Book Review: Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto and translated by Jesse Kirkwood

My thanks to Penguin Press UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Tokyo Express is a Japanese mystery/detective novel by Seichō Matsumoto, first published in 1958 and in this version, translated by Jesse Kirkwood. Having only read two of Seishi Yokomizo’s Kindaichi mysteries so far, when this showed up on NetGalley, I…

Book Review: A Good & Dignified Life: The Political Advice of Hannah Arendt & Rosa Luxemburg by Joke J. Hermsen and translated by Brendan Monaghan

My thanks to Yale University Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Tumultuous is perhaps one word we might use to describe the world around us today, and one face of this is the citizens’ protests we are witnessing in numerous countries—West or East, ‘developed’ or ‘developing’. Looking at these protests, against,…

Book Review: Of Sunshine and Bedbugs by Isaac Babel and translated by Boris Dralyuk

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Isaac Babel (1894–1940) was not an author I knew or had come across earlier but when this volume of Essential Stories appeared from Pushkin Press, I decided to (somewhat blindly) give it a try. Babel was an author, journalist, and translator…

Book Review: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and translated by Stephen Snyder

The Housekeeper and the Professor is a beautiful and poignant story of maths and numbers, of baseball, but most of all of a deep bond of friendship and affection formed between three unlikely but in their own ways lonely souls—a mathematics professor who retains old memories and has a good brain but is unable to…

Book Review: Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo and translated by Louise Heal Kawai

My thanks to Pushkin Press and Edelweiss for a review copy of this book. Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo, first published in 1971 is the fourth of Yokomizo’s mysteries to be published in translation by Pushkin Press under their Pushkin Vertigo imprint, from the series featuring his detective Kindaichi Kosuke, which has 77…

Book Review: The Equestrienne by Uršula Kovalyk, translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood

My thanks to Parthian Books and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. The Equestrienne is a short, novella length work by Slovak writer Uršula Kovalyk, and translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood. The novel was the winner of the Bibliotéka Prize in 2013, and part of Parthian’s Parthia Europa Carnivale writing in translation…

Book Review: A Bad Business: Essential Stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. A Bad Business is a set of six short stories by Dostoevsky collected in this ‘Essential Stories’ volume by Pushkin Press. The first four are longer length, and more ‘substantial’ so to speak but all the stories are impactful in their…

Book Review: A Feminist Theory of Violence: A Decolonial Perspective by Françoise Vergès and translated by Melissa Thackaway

My thanks to Pluto Press and Edelweiss for a review copy of this book. A Feminist Theory of Violence: A Decolonial Perspective is a short book by French political scientist and historian Françoise Vergès, and translated by Melissa Thackaway. The book views the current state of violence in society from a feminist perspective/lens, focusing on…

Review: Sue and Tai-Chan, Vol. 1 by Konami Kanata

My thanks to Kodansha Comics and NetGalley for a review copy of this manga. Sue and Tai-Chan is the charming first volume of the adventures of Sue a seventeen-year-old cat, and Tai-Chan, a tiny black kitten. Natsuki, Sue’s ‘human’ is handed a box with Tai-Chan a little kitten to look after. He tries to refuse,…

Review: Monkey: Vol 2: edited by Ted Goossen, Motoyuki Shibata, and Meg Taylor

My thanks to Stonebridge Press and Netgalley for a review copy of this magazine. Monkey is a literary magazine that showcases a wide range of Japanese writing translated into English. This, the second volume, edited by Ted Goossen, Motoyuki Shibata, and Meg Taylor focuses on ‘travel’. What I loved about this was its very wide…