ANGELINE KEK WRITES — One of the scariest moments of a child’s life takes shape with the realization that our parents are mortal beings no further from death than a wilting flower or a gray-whiskered cat. They have no friendly contract with the grim reaper. With the fleeting time, we…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: LIKE A SOLID TO A SHADOW (2022) BY JANICE LOBO SAPIGAO — GETTING TO KNOW THE DEAD
GABY RUSLI WRITES — In our unremarkable and mundane daily routines, we often forget that we are all the living instigators of history. Singaporean-born Fanny Law has always been aware of this profound and undeniable truth. Though she was dutiful in upholding the Confucian cultural practices carried across international waters from…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE INTERPRETER’S DAUGHTER (2022) — A FAMILY’S STORY OF FILIAL DUTY, FEMINIST PRINCIPLES, AND ENDLESS ENDURANCE
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES – Romance and coming-of-age stories are comforting for many. Their familiar storylines are a space for viewers to revisit the excitements and struggles of youth with a healthy degree of separation, a safety cushion. For this reason, such films can risk being devoid of complexity. However, Korean…Full Article MOVIE REVIEW: THE MANY COLORS OF YOUTH IN 20TH CENTURY GIRL (2022) – GROWING PAINS
GABY RUSLI WRITES — We all carry the power to take charge of our destinies and choices. Empowerment of oneself and those around us is the key to unlocking this power. In Letters to Singapore (2022), author Kelly Kaur tells the story of Simran, a twenty-year-old Indian-Singaporean girl who narrowly escapes an arranged marriage by…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: LETTERS TO SINGAPORE (2022) — INDIAN GIRLS ARE MEANT FOR MORE THAN ARRANGED MARRIAGES
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – The “perfect suburban life” is pretty simple in theory: get married, buy a house, and have children. Invite your neighbors over. Take up a hobby – like raising exotic fish. Yet, this seemingly picturesque ideal of marital bliss is scrutinized in Japanese storyteller…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: WEASELS IN THE ATTIC (2022) BY HIROKO OYAMADA – WHAT’S HIDING IN THE DARK?
GABY RUSLI WRITES – The world is so much more than black and white, for there are always things unbeknown to us— secrets. A person is not who you know they are unless you know what they hide from the world. In the fictional Japanese town of Akakawa, Watersong (2022) by Clarissa Goenawan tells…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: WATERSONG (2022) BY CLARISSA GOENAWAN — THE SUBMERGING AND GRIPPING POWERS OF THE PAST
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES — In this age of scrolling feeds and images, what are we, if not our faces, our best days posted, and our reputations on display for the world to see? The photos we take of our bodies make up the mask we show to the world, so…Full Article MOVIE REVIEW: PHOTOCOPIER (2022) — SECRETS OF THE SELF AND SELF-IMAGE
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – In times of darkness, when all seems hopeless and lackluster, South Korean author Baek-Sehee’s mind often conjures up countless questions to inspire faith: What about the people that love you? What about the millions of possibilities where things can get better? And perhaps…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: I WANT TO DIE BUT I WANT TO EAT TTEOKBOKKI (2022) BY BAEK SEHEE – ONE KOREAN WRITER’S HONEST DEPICTION OF MENTAL HEALTH
**Trigger Warning: This article recounts experiences of homophobia, suicide, physical abuse, and rape. BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – “Love conquers all” – we are often taught this maxim as children. We are persuaded to believe the very essence of love can solve all life’s problems. Yet, for those…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: SOLO DANCE (2022) BY LI KOTOMI – A TANGO WITH DEATH AND QUEER IDENTITY
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Why do people assume relationships could ever make logical sense? Love and relationships – the shimmering red strings that tie humans together – are convoluted at best. At their most devastating, they are temporary and ephemeral, like the changing ginkgo leaves that pile on the…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: DEAD-END MEMORIES (2022) BY BANANA YOSHIMOTO – A MEDITATION ON MODERN LOVE
SARAH LOHMANN WRITES – “Does it hurt?” When we hear this question, it is often with an urgent or melancholic tone. Korean author Jungeun Hwang frames the question differently when it is asked of thirteen-year-old Nana by her childhood friend Naghi after he strikes her across the cheek. She confirms it does…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: I’LL GO ON (2018) – DAY WILL BREAK BEFORE LONG
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Kirsten Chen’s latest novel, Counterfeit (2022), follows Ava Wong – a straight-edge Chinese-American lawyer shackled to an agonizingly mundane routine of house chores and taking care of her maddening infant, Henri, who cannot seem to cease his daily tantrums. Married to a successful yet always…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: COUNTERFEIT (2022) BY KIRSTEN CHEN – HOUSEWIFE TURNS CRIMINAL MASTERMIND
Aerial Concave Without Cloud – 113 pages – $16.95 – Nightboat Books, New York, NY ANGELINE KEK WRITES — Grief is a lonely process as much as it is all-encompassing. Like all pain, it takes away, gives back wisdom, and breaks people open. Aerial Concave Without Cloud (2022) by Sueyeun…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: AERIAL CONCAVE WITHOUT CLOUD (2022) BY SUEYEUN JULIETTE LEE — STUDYING LIGHT AND GRIEF
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES — South Korea, often referred to as the ‘plastic surgery capital of the world,’ is a place where it’s not only typical but expected for young women to have double eyelid surgery before they hit thirty. Jaw slimming, skin lasering, destructive dieting – these radical approaches…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: IF I HAD YOUR FACE (2020) BY FRANCES CHA – BEAUTY AND WOMANHOOD IN SOUTH KOREA
Violets – The Feminist Press at CUNY – 222 pages — $22.03 BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – “Violets, Violin, Violence, Violator,” chants the main character, San, as she reads from a dictionary. In just a few short lines, a beautiful purple flower morphs into “one who breaks rules,…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: VIOLETS (2022) BY KYUNG-SOOK SHIN – A LONE SOUL IN SEOUL.
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Beauty is a weapon. In South Korea, widely known as the plastic surgery capital of the world, one finds themselves needing to be armed to the teeth at all times. “Korea is a place where you can’t leave the house without makeup if…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: PAVANE FOR A DEAD PRINCESS (2014) BY PARK MIN-GYU – TO BE “UGLY” IN A WORLD MADE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL