The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

Between December 1937 and January 1938, the Japanese Imperial Army seized the Chinese city of Nanking (now Nanjing) and in a period of only six weeks carried out one of the most brutal massacres in the history of war. It is estimated that the number of Chinese killed in this massacre could have been more … Continue reading The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

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)

Little Brother by Allan Baillie

Allan Baillie's book Little Brother was published in 1985 and tells the gripping story of two brothers, Vithy and Mang, aged about eleven and eighteen years respectively, who were the only members of their family left alive after the communist Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975.Renaming the country Kampuchea, the Communist Party … Continue reading Little Brother by Allan Baillie