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You can find it on bookshelves in New York City, London, Singapore and Sydney. It's a sponsor of literary festivals in Ubud on Bali and Hay-on-Wye in Wales. And it's distributed in 250 Barnes & Noble stores across the U.S. The Asia Literary Review (ALR) — a slick, expensive-looking quarterly magazine of writing from and about Asia — has come far since its early print runs of just a few hundred copies, when it was so little known that it struggled to attract enough content.

What began in 1999 as a Hong...

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