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books and literature

Literature

Frankenstein Shelley Junji Ito

Review: Junji Ito’s Frankenstein

Frankenstein written by Junji Ito |Translated by Jocelyne Allen When it comes to adaptation, book-lovers often feel divided. Some welcome film adaptations; others don’t see the point. Some spend hours debating which is better. I am of the opinion that a book and a film are too far apart to be compared clearly and fairly. But graphic adaptations exist in the gap...

Apple and Knife Novel Indonesian Literature

Review: Apple and Knife by Intan Paramaditha

Written by: Intan Paramaditha | Translated by Stephen J Epstein Most of us know that every country and culture has its folk tales and fairy tales, and most of us know that these often horrific tales of punishment, death, revenge, and tragedy have been muted and twisted into happy stories by Disney, and in Japan’s recent children’s anime Yokai Watch. But how can we...

Review: The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

‘All roads used to lead to Rome. Today, they lead to Beijing.’ The subject of history is one that concerns politics, economics, and philosophy. Lessons from the past teach us how to proceed into the future. And yet, for so long, books on history have been simply that. Recently, however, a trend has emerged amongst historians: experts in world events of the past have...

Review: The Underground Village by Kang Kyeong-ae

Written by Kang Kyeong-ae | Translated by Anton Hur Even if The Underground Village were to be underwhelming, it is worth attention for being perhaps the only collection of stories to come out of Japanese-occupied Manchuria (written by a lower-class female Korean communist born in what is now North Korea) that you’ll ever read. Fortunately, thanks in no small part to...

hwang sok yong at dusk

Review: At Dusk by Hwang Sok-yong

Written by Hwang Sok-yong | Translated by: Sora Kim-Russell Have you ever listened to Big Yellow Taxi? I like the Counting Crows version. Hwang Sok-yong is arguably Korea’s most prestigious and well-respected living author; his most recently translated works – Familiar Things and Princess Bari – have garnered themselves heaps of praise across the English-speaking...

Review: City of Ash and Red by Hye-Young Pyun

Written by: Hye-Young Pyun | Translated by: Sora Kim-Russell Millennials are often accused of destroying a lot of things, but they have also been attributed to the resurgence of so much lost art, such as vinyl records and pixel-art video games. In literature, one of the greatest writers to receive a second life is Franz Kafka. More and more frequently we are seeing...

Japan Lonesome bodybuilder

Review: The Lonesome Bodybuilder (Picnic in the Storm)

Written by Yukiko Motoya | Translated by Asa Yoneda ‘Tomoko had married him of her own free will. Some of her friends had advised her to reconsider, but most people didn’t even seem to notice that he was straw.’ Two months ago I had already decided on my favourite novel, and novelist, of 2018: Convenience Store Woman and its author Sayaka Murata. I loved this book...