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)

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)