Author Archive

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.

The Reimagined Tales of Where the Wild Ladies Are

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The stories in Matsuda Aoko’s 2016 collection encourage us to change how we understand stories—whether that be the folktales we tell children or the larger national myths we hold on to as adults—and to see where we can break away from received narratives into new futures.

What Do Our Monsters Say About Us?

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A new collection of essays, edited by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, offers readers a digestible and critical examination of the monstrous as a way to force us to consider the politics behind what we deem monstrous, and how a deeper understanding of what haunts us may lead to a new,

The Myth of the Perfect Translation

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David Karashima’s new book lays bare the invisible structures that support the international career of someone like Murakami: the multiple translators, editors, and publicists that take his work and create it into the product that Western readers then consume.

Womanhood in Breasts and Eggs

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Mieko Kawakami’s 2008 novel addresses the multifaceted nature of what it means to move through the world as a woman, which means presenting womanhood in a variety of ways, ages, and life experiences.

Reading the Uncanny

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In the work of Carmen Maria Machado and Sequoia Nagamatsu, the uncanny elements that might be unsettling for readers are stand-ins for very familiar things: the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the hardships that some have while moving through the world in the bodies they were born with.

The Shape of Nations

One cannot simply outgrow or outlive a colonial, racist history. In order for the system to change, we need to stare at it and acknowledge it for what it is.

Reading Black Marks on the White Page

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This Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month, Julia Shiota turns to Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti’s 2017 anthology, which makes clear that those who identify as Pacific Islander come from a wide array of places and experiences.

The Deft Characterization of Starling Days

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While Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s latest novel includes living with mental illness as a central theme, it, more importantly, presents a picture of how human beings—whatever the disposition of their brains—try to make sense of what they are experiencing to the best of their abilities.