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books and bao endless blue sky

Review: Honford Star | Endless Blue Sky by Lee Hyoseok

Endless Blue Sky by Lee Hyoseok | Translated by Steven D. Capener The wealth of information we’ve lost over the years – through war, suppression, occupation, and simple accident – is staggering. Coupled with this loss is our largest barrier against the freedom of information: language. So much of what we can learn about a culture hinges on its availability in our own...

korea korean travel asia

Review: The Court Dancer – “The Things that Move the Heart Never Change”

Kyung-sook Shin | Translated by Anton Hur Kyung-sook Shin is a giant in the world of Korean literature, and rightly so. In fact, her own translator for this novel, the wonderful Anton Hur, mentioned in an interview (for Matthew Sciarappa’s YouTube channel) that her novel The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness is a ‘perfect microcosm of Korean society’. This kind of praise has...

women in translation asia

Women in Translation Month: 15 Novels & 5 Comics from Asian Women

August is Women in Translation Month, and given how much we humans enjoy lists, especially ones containing multiples of five, we were very excited to create our ultimate list of who we believe to be some of the ultimate women of today’s Asian literary world (at least those that have so far been translated into English). For a long time women’s voices in...

Competition Time: Asian Literature Giveaway

Welcome to our Giveaway! Time for some book love and our first giveaway. One lucky reader will win the five books below. These are some of our favourite books  and we’re so happy to share them. To enter just sign up to our mailing list below. We don’t send more than one email a month so no spam (we promise). Share this post and tag us @booksandbao on any...

convenience store japan

Convenience Store Woman: Breaking the Mould of Modern Japan

Convenience Store Woman Written by Sayaka Murata | Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori 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 clerk who served me each and every...

taiwan street art

Scales of Injustice by Loa Ho: Champion of the Downtrodden

Written 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...

Yoko Ogawa Housekeeper and the Professor Japanese

The Housekeeper and the Professor: Not a Love Story, but a Story of Love

Written by Yoko Ogawa  | Translated by Stephen Snyder  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 on was...

Tokyo Dystopian

The Last Children of Tokyo: A Dystopia Close to Home

Written by Yoko Tawada | Translated by Margaret Mitsutani It can take decades for us to begin to see where dystopian novelists were coming from when they wrote their stories. When their ideas start to pop up in real life, we feel a shaken sense of awe at their powers of foresight, overshadowed by the dread that they were right. They were never meant to be right...