Author Archive

The Interrogation of Trauma, Love, and Work in Made in China

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Anna Qu’s debut memoir unravels assumptions about immigration, labor, and trauma at both the personal and collective level, demonstrating how many seemingly disparate elements of our lives are deeply connected.

Loneliness and Parasocial Relationships in The Woman in the Purple Skirt

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Natsuko Imamura's 2019 novel reads at first glance as a fairly straightforward psychological thriller, with voyeurism is at its center. Imamura, however, also explores a deeper psychological entanglement, stemming from a desire to connect when social interaction feels like an insurmountable barrier.

The Exploration of Memory in Things Remembered and Things Forgotten

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While the objectivity of memory—and even its actual substance—is consistently brought into question in Kyoko Nakajima’s stories, what remains clear are the emotions attached to the act of remembering and the way these emotions meaningfully link individuals or objects across time.

The Absurdity of Labor in There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job

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Kikuko Tsumura’s most recent novel is a smart—and humorous—exploration into the emotional toll labor can have on individuals in a hyper-consumerist, capitalist system.

Hope in the Apocalypse

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Octavia Butler and Yoko Tawada balance the pain of life in a post-apocalyptic future with stories of human resilience, offering readers some spark of hope in a future that seems hopeless.

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning’s Exploration of Solidarity

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Though published in 2020 before the advent of the pandemic and the racial unrest that marked the year, Cathy Park Hong’s collection of essays explores the complexities of Asian American identity in ways that speak to the conversations around racial identity and solidarity that continue into 2021.

Delusion and Reality in Earthlings

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Sayaka Murata’s latest novel to be translated into English explores the way individuals try to move through a world that, ultimately, doesn’t make sense.

The Personal and The Ecological in Two Trees Make a Forest

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Jessica J. Lee’s 2019 book exists in the space between environmental history, cultural history, and memoir. While readers will get a sense of Lee’s exploration of personal identity by the end of the book, they will also gain a deeper understanding of the ties between history and the natural

The Failure of Familial Communication in Happiness, as Such

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Natalia Ginzburg presents a family’s dysfunction as an engrossing emotional rollercoaster, yet manages to make her story both haunting and deeply human.

Tokyo Ueno Station’s Anti-Stereotypical Portrayal of Homelessness

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Yu Miri directly tackles homelessness in Japan in her 2014 novel, focusing on the memories and reflections of the ghost of a homeless migrant manual laborer, Kazu, as he wanders through the titular park, which had been his home.