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Review: The Accusation by Bandi

It is difficult to know where to start when discussing a book like The Accusation. Smuggled one by one out of North Korea and into China as scribbled manuscripts, and here collected at last as a gorgeous hardcopy. Bandi’s collection of short stories, The Accusation, is not just a valuable insight into ordinary (read: terrifying) …

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How Jung Chang’s Wild Swans Made Me A Better Laowai

Before I lived in Tokyo and Seoul, I lived in Shanghai. Expats and locals alike in Tokyo and Seoul have joked with me more than once about the harshness of Chinese culture and the unpleasantness of life there; jokes such as: ‘On the Seoul subway, keep your voice down. You don’t want to be a …

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Review: Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Translated from the Japanese by Megan Backus Every great novelist has pinned a theme to a punching bag and attempted to tackle it. And every theme has been tackled numerous times. ‘The lengths we go to for love’ as a theme, for example, has been thoroughly exhausted; this dead horse has been beaten black and …

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Interview with Young-Im Lee, Author of Forgotten Reflections: A War Story

Forgotten Reflections is a tale of survival and the ability to flourish through adversity during a devastating period of modern Korean history: The Korean War. Young-Im Lee has painted a truly staggering and diverse world that seems entirely removed from the modern day, and yet is immediately recognisable. I had the opportunity to get in …

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