Dec 30, 2012

Japanese story anthology shows fiction truly a transnational affair

SPECULATIVE JAPAN 3: “Silver Bullet” and Other Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy. Kurodahan Press, 2012, 292 pp., $16 (paperback) One pleasing quality of the third volume of Kurodahan Press’s “Speculative Japan” series of anthologies is that it exists at all. Generally, an ...

Japanese story anthology shows fiction truly a transnational affair

Dec 30, 2012

Japanese story anthology shows fiction truly a transnational affair

SPECULATIVE JAPAN 3: “Silver Bullet” and Other Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy. Kurodahan Press, 2012, 292 pp., $16 (paperback) One pleasing quality of the third volume of Kurodahan Press’s “Speculative Japan” series of anthologies is that it exists at all. Generally, an ...

Seeing the past, humanity afresh

| Dec 23, 2012

Seeing the past, humanity afresh

“Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City” (Columbia University Press) by Dung Kai-cheung, translated by Anders Hansson and Bonnie S. McDougall. Lovers of maps, devotees of Borges and Calvino, those who understand that novels need not be first-this-happened-then-that-happened catalogs of events in the lives ...

Opening old wounds unhealed after decades

Dec 16, 2012

Opening old wounds unhealed after decades

NISEI SOLDIERS BREAK THEIR SILENCE: Coming Home To Hood River, by Linda Tamura. University of Washington Press, 2012, 346 pp., $24.95 (paperback) A minority group enters a community and through hard work and perseverance gains a measure of financial security and grudging toleration from ...

Nov 18, 2012

'Cool Japan is over': a sociologist looks at Japan's art world

BEFORE AND AFTER SUPERFLAT: A Short History of Japanese Contemporary Art 1990-2011, by Adrian Favell. Blue Kingfisher, 2012, 246 pp., $24.95 (paper) A book about Japanese art with the word “Superflat” in the title may repel those of us who find much of the ...

Oct 7, 2012

Seen through the victim's eye

THE STORY OF MY ASSASSINS, by Tarun J. Tejpal. Melville House, 2012, 544 pp., $27.95 (hardcover) Tarun J. Tejpal’s “The Story of My Assassins” begins, “The morning I heard I’d been shot I was sitting in my office. …” Even as we are pulled ...

The third space: the cafe's place in forming modern Japan

Sep 23, 2012

The third space: the cafe's place in forming modern Japan

COFFEE LIFE IN JAPAN, by Merry White. University of California Press, 2012, 240 pp., $24.95 (paperback) Those of us interested in coffee, life and Japan will open Merry White’s “Coffee Life in Japan” with high expectations. For most readers, alas, these expectations will be ...

Sep 2, 2012

A Borgesian look at a fictional Hong Kong

ATLAS: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City, by Dung Kai-cheung, translated by Anders Hansson and Bonnie S. McDougall. Columbia University Press, 2012, 192 pp., $24.50 (hardcover). In “Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City,” Dung Kai-cheung maps the surviving maps of a city called ...

Portrait of a pickpocket

Jun 3, 2012

Portrait of a pickpocket

THE THIEF, by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates. Soho Crime, 2012, 304 pp., $23.00 (hardcover) In simpler times, in simpler tales, authors pitted heroes against villains, and there was no confusion about who wore the black hat and who the ...