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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...