The Color of the Sky is the Shape of the Heart | Chesil #JPNfiction

That day was no different than any other. High school was as cruel as ever. Many teenage stories are ultimately about belonging. It's something we all want, of course - to belong to someone or something, to feel connected to a group, a family, a tribe who makes us feel like we're not alone, like … Continue reading The Color of the Sky is the Shape of the Heart | Chesil #JPNfiction

She and Her Cat | Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa #JPNshortstories

One of the online sites that came up when I duck, duck, go'd this title, suggested She and Her Cat was one of the five translated books this season that could soothe a battered soul. My soul was not feeling particularly battered (except for this seemingly endless La Niña rain!) but I definitely felt soothed … Continue reading She and Her Cat | Makoto Shinkai & Naruki Nagakawa #JPNshortstories

Cold Enough For Snow | Jessica Au #AWWnovella

When we left the hotel it was raining, a light, fine rain, as can sometimes happen in Tokyo in October. Cold Enough for Snow by Melbourne based author, Jessica Au, was the inaugural winner of The Novel Prize, a new biennial award established by Giramondo Publishing (Australia), Fitzcarraldo Editions (UK) and New Directions (USA). The novella … Continue reading Cold Enough For Snow | Jessica Au #AWWnovella

First Person Singular | Haruki Murakami #ShortStories

First Person Singular has been my first foray into Murakami as a writer of short stories. I was somewhat wary. Having read and enjoyed his longer fiction (1q84, Kafka on the Shore, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage) and his non-fiction (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) I wasn't sure … Continue reading First Person Singular | Haruki Murakami #ShortStories

People From My Neighbourhood | Hiromi Kawakami #JPNshortstories

From the best-selling author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes a collection of playful, delightful, delectable Japanese micro-fiction. Take a story and shrink it. Make it tiny, so small it can fit in the palm of your hand. Carry the story with you everywhere, let it sit with you while you eat, let it watch you while … Continue reading People From My Neighbourhood | Hiromi Kawakami #JPNshortstories

Strong in the Rain by Lucy Birmingham & David McNeill

Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was not exactly what I was expecting.Before visiting Japan for the first time last year, I read Richard Lloyd Parry's Ghosts of the Tsunami. Parry, like his American counterparts, was (and still is) an (English) journalist based in Japan. His book focused on … Continue reading Strong in the Rain by Lucy Birmingham & David McNeill