An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

In the 2016 introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of An Artist of the Floating World, the author wrote: ‘This novel is set in Japan before and after the Second World War, but it was very much shaped by the Britain in which I was then living: the pressure on people in every walk of … Continue reading An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

In Order to Live is an astonishing story of endurance, courage, and love. Yeonmi Park was thirteen years old when she and her mother escaped from North Korea. In Order to Live tells their incredible story of survival, suffering, and eventual freedom. I’ve always had a fascination with the Cold War and Communism in general, … Continue reading In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (1943 – 1948)

  Set in Japan on the eve of World War II, The Makioka Sisters has been described as the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century. Not having read many Japanese novels I’m not in a position to agree or disagree with that observation, but it is certainly a compelling and poignant picture of an … Continue reading The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (1943 – 1948)

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung (2000)

Loung Ung was five years old when the Khmer Rouge army took over the city of Phnom Penh in April 1975. Her father had been a high ranking official in the previous government so when the Marxist regime came to power he had to flee from the city to the countryside with his wife and … Continue reading First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung (2000)