Initially, the titular secondhand store seems to be the focus of Hiromi Kawakami’s 2005 novel. As the story progresses, however, it becomes increasingly clear that the shop is simply the backdrop for what Kawakami is actually interested in: the odd quirks of human interaction.
In the late Izumi Suzuki’s English language debut, readers are dropped into worlds in which characters have acclimated to the advanced technologies available to them; as a result, we get a deep exploration into how technological innovations have impacted—or not—human interaction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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