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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: The Yogini by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay

Fate can mean a variety of things to many different people; depending on your culture, religion, background, your attitude to life or your level of romanticism. Fate, or destiny, has been somewhat simplified and beautified by media and fiction through the Disney filter of the twentieth century. But here, in The Yogini, it is used …

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Review: The Wind That Lays Waste by Selva Almada

In around one hundred pages, this whip-crack of a novel has the eerie feel of a biblical parable, but one with depths that can be plunged to your heart’s content. With The Wind That Lays Waste, Selva Almada has crafted a story of heroes and villains, with a setting and pace reminiscent of Waiting for …

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