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Review: If Cats Disappeared from the World

When reaching for a piece of Japanese fiction, be it novel, manga, or anime, there’s a 50% chance that you’ll find a cat on the cover, a cat in the title, a feline protagonist, or a story chock full of cat-related shenanigans. While in the west we proudly label the dog as man’s best friend, …

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Review: The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

“People with no experience of God tend to think that leaving the faith would be a liberation, a flight from guilt, rules, but what I couldn’t forget was the joy I’d known, loving Him.” John Leal, whose name is always written and spoken of in full, was detained in a North Korean gulag. Upon release …

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5 Must-Read Asian/Asian American Fiction

It’s been an amazing year for fiction. Here are some of our favourite books this year written by Asian and Asian-American authors. The Court Dancer | Kyung Sook-Shin ‘Set during the dramatic final years of the Korean Empire, the new novel from Man Asian Literary Prize winner Kyung-Sook Shin features a mysterious dancer caught up in the …

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Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

When I was living in Inagi-shi, a once-upon-a-time small city now swallowed up by the swell of suburban Tokyo, I would enter the convenience store next to my apartment every morning and buy a sugar-soaked bun to walk to the station with. The convenience store woman who served me each and every morning at 8 …

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Review: Scales of Injustice by Loa Ho

Translated by Darryl Sterk Living in twenty-first century Korea, the animosity levied against Japan by much of the population still holds true today, even amongst many young people. This animosity of course stems from Japan’s occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Such hostility is arguably understandable, but one article that appeared last year in …

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Review: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

As a twenty-something who has, not for a moment, put learning and discovery behind him, I have spent several years now glued quite earnestly to YouTube as a means of studying things that escaped me as a child. Much like the housekeeper of The Housekeeper and the Professor, one of those things I missed out …

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Review: The Last Children of Tokyo (The Emissary) by Yoko Tawada

Dystopian fiction is arguably the most impactful, clever, and chilling kind of storytelling we have, but it has dipped in quality in recent years. That is until now, as we get a glimpse into the very near future with Yoko Tawada’s The Last Children of Tokyo or The Emissary in the US. It can take …

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Why You Need to Read My Brother’s Husband (Manga)

My Brother’s Husband is translated from the Japanese by Anne Ishii For the bulk of his career, fifty-four-year-old manga artist Gengoroh Tagame has focussed his creative energy into producing gay erotica. He has been a driving force for gay men in the world of Japanese art, influencing countless gay writers and artists. Tagame has now …

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Review: The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi

Wu Ming-Yi is Taiwan’s most celebrated author, and at the time of writing, only two of his novels have been translated into English (The Stolen Bicycle, and The Man with the Compound Eyes). Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2018 (alongside Han Kang’s illustrious The White Book), it’s certainly my hope that the acclaim …

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