| Mar 20, 2005

Expectations in the Sundarbans

THE HUNGRY TIDE, by Amitav Ghosh. HarperCollins, 2004, 403 pp., £10.99 (paper). Piyali Roy, the daughter of Bengali immigrants to the United States, is spotted standing on a railway platform. She is dressed in the clothes “of a teenage boy.” The man who distinguishes ...

| Nov 28, 2004

A clever yarn crafted from a hoax

MY LIFE AS A FAKE, by Peter Carey. Faber & Faber, 2004, 276 pp., £6.99 (paper). One of the most stunning acts of literary criticism in modern times was perpetrated in an Australian magazine called Angry Penguins during World War II. It consisted of ...

| Jul 11, 2004

Bedroom poetry beckons

EROTIC HAIKU (bilingual), edited and translated by Hiroaki Sato, illustrated by Emi Suzuki. Tokyo: IBC Publishing, 2004, 114 pp., 1200 yen (paper). Since Eros was the god of love, in the sense of sexual desire, so “erotic,” the dictionary explains, means “arousing or concerned ...

| May 16, 2004

Spring, summer, fall and winter haiku

HAIKU: A POET’S GUIDE by Lee Gurga, Illinois: Modern Haiku Press, 2003, 170 pp., $20 (paper). HAIKU: The Poetic Key to Japan, selected & introduced by Mutsuo Takahashi, photographs by Hakudo Inoue, design by Kazuya Takaoka, translated by Emiko Miyashita & Lee Gurga. Tokyo: ...

| Feb 8, 2004

Thieves and smugglers of Southeast Asia

THE LOST HERITAGE: The Reality of Artifact Smuggling in Southeast Asia, by Masayuki Nagashima. Bangkok: Post Books, 2002, 190 pp., 235 baht (cloth). One of the more disheartening sights for the visitor to Southeast Asia is the sight of headless or dismembered statues at ...

| Oct 19, 2003

Out of the ordinary

SELECTED POEMS 1976-2001, by Peter Robinson. Manchester, Britain: Carcanet, 2003, 139 pp., £8.95 (paper). NO VISION WILL TELL: 100 Selected Poems 1992-2002, by Scott Watson. Sendai, Japan: Bookgirl Press, 2002, 123 pp., 1,500 yen (paper). Both of the poets reviewed here, one British and ...

| Sep 14, 2003

Poetry: a language without borders

KIYOKO’S SKY: The Haiku of Kiyoko Tokutomi, translations by Patricia J. Machmiller & Fay Aoyagi. Illinois: Brookes Books, Decatur, 2002, 128 pp., $16 (paper). SELECTED HAIKU, by Takaha Shugyo, translations by Hoshino Tsunehiko & Adrian Pinnington. Tokyo: Furansudo, 2003, 108 pp., $16 (paper). These ...

| Apr 13, 2003

Making a stanza for life

HOW TO HAIKU: A Writer’s Guide to Haiku and Related Forms, by Bruce Ross. Tuttle Publishing, 2002, 167 pp., 1800 yen (paper); TAKE A DEEP BREATH: The Haiku Way to Inner Peace, by Sylvia Forges-Ryan & Edward Ryan. Kodansha International, 2002, 129 pp., 1,800 ...