Mieko Kawakami, author of Heaven. Photograph:  Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty

Distant Sunflower Fields (Sinoist Books, £10.99) by Li Juan, translated by Christopher Payne, is set in Xinjiang in rural China and describes the fron(...)

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:  scriptwriters were ordered to glorify the military, to attack the Muslim Brotherhood and to promote conservative family values. Photograph: Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty

In his desire to wield sweeping power, president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt has suppressed politics, cowed the media and jailed legions of opponent(...)