BOOK REVIEW: MY ANNIHILATION (2022) BY FUMINORI NAKAMURA – A SADISTIC NEW THRILLER THAT QUESTIONS YOUR REALITY

BOOK REVIEW EDITOR ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – What exactly is the ‘self,’ and how can it be defined? From modern psychology, we know that human minds can be usurped through drastic techniques such as brainwashing, manipulation, and even hypnosis. Elusive and slippery in nature, the malleable ‘self’ forms and reforms…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: MY ANNIHILATION (2022) BY FUMINORI NAKAMURA – A SADISTIC NEW THRILLER THAT QUESTIONS YOUR REALITY

BOOK REVIEW: LONGING AND OTHER STORIES (2022) BY JUN’ICHIRŌ TANIZAKI – A CLASH OF DIFFERENT GENERATIONS.

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Through a vulnerable child’s eyes, parents represent stability, protection, and even eternity. What happens when eternity grows small and seemingly insignificant? Adolescents, ostensibly indestructible and infinitely hot-headed, get their first taste of personal freedom and start to detach from their nurturers. As one generation grows stronger and…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: LONGING AND OTHER STORIES (2022) BY JUN’ICHIRŌ TANIZAKI – A CLASH OF DIFFERENT GENERATIONS.

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: BUILD YOUR HOUSE AROUND MY BODY (2021) BY VIOLET KUPERSMITH — WHEN GHOSTS CEASE TO HAUNT THE PAST

ANGELINE KEK WRITES — Hauntings, secrets, graveyards — Violet Kupersmith’s debut novel, Build Your House Around My Body (2021) — is an ash-charred sky splattered with these ghastly hues.    Winnie is a twenty-two-year-old Vietnamese American (or Việt Kiều in Vietnamese) woman who sets out for Saigon with nothing but “a passport,…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: BUILD YOUR HOUSE AROUND MY BODY (2021) BY VIOLET KUPERSMITH — WHEN GHOSTS CEASE TO HAUNT THE PAST

BOOK REVIEW: LONGEVITY PARK (2021) BY ZHOU DAXIN – MORALITY IS A FATE WE MUST ALL ACCEPT

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – Youth is as fleeting as it is euphoric. Once you have experienced adolescence and young adulthood in all its glory, it can be extraordinarily difficult to let it go. In rapidly aging societies like China, the desperate masses ripening toward old age often flee to snake-oil salesmen…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: LONGEVITY PARK (2021) BY ZHOU DAXIN – MORALITY IS A FATE WE MUST ALL ACCEPT

KAZAKHSTAN: “THE REVOLUTION HAS STARTED” – A COUNTRY IN REBELLION AGAINST POVERTY AND CORRUPTION

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES — The violent protests which erupted in major cities across Kazakhstan, fueled by the people’s fury over high gas prices, has grown into a monumental anti-corruption movement with the hopes of changing the country’s direction. The Kazakh people are reportedly fed up with the country’s immense wealth, owed…

Full Article KAZAKHSTAN: “THE REVOLUTION HAS STARTED” – A COUNTRY IN REBELLION AGAINST POVERTY AND CORRUPTION

BOOK REVIEW: KANAZAWA (2022) BY DAVID JOINER – A LITERARY LOVE LETTER TO THE JAPANESE COUNTRYSIDE

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES — Not every love affair has to target a person; a lucky few who travel the world get to experience falling deeply in love with a country in its entirety. Appreciating both the city life and the tranquility of the countryside requires dedication and a pleasant open-mindedness. David…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: KANAZAWA (2022) BY DAVID JOINER – A LITERARY LOVE LETTER TO THE JAPANESE COUNTRYSIDE

BOOK REVIEW: BLACK BOX (2021) BY SHIORI ITO – THE MEMOIR THAT SPARKED JAPAN’S #METOO MOVEMENT

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – “We can’t know what happens behind closed doors” is a frustrating and insidious phrase that is too often weaponized to reduce instances of sexual assault to minor misunderstandings. In Japan, if a sexual assault occurs in a space without any witnesses, the case becomes a “black…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: BLACK BOX (2021) BY SHIORI ITO – THE MEMOIR THAT SPARKED JAPAN’S #METOO MOVEMENT

BOOK REVIEW: EATING WILD JAPAN: TRACKING THE CULTURE OF FORAGED FOODS WITH A GUIDE TO PLANTS AND RECIPES (2021) BY WINIFRED BIRD

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES  – Consider, for a moment, that food is not simply fuel, but rather each component to a meal contains a piece of living-giving energy. “Each grain [of rice]”, as author and translator Winifred Bird describes, “was thought to have a soul, and for many centuries people believed…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: EATING WILD JAPAN: TRACKING THE CULTURE OF FORAGED FOODS WITH A GUIDE TO PLANTS AND RECIPES (2021) BY WINIFRED BIRD

BOOK REVIEW: THE WOMAN IN THE PURPLE SKIRT (2021) BY NATSUKO IMAMURA

ELLA KELLEHER WRITES (latest in her review series of new Japanese novels) — Loneliness, a newly standardized leitmotif in Japanese literature, is the driving force behind much of modern Japan’s social dilemmas and Natsuko Imamura’s unnerving novel. Beyond that, the fear over taking risks and forging new relationships frames the narrative…

Full Article BOOK REVIEW: THE WOMAN IN THE PURPLE SKIRT (2021) BY NATSUKO IMAMURA