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Asian Literature

10 Classic Japanese Ghost Stories

The ghosts and demons (yokai) of Japanese folklore represent some of the most imaginative, diverse, and strange supernatural creatures anywhere in the world. Vengeful spirits and man-eating demons; haunted furniture and the ghosts of abandoned children. Japanese ghost stories are a deep well of fantastical, terrifying wonders. Here are ten such captivating Japanese ghost stories, …

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Kobo Abe: 3 Must-Read Surreal Novels

Where do you start reading an author like Kobo Abe? The post-war Japanese author and playwright has become known, most famously, as Japan’s answer to Franz Kafka. One difference between the two, however, is that Abe was able to finish his works. And of them, which ones are must-read novels? What we have here are …

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Review: Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Earthlings is translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori | Published by Granta In 2018, the English translation of Convenience Store Woman, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori, was published by Granta. The book had such an intense and profound effect on me, as a reader, that it remains somewhere in my top 5 novels …

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Review: The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida by Clarissa Goenawan

Published by Scribe Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born, Singaporean author who has so far penned two novels, both set in Tokyo and both reminiscent of supernatural romance and drama manga, as well as the novels of Haruki Murakami. The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida is a subtly fantastical story, driven by themes of love, loss, …

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Review: Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot Tales from the Cafe Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s original Before the Coffee Gets Cold, an adaptation of his own stage play, was one of the best-selling novels of 2019. A sweet, goofy, novel with heart to spare. We called it “unapologetically awkward and campy, but it is full of soul, …

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Is The Made in Abyss Manga Worth Reading?

The anime adaptation of Made in Abyss released in 2017, and featured thirteen episodes of some of the most visually stunning animation ever put out into the world. With an astonishing soundtrack and clever world-building, Made in Abyss stands tall as one of its decade’s best anime. With a world this mysterious and engrossing, it’s …

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Review: No Presents Please by Jayant Kaikini

No Presents Please Translated from the Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana Published by Tilted Axis Press I love big, sprawling, bustling cities. I love the way they constantly shift and change, never staying the same from one year to the next. I love the electric energy, the speed of life, and the background hum that never …

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Is The Promised Neverland Manga Worth Reading?

The anime adaptation of The Promised Neverland manga released its first season in 2019 to critical praise. The show finally offered answers to anime fans wondering why manga readers were so obsessed with the series. But, for fans won over by the anime, is The Promised Neverland manga worth reading? Yes. Here’s why. What is …

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10 Outstanding Japanese Women Writers

The publishing world, wherever in the world you are, is still dominated by men: male writers, editors, and publishers. This is despite the fact that the majority of readers around the world are women, and that so much of the best writing has always come from women authors. Today, the best Japanese novels are all …

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