essays about food and belonging. Nina Mingya Powles journeys between Wellington, Kota Kinabalu and Shanghai, tracing the constants in her life: eating and cooking, and the dishes that have come to define her. Through childhood snacks, family feasts, Shanghai street food and student dinners, she attempts to find a way back towards her Chinese-Malaysian heritage.
‘Meditative reflections on family, solitude, and belonging, intertwined with mouthwatering descriptions of noodles, dumplings, and sesame pancakes.’ Book Riot
‘This small-press gem is perfect for devouring in one sitting.’ Book Riot
‘My favourite books of the year are those I thrust into the hands of friends as soon as I finished reading them: the poet Nina Mingya Powles’s delightful essay collection Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai, encouraged a trip to Chinatown to try boluo bao or “pineapple buns” at the first opportunity.’ Ellen Peirson-Hagger, New Statesman
‘Throughout Tiny Moons the past mingles with the present, tempting the reader with the aromas, tastes and textures of the many dishes and snacks that Powles writes about so exquisitely and tenderly.’ Chris Tse, Pantograph Punch
‘Enjoy Tiny Moons for Powles’ tales of eating sticky, savoury buns and sizzling ginger & garlicky pork dumplings; for the sense of escape to an unknown city while we’re so rooted at home; or for the lyrical beauty of her prose.’ Julie Vuong, oh mag
‘Intelligent, poetic and entertaining, Tiny Moons is at once an intimate, personal account of Chinese food that will make you crave dumplings and noodles, as well as a profound contemplation on the notions of cultural hybridity, emotional landscapes and belonging.’ Jennifer Wong, Cha Journal
‘On the face of it, food is the focus. There are delicious anecdotes of eating pisang goreng (banana fritters) in Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu, mouthwatering descriptions of shengjianbao (pan-fried pork buns) in Shanghai and endlessly relatable stories about attempting to recreate dumplings in Wellington, NZ, without quite the right ingredients. But woven into the backdrop of each dish are musings on identity set in different parts of the world. There are morsels on being a woman, on being mixed race, and on not being from one place or another.’ Qin Xie, The Independent
‘Powles is an excellent writer, and I was struck throughout by the sensuality and opulence of her highly evocative prose. […] Tiny Moons is a tiny work of art, one to really savour.’ Kirsty, The Literary Sisters
‘Tastes, smells, the preparation of food, the colours of fruit, plants and the sky at the given time of year are all meticulously rendered with great eloquence. Although I have never been to Shanghai and have not tried many of the dishes described, reading it felt like I was there, as if I too were making my leisurely way from one street food stall to the next.’ Anna von Rath (translated by Lucy Gasser), poco.lit.