BOOK REVIEW: IF I HAD YOUR FACE (2020) BY FRANCES CHA – BEAUTY AND WOMANHOOD IN SOUTH KOREA

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

BOOK REVIEW: PAVANE FOR A DEAD PRINCESS (2014) BY PARK MIN-GYU – TO BE “UGLY” IN A WORLD MADE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL

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

BOOK REVIEW: FAMILY ROOM (2010) BY LILY YULIANTI FARID — THE MANY FACES OF A FAMILY UNRAVELED

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

BOOK REVIEW: THE GIRL FROM THE COAST (1987) BY PRAMOEDYA ANANTA TOER — A PEASANT GIRL TURNED AN ARISTOCRATIC WIFE

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: THE COLOR OF THE SKY IS THE SHAPE OF THE HEART (2022) BY CHESIL – A BEAUTIFUL AND HEARTBREAKING COMING-OF-AGE STORY

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

BOOK REVIEW: TWILIGHT IN DJAKARTA (1963) BY MOCHTAR LUBIS – AN INDONESIAN’S LETTER TO HIS FAILING COUNTRY

GABY RUSLI WRITES (in a series of reviews on Indonesian classics) — Corruption. Collusion. Nepotism. The hypocrisy of the wealthy. All odds are stacked against the poor. These are some of the authentic and intriguing themes in Mochtar Lubis’ third novel, Twilight in Djakarta (1963). Lubis’ story challenges an autocratic leader and…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: TWILIGHT IN DJAKARTA (1963) BY MOCHTAR LUBIS – AN INDONESIAN’S LETTER TO HIS FAILING COUNTRY

BOOK REVIEW: THE RAINBOW TROOPS (2005) BY ANDREA HIRATA — THE POWER OF EDUCATION IN A HOPELESS WORLD

GABY RUSLI WRITES – Nowadays, widespread education is viewed as a method to acquire more wealth rather than a new-age privilege. In Andrea Hirata’s classic work, The Rainbow Troops (2005), he recounts his childhood on the island of Belitung, Indonesia, through the story of ten incredibly unique and eager students whose families depend…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE RAINBOW TROOPS (2005) BY ANDREA HIRATA — THE POWER OF EDUCATION IN A HOPELESS WORLD

BOOK REVIEW: MR. GOODCHILD BY J.H. LOW (2022) – AN EERIE PICTURE BOOK EXPLORING INNER DEMONS

CADY ABE WRITES – Picture books are often synonymous with bright colors, simple plots, and child-like innocence. However, readers find completely opposite undertones in Mr. Goodchild (2022). The artwork curiously draws readers in and creates an unsettling atmosphere. There is a great deal of dark shading, leaving a mysterious aura across the page…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: MR. GOODCHILD BY J.H. LOW (2022) – AN EERIE PICTURE BOOK EXPLORING INNER DEMONS

BOOK REVIEW: WE ARE SINGAPOREANS VOL. 1 BY MELANIE LEE AND LEE XIN LI (2021)

CADY ABE WRITES – Real heroes do not come with supernatural powers, unlike the glossy heroes from grandeur cinema and literature. Instead, everyday vigilantes are clad with hard-earned perseverance, passion, and drive to improve the fragile state of the world. In the unsettling and despairing time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: WE ARE SINGAPOREANS VOL. 1 BY MELANIE LEE AND LEE XIN LI (2021)

BOOK REVIEW: THIS EARTH OF MANKIND (1996) BY PRAMOEDYA ANATA TOER – THE AWAKENING OF A NATION ENSLAVED IN ITS OWN LAND

GABY RUSLI WRITES – Faith teaches us that all men are created equal, yet we choose to enslave one another. European empires have colonized almost every country globally, and while colonialism has been linked to progress, it has left nations scarred and changed. For Indonesia, the foreign occupation has inspired…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THIS EARTH OF MANKIND (1996) BY PRAMOEDYA ANATA TOER – THE AWAKENING OF A NATION ENSLAVED IN ITS OWN LAND