The Emma Press


Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai


Tiny Moons is a food memoir by Nina Mingya Powles.

“We must have been fourteen or fifteen, eating burgers at our favourite expat American diner in Shanghai, licking salt and ketchup off our fingers. We were best friends: two half-Chinese girls, one with hair darker than the other, one a little taller, both with our nails painted black. An older white man came up close to our table. ‘You two must be hungry girls,’ he said, raising an eye-brow and walking on. We stared after him, mouthed What the fuck. Then we looked at each other and started to laugh because we didn’t know what he meant exactly, only that it was true.”

Page count: 96

Publication date: 27th February 2020

Paperback ISBN 978-1-912915-34-7


SKU: 978-1-912915-34-7 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

Nina Mingya Powles

Nina Mingya Powles is a poet and zinemaker of mixed Malaysian-Chinese heritage, born in Aotearoa New Zealand. She is the author of poetry collections field notes on a downpour (If a Leaf Falls, 2018) and Luminescent (Seraph Press, 2017). She was co-winner of the 2018 Women Poets’ Prize and in 2019 won the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing. She is poetry co-editor of The Shanghai Literary Review and the founding editor of Bitter Melon 苦瓜. Her first poetry collection, Magnolia, 木蘭, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2020. She is currently working on a book of lyric essays. She lives in London.


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

‘Funny, compact and beautifully written.’ Simon Winder

‘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

Additional information

Dimensions 12.9 × 19.8 cm

Print, eBook

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