Behind the somewhat unprepossessing title, The Watermelon Boys is the story of several several interlocking destinies playing out in what is now Iraq during and immediately after World War I.
When Jeet Thayil writes a book about chocolate saints, one knows it will not be the kind populated with Easter eggs and Willy Wonkaian characters. Rather, think Umberto Eco acid-tripping on a couch punctured with cigarette burns in a moldy basement.
Immigration is much in the news. Here is a selection of books we have reviewed, mostly recently, a few from farther back, on the subject: non-fiction, fiction and even some children’s books. Although many discuss Asian immigration to the West, this list is a reminder that the various diasporas are not limited to West; there is even intra-Asia migration.
The newest English translation of Lōa Hô’s fiction in Scales of Injustice: The Complete Fiction of Lōa Hô is a fascinating reminder that Taiwan’s literary history began well before the Nationalist Chinese retreat to the island in 1949.
Given the present ubiquity of reviews and commentary on “Crazy Rich Asians”, it’s worth remembering that the hit film was once a (hit) book, and the first of a trilogy. Here are our reviews, plus a review of a book by an entirely different author that preceded Crazy Rich Asians and presciently hinted at what was to come.
An updated compilation of reviews for Women in Translation month (August 2018). Please click on the title for the review, translator and publisher information.
That Convenience Store Woman is a delight to read probably goes without saying: it reached bestseller status in Japan and now is selling very well in English translation. The short novel by Sayaka Murata (an author and part time convenience store worker) is about thirty-six-year-old Keiko Furukura, who has worked half of her life in a branch of Smile Mart, a Tokyo convenience store. Working there she has found a kind of peace in the orderly store procedures and customer interaction dictates.