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Why You Need to Read Jujutsu Kaisen (Manga)

Alongside Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Jujutsu Kaisen is the biggest name in shounen manga and anime right now. Many, myself included, have praised it for revitalising the shounen space and ushering in a new age of shounen. When you watch or read Jujutsu Kaisen, you’re experiencing something wholly new; something that wears its inspiration …

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17 Best Queer Graphic Novels (+ Manga)

Being queer means a lot of things to a lot of people, and here we have attempted to represent a broad scope of queer writers and stories within the world of comics, graphic novels, and manga. Here, you’ll find a lesbian memoir, a gay romance, queer graphic novels filled with asexual and non-binary characters, as …

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Review: The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili

Translated from the Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway Published by Peirene Press The Pear Field is a novel of juxtapositions. It is full of tragedy, but written with a calm joviality. It has a gothic tone but is populated by lovable characters, rather than ones you love to hate. It shocks and frightens you at one …

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Kobo Abe: 3 Must-Read Genius Surreal Novels

Where do you start reading an author like Kobo Abe? The post-war Japanese author and playwright has become known, most famously, as Japan’s answer to Franz Kafka. One difference between the two, however, is that Abe was able to finish his works. And of them, which ones are must-read novels? What we have here are …

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Why You Should Read A Girl on the Shore (Manga)

Translated from the Japanese by Jocelyne Allen Inio Asano is a mangaka best known for being one of the manga world’s smartest and boldest creators. His series Goodnight Punpun is an oft-touted masterpiece that taps into the tragedy of growing up lost and frightened. It’s a series that represents the literary highs which manga can …

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Review: The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida by Clarissa Goenawan

Published by Scribe Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born, Singaporean author who has so far penned two novels, both set in Tokyo and both reminiscent of supernatural romance and drama manga, as well as the novels of Haruki Murakami. The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida is a subtly fantastical story, driven by themes of love, loss, …

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Review: Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s original Before the Coffee Gets Cold, an adaptation of his own stage play, was one of the best-selling novels of 2019. A sweet, goofy, novel with heart to spare. We called it “unapologetically awkward and campy, but it is full of soul, presented through clever world …

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Review: No Presents Please by Jayant Kaikini

Translated from the Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana Published by Tilted Axis Press I love big, sprawling, bustling cities. I love the way they constantly shift and change, never staying the same from one year to the next. I love the electric energy, the speed of life, and the background hum that never quietens down. One …

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Review: Dead Girls by Selva Almada

In 2019, the English translation of Selva Almada’s The Wind That Lays Waste (translated by Chris Andrews) was Books and Bao’s favourite translated novel of the year. Twelve months later, we’re already gifted another sharp and cutting Almada book, once again published by Charco Press: Dead Girls, translated by Annie McDermott. Dead Girls is a …

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Review: Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami is already a superstar author in her native Japan. A philosophical and feminist powerhouse of beautiful prose, interwoven with discussions on death, birth, womanhood, growth, and change. She is now a rising star in the English language, too, thanks to translations of works like Ms. Ice Sandwich from Pushkin Press (tr. Louise Heal …

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