You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked

Title: You Are Eating An Orange. You Are Naked Writer: Sheung – King Publishing House:  Book*hug Press Date of Publication: October 27th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am now alone, in a non-place, surrounded by street signs with names that are only phonetics – empty signifiers.’’ Two young people find and lose one another across…

Strange Weather in Tokyo

Title: Strange Weather In Tokyo (original title: センセイの鞄) Writer: Hiromi Kawakami (translated by Allison Markin Powell) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: August 6th 2020 (first published 2001) Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the autumn there are dead leaves all over the place and in winter the bare branches are bleak and dreary.’’ A woman and…

Shoko’s Smile

Title: Shoko’s Smile (original title: 쇼코의 미소) Writer: Choi Eunyoung (translated by Sung Ryu) Publishing House: John Murray Press Date of Publication: August 19th 2021 (first published July 7th 2016) Rating: 5 stars “I dig my hands into the cold sand and gaze at the black, shimmering sea. It feels like the edge of the…

Earthlings

Title: Earthlings (original title: 地球星人) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 (first published August 31st 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Magical powers. I have to summon my magical powers. The power of darkness, the power of wind – any magical power will do, but I…

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Title: The Woman in the Purple Skirt Writer: Natsuko Imamura (translated by Lucy North) Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published June 30th 2019) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Some people would pretend they hadn’t seen her, and carry on as before. Others would quickly move aside, to give her room…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café (original title: 在謊言拆穿之前) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (translated by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 (first published April 27th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’That night… Around the station there stood many Christmas trees, decorated with lights that shone and sparkled. The…

The Emperor of Shoes

Title: The Emperor of Shoes Writer: Spencer Wise Publishing House: Hanover Square Press Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We’ve always been citizens of the world. No, that’s not true. We’ve always been outsiders. On the run.’’ Alex is at a crossroads. Working in his father’s factory in China, he comes in…

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Title: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 (original title: 82년생 김지영) Writer: Cho Nam-Joo (tr. by Jamie Chang) Publishing House: Scribner UK Date of Publication: February 20th 2020 (first published October 14th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Help out? What is it with you and ‘’helping out?’’ You’re going to ‘’help out’’ with chores. ‘’Help out’’ with raising…

Lonely Castle In the Mirror

Title: Lonely Castle In The Mirror (original title: かがみの孤城) Writer: Mizuki Tsujimura (translated by Philip Gabriel) Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication:  April 22nd 2021 (first published May 11th 2017) Rating: 2 stars ‘’You are all Little Red Riding Hoods.’’ A lonely castle no one defends, a castle standing alone. A young girl is being…

Untold Night and Day

Title: Untold Night and Day (original title: 알려지지 않은 밤과 하루) Writer: Bae Suah (translated by Deborah Smith) Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: January 30th 2020 (first published April 20th 2013) Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the heatwave came to an end, nothing remained of the people but ash. They became fused…

The Diving Pool

Title: The Diving Pool and Other Stories (original title: (ダイヴィング・プール) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 2nd 2014 (first published 1990) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Since I was a little girl, I’ve disliked the thirtieth of December. I could always get through the thirty-first by telling myself…

Flowers of Mold

Title: Flowers of Mold (original title 옆집 여자) Writer: Ha Seong-Nan (tr. by Janet Hong) Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 23rd 2019 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Teacher, I want to fly, but the ground keeps pulling me down.’’ Korean Literature is rapidly flourishing thanks to a plethora of wonderful women…

Miracle On Cherry Hill

Title: Miracle On Cherry Hill (original title: 뒤뜰에 골칫거리가 산다) Writer: Sun – mi Hwang (translated by Chi-Young Kim) Publishing House: Abacus Date of Publication: July 4th 2019 (first published 2014) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It rained for two days straight. The trees howled in the back garden and angry rain lashed against the windows. Kand…

Fear and Trembling

Title: Fear and Trembling (original title: Stupeur et Tremblements) Writer: Amélie Nothomb (tr. by Adriana Hunter) Publishing House: St. Martin’s Griffin Date of Publication: November 1st 2004 (first published August 26th 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Society conspires against her from early infancy. Her brain is steadily filled with plaster until it sets. ‘’If you’re not…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold (original title: コーヒーが冷めないうちに) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (tr. by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 19th 2019 (first published December 6th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t…

Tokyo Ueno Station

Title:Tokyo Ueno Station (original title: JR上野駅公園口) Writer: Yū Miri (translated by Morgan Giles) Publishing House: Tilted Axis Press Date of Publication: March 4th 2019 (first published March 19th 2014) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I used to think life was like a book: you turn the first page, and there’s the next, and as you go on turning…

Revenge

Title: Revenge (original title: 寡黙な死骸 みだらな弔い) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (tr. by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication:  January 2nd 2014 (first published 1998) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Why was everyone dying? They had all been so alive just yesterday.’’ Yoko Ogawa creates a dark wonder of sadness, loneliness and unsettling desires in Revenge, a collection…

Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone

Title: Ghosts of the Tsunami Writer: Richard Lloyd Parry Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: August 31st 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the party came to an end, it was already becoming cloudy, but there was no wind. Not a single leaf was moving on the trees. I couldn’t sense any life…

Convenience Store Woman

Title: Convenience Store Woman (original title:コンビニ人間) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: June 12th 2018 (first published July 27th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It is the start of another day, the time when the world wakes up and the cogs of society begin to move. I…

Hotel Iris

Title: Hotel Iris (original title: ホテル・アイリス ) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 7th 2011 (first published 1996) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He first came to the Iris one day just before the beginning of the summer season. The rain had been falling since dawn. It grew heavier at…