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7 Books of Incredible Arabic Short Stories

Arab literature is a world that contains multitudes. From a Western perspective, you might expect Arab stories to provide you religious or political perspective on a world you know little about. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it isn’t. While the Arab world is home to revered classic novels and modern works of brilliance, one of …

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8 Top Manhwa (Webtoons) to Read Online Now

With the rise of Superman and Batman almost a hundred years ago, the US became the home of comic books. Then, before the turn of the 21st Century, eyes turned towards Japan and its manga industry. Today, it’s Korean manhwa (also known as webtoons) that have the eager attention of so many comics fans. We …

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10 New Korean Books in Translation 2021

2020 was a really excellent year for literature in translation, with some stand-out new Korean books that included the spectacular Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-joo (tr. Jamie Chang). 2021, however, is looking to top last year’s offering of Korean books by offering us a refreshing selection of genre fiction and queer fiction. Until …

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Is the Demon Slayer Manga Worth Reading?

It’s an irrefutable fact that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is the biggest anime in the world right now. Hype surrounding the Demon Slayer anime is intense, and the Mugen Train movie has become one of the biggest box office hits in the history of Japanese animation. Because of this, the Demon Slayer manga, written …

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11 Must-Read Korean Novels in English

Ask anyone with at least one eye on world literature in translation which countries are putting out the most groundbreaking novels, and they will likely mention South Korea. Korean novels frequently bend and break genres, explore often untouched social and political themes, and speak to our very souls. Outstanding Korean Novels in Translation If you’re …

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9 Must-Read Japanese Mystery Novels (Honkaku)

It’s often the great European and American mystery writers of the 19th and 20th centuries — writers like Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, and Arthur Conan Doyle — whom we first turn to when looking for a great detective novel. However, the truth is that the Japanese mystery novels (honkaku) of the 20th century and …

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Review: There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job By Kikuko Tsumura

Translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton Published by Bloomsbury While I don’t know the complete shape of Japanese literature today, many Japanese books in translation have, for the past several years, been reflective of the frustrating, exhausting world their writers were born into. Most of these writers are inspiring women, exhausted and angered by …

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Review: Theatre of War by Andrea Jeftanovic

Translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle Published by Charco Press One of 2020’s finest novels in translation, Theatre of War marks a lot of firsts. This is the first Chilean novel published by Charco Press; it’s the first Chilean novel I’ve ever read; and it’s my first experience with translator Frances Riddle. It’s also …

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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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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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