Published in 1994 and translated by Stephen Snyder, Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police is a quiet allegory and meditation on life as well as a dystopian fable about fascism. The story is set in an unnamed island where things disappear—birds, perfume, roses. Most disappearances happen overnight. The inhabitants wake up in a form of daze, […]
Countless writers have taken inspirations from characters in Greek Mythology for their quintessential characterizations everyone could easily recognize. Written in first-person narrative, Madeline Miller’s Circe follows the life of its titular protagonist as she navigates the world around her.
Even though the term dystopian was first coined in the 1740s by historian George Claeys, dystopian fiction novels did not become fully defined until the turn of the twentieth century. Written in 1921, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s social satire We laid the foundations for the genre that is now ubiquitous: dystopian fiction. Zamyatin’s We imagines a future […]
Kim Young-ha is an acclaimed writer in Korea. His works have been translated into English and other languages. Diary of a Murderer is a collection of four short stories ranging from suspenseful thrillers to ruminative explorations of human nature. The book opens with a thrilling titular story about a seventy-year old man, Kim Byeongsu, who […]
When I feel like reading an atmospheric and gritty crime fiction novel, my mind takes me to the cold and snowy landscape that is Scandinavian or Nordic noir. Jane Harper’s gripping debut novel, The Dry, shows that the heat of the Australian outback is as good place as any for a good mystery story. Set […]
“History has failed us, but no matter” is the opening line of Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko. This sweeping, historical, and immersive family saga delves deeply into the experiences of Korean immigrants in Japan between 1910 and 1989. The story begins in a small fishing village in Yeongdo, Korea. There, we are introduced to fishermen, […]
Samanta Schweblin’s collection of twenty short stories, Mouthful of Birds, weaves between the realm of the real and the strange, exploring the deepest abyss of human psyche. These grotesque and surreal stories serve as a representation of the reality we live in. They question societal structures, norms, attitudes, and expectations. They examine how a person […]
Set in Lithvas, a fictional country in Eastern Europe, Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver follows the story of a moneylender’s daughter as she strives to survive in medieval England. Living in abject poverty, Miryem decides to take over her father’s failing moneylending business. She is quite successful at it that soon she attracts the attention of […]
Han Kang, the author of the 2016 Man Booker Prize-winning The Vegetarian, has written a new novel, The White Book, which explores life and death through the lens of a single color—white. The White Book follows an unnamed narrator as she looks upon her own life and its meaning through the prism of “white.” In […]
Set in mid-20th century Hungary, The Door revolves around the unlikely relationship of two women —Magda, the writer, and Emerence, the housekeeper.
The creator of the Renegade Mothering blog, Janelle Hanchett, explores motherhood, addiction, and mental illness in her moving memoir, I’m Just Happy to be Here. When she was 21, Janelle Hanchett found herself pregnant. Newly married, Hanchett soon began to struggle with depression and substance abuse issues. Hanchett’s writing is raw and honest—motherhood is not […]
Above Suspicion, Helen MacInnes’s 1941 spy novel, tells the story of Richard Myles, an Oxford professor, and his wife Frances, who have been asked by an old friend to carry out a secret mission during their annual European holiday. Their job is to locate an English agent and find out whether or not he has […]