A Beast in Paradise

At the end of the book, I was left wondering who was the title beast? Alexander or Blanche? It was only in the days after as I continued to ponder that question that I stumbled across the original French title—as a novice student of French, I was struck by its…

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An I-Novel

As the name suggests, An I-Novel is a semi-autobiographical novel told in the confessional manner that characterizes the Japanese literature genre of the same name. Given the author and protagonist Minae’s fascination with the Meiji period of Japan’s history, it is only fitting that the book’s title would harken back…

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A Man

Have you ever wished to switch lives with someone? This is the question at the center of A Man by Japanese literary writer and philosopher Keiichiro Hirano. Told from the perspective of Akira Kido, a divorce attorney with his own struggling marriage, A Man investigates the spiral of lies that…

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Disoriental

It’s rare to find a book whose title sums it up so perfectly, and perhaps rarer still that the exceptionality of this title was preserved in the process of translating it from French to English. The title “Disoriental” can be interpreted in a myriad of ways, yet it would be…

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The Discomfort of Evening

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (they, them, theirs) is a timely novel, fitting in perfectly with current-day discussions regarding the maturation and sexuality of pre-adolescents. Having received the coveted 2020 International Booker Prize in the wake of the ludicrous Cuties controversy and amid the release of the…

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