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Review: Parade by Hiromi Kawakami

Strange Weather in Tokyo, first published in English in 2014, was a frightfully clever introduction to the mind of Kawakami. Parade is a continuation of that. Strange Weather was a love story between a young Tokyo office worker and her former teacher from another lifetime which placed its own plot and characters front and centre …

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Review: The Factory by Hiroko Oyamada

Franz Kafka never knew fame or even real recognition in his lifetime, but his legacy has grown through the decades since his death. It seems that more and more books published this century have been inspired by his themes, his dark comedic tone, his philosophies, and even his bleak characters and settings. This is certainly …

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12 Translated Horror Stories to Chill Your Blood

So many of our greatest stories of terror and the supernatural come from faraway lands. A nation’s laws, customs, traditions, politics, and religion will have a profound effect on what kinds of stories they want to tell. Horror is a magnificent genre that takes heavy themes, chews them up, and spits them out as something …

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Review: Loop by Brenda Lozano

Translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott How do we define narrative? Traditional narratives as we typically think of them involve an entirely fictional story laid out with familiar beats: chapters, dialogue, and paragraphing; a beginning, middle, and end; exposition, themes, and motifs. But experimental forms of narrative, the kinds that have existed for centuries …

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Review: Yeoyu (8 Korean Short Stories)

In 2016 this small Norwich-based indie press by the name of Strangers Press published a selection of chapbooks representing a range of unique Japanese voices in translation known as Keshiki (roughly meaning ‘landscape’). Three years later, they have returned with a new series: Yeoyu. Eight Korean short stories by eight Korean authors, translated by six …

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Review: Welcome to America by Linda Boström Knausgård

Ellen’s father was a man psychologically damaged. And though the details of that damage are never made clear, it had a grave impact on his family — on Ellen, her actress mother, and her older brother. That is, until his sudden death which occurs in his sleep in a hospital bed. Ellen blames herself for …

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Review: Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-kim

Grass is a starkly beautiful graphic novel which reveals the true-life story of a Korean ‘comfort woman’ during the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. The occupation ended after the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II, following the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Grass is a timely and gravely …

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Review: History. A Mess. by Sigrun Palsdottir

History. A Mess. is a wonderful novel. Its ambition is met with resounding success every step of the way. Everything that it sets out to achieve – every theme explored, every emotion captured – it does so with pomp and flourish. And the translation by Lytton Smith is nothing short of astounding, capturing the oppressive …

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Review: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

The state of the world as it stands today, with regressive government bodies, the existence of oligarchies, state-controlled media, and a frightening amount more, all makes it both easier and harder to create new dystopian fiction. Easier in the sense that you can throw a dart at a map and come up with an absurd …

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Review: Fu Ping by Wang Anyi

If there’s one nation with ludicrous potential to shake the world of literature, it’s China. And that world-shaking is slowly coming to pass, with Chinese sci-fi being heralded as the start of a new science fiction golden age and authors like Yan Lianke deserving of the Nobel Prize. With all this being said, any time …

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