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Literature

May/June 2018: New and Exciting Asian Fiction

Welcome to our new bi-monthly run down of the newest books coming out of Asia. There are some really great books out soon and we’re excited to share them with you. Full reviews of several of the novels below will be coming out shortly so sign up at the bottom for notifications and be the first to receive the July/August list. The Last Children of Tokyo Japanese...

lgbt

Why you Should Read: My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Translated 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. This year he has come out with something far more introspective and thematically...

Kabuki Masks Japan

Lost Japan: An Exploration of Tradition and Culture

Translated by: Bodhi Fishman Japan Today Wherever you were born and raised, you know that World War II changed everything. You may not have been alive before WWII to know this first hand, but you studied history and you spoke to your grandparents who likely lived through a recession, and possibly a subsequent economic boom depending on where you are from. You know...

taiwan bicycle travel

The Stolen Bicycle: an Intimate Journey through Taiwan

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 this book is bound to shower him...

book sweet potato

Discover Korean Literature with Honford Star: Sweet Potato by Kim Tongin

Translated by Grace Jung It’s troubling to think on what we’ll miss when we’re gone, and what we may never know about what has already passed. How much of history is lost to us? How many wonderful and terrible things will we never live to see? Both of these questions were in mind as I pored through the stories in this collection. A Unique Publishing House First and...

Why You Should Read: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata

Translated by Jocelyn Allen Back in the summer of 2016 I was walking through Tokyo, somewhere near the Shibuya district, when I stumbled across a Gay Pride parade marching gleefully, cheering and singing under the crisp blue June sky. It was a wonderful sight, and filled the air with electric vibrancy and colour. A few weeks later, a student of mine at a Tokyo...

asian female writers

5 Female East Asian Writers to Move your Heart and your Mind

In many ways, the women of East Asian literature are the prominent voices of their cultures today. In Japan and Korea especially, those writers who have the greatest clarity of mind and creative spirits are insightful, fascinating, and imaginative women. Women who speak for the sidelined and the unrepresented, women who show us our lives and our cultures from an...

The Three Body Problem: Introducing Chinese Science Fiction to the Western World

Written by Cixin Liu and translated by Ken Liu. “In science fiction, humanity is often described as a collective. In this book, a man named ‘humanity’ confronts a disaster, and everything he demonstrates in the face of existence and annihilation undoubtedly has sources in the reality that I experienced.”  – Cixin Liu, author’s note, The Three Body Problem The Three...

Why you Should Read Yiyun Li’s ‘Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life’

  In an interview with fivebooks.com, Yiyun Li discussed the concept of the ‘anti-memoir’. This term came around because, as Li put it in the interview, “[…] there has to be a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ – an epiphany. But to me, all these things are artificial. Life is lived in a much messier way.” This rather perfectly encapsulates the issue that Li, and many...