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
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Want a personal list of the top ten best Asian novels and novellas that were either published in translation or English-authored by Asian-American writers? Look no further! 10. PEOPLE FROM MY NEIGHBORHOOD (2020) BY HIROMI KAWAKAMI Published by Granta Books For starters, in…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: COUNTDOWN TO THE TOP 10 BEST FICTION FROM ASIA AS REVIEWED IN 2022
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
GABY RUSLI WRITES — Sometimes in our younger, more vulnerable years, we find ourselves roaming the world, trying to find out who we are and what we are meant to do. Set between the Netherlands and Indonesia, Dewi Lestari’s Paper Boats (2017) serves to remind younger Indonesian generations to march to the beat…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: PAPER BOATS (2017) BY DEE LESTARI — A NOVEL FOR THE TETHERED YOUNG DREAMERS
**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
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Japanese suspense author, Riku Onda, presents us with a psychological thriller that spans the course of a single night. A man and woman decide to spend one final evening together in their shared Tokyo apartment before going their separate ways. Over the course…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: FISH SWIMMING IN DAPPLED SUNLIGHT (2022) BY RIKU ONDA – WHO IS THE KILLER?
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
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Hiromi Kawakami’s collection of vignettes titled People From My Neighborhood (2020), recently published into English, details the individuals of her neighborhood in a brilliant piece of bite-sized fiction. In 120 pages, the reader is plunged into a lifetime of drama, secrets, and otherworldly quirkiness…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: PEOPLE FROM MY NEIGHBORHOOD (2020) BY HIROMI KAWAKAMI – DO YOU REALLY KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS?
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Government corruption. Political scandals. Contract killers. Disappearances. Set in contemporary Seoul, South Korea, the world within Kim Un-Su’s novel, The Plotters (2018), focuses on the deaths of random political figures as well as who is pulling the trigger. The shadowy figures responsible for…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE PLOTTERS (2018) BY KIM UN-SU – WHO PULLS THE TRIGGER FOR POLITICANS?
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