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
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
GABY RUSLI WRITES (in an on-going series of reviews of Indonesian classics) — A grandfather who seeks to marry off his granddaughters to his wealthy friends for connections. A young, successful model who suffered the consequences of her early success. A Chinese-Indonesian family was left with the scars and traumas…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: FAMILY ROOM (2010) BY LILY YULIANTI FARID — THE MANY FACES OF A FAMILY UNRAVELED
ANGELINE KEK WRITES — Within Time is a Mother (2022), Ocean Vuong fashions a world so rich with polarities. No stone is left unturned. Vuong explores relationships in all their capacities: a person and their chosen loves, a person and society, and loving oneself. Following the successes of Night Sky with Exit Wounds (2016) and On Earth…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: TIME IS A MOTHER (2022) BY OCEAN VUONG – LEARNING TO LIVE WITH DEATH AND ONESELF
GABY RUSLI WRITES (in an ongoing series of Indonesian classics) — Every person has within themselves a personal ‘tiger,’ whether it is vice, trauma, or an immoral act we bury inside of us. We spend our lives trying to subdue this tiger. Some succeed in taming their tigers, while others…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: TIGER! TIGER! (1991) BY MOCHTAR LUBIS — A TALE OF ONE MAN’S BATTLE AGAINST HIMSELF
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Like a hamster sprinting on its wheel, going precisely nowhere, thirty-four-year-old freelance copy editor Fuyuko Irie does not question the mundanity of her daily routine. Japanese author Mieko Kawakami’s latest release, All the Lovers in the Night (2022), follows a character with no real friends, no boyfriend,…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: ALL THE LOVERS IN THE NIGHT (2022) BY MIEKO KAWAKAMI – THE CONDITION OF THE MODERN WOMAN
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Hornclaw is a sixty-five-year-old woman who refers to herself as a “disease control specialist.” The so-called ‘vermin’ she spends her time exterminating for a high price are humans with a certain rodent-like disposition. Never mind her age and perceived frailty –that is how…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE OLD WOMAN WITH THE KNIFE (2022) BY GU BYEONG-MO – AN ELDERLY WOMAN ASSASSIN FINDS LOVE AND HOPE
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – In an unnamed country, a family of three settles into a creaking house at the edge of an ominous forest. The father cannot help but notice that something is quite off about this place. Are the trees coughing? No… laughing? As so many…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODS (2022) BY MASATSUGU ONO – THE EXISTENTIAL TERROR OF THE MODERN MAN
GABY RUSLI WRITES (in her ongoing series on classic Indonesian literature) — Through versatility and natural eloquence, Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s, The Girl From The Coast (1987), took a seemingly simple story based on the author’s grandmother’s life into a complex metaphor that simultaneously represents female oppression and the exploitative dynamics between the ruling class…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE GIRL FROM THE COAST (1987) BY PRAMOEDYA ANANTA TOER — A PEASANT GIRL TURNED AN ARISTOCRATIC WIFE
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – “The sky is about to fall. Where do you go?” To be a child is to imagine a world made of glass. All your romanticized beliefs about your country and its people are contained within one fragile crystal sphere that can fracture at…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE COLOR OF THE SKY IS THE SHAPE OF THE HEART (2022) BY CHESIL – A BEAUTIFUL AND HEARTBREAKING COMING-OF-AGE STORY
ALEC FARMER WRITES – The Cultural Revolution was a notorious period of China’s history that has been analyzed time and time again worldwide. The strict policies of Mao Zedong shattered the livelihoods of China’s citizens. Few people remain who can tell their stories of that dark and turbulent period. In the eyes of Chinese…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: FLOWING WITH THE PEARL RIVER, MEMOIR OF A RED CHINA GIRL (2022) – WHAT HISTORY LOOKS LIKE FOR THOSE WHO LIVED IT.