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Tag Archives: review

The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin

And I saw then again, and for good, what I had always been afraid to see, and had pretended not to see in him: that he was a woman as well as a man. Any need to explain the sources of that fear vanished with that fear; what I was left with was, at last, […]

Man Tiger – Eka Kurniawan

Man Tiger is the slim second novel by Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan that has been met with very good, albeit not superlative reviews. (Usually I don’t read reviews before writing my recaps, but have been hunting around to find what language Man Tiger was originally written in, only to find some people frustrated by the […]

Basti – Intizar Husain

The more the turmoil increases outside, the more I sink into myself. Memories of so many times come to me. Ancient and long-ago stories, lost and scattered thoughts. Memories one after another, entangled in each other, like a forest to walk through. My memories are a forest. so where does the forest begin? No, where […]

King of Kings – Asfra-Wossen Asserate

Ras Tafari ruled Ethiopia as regent starting in 1916 and then under the regnal name Haile Selassie when he ascended to the position of Negusa Negast in 1930. His reign lasted until 1974 when the Derg, a council of military officers propelled by famine, military frustrations, and student protests ended the monarchy. This long reign—too […]

Hyperion – Dan Simmons

My home has thirty-eight rooms on thirty-six worlds. No doors: the arched entrances are farcaster portals, a few opaqued with privacy curtains, most open to observation and entry. Each room has windows everywhere and at least two walls with portals. From the grand dining hall on Renaissance Vector, I can see the bronze skies and […]

A Small Town Called Hibiscus – Gu Hua

Struggle is ruthless, with no room for such bourgeois weaknesses as human kindness. I don’t remember where I first picked up A Small Town Called Hibiscus, but I think it was for a college class on twentieth century China. Assuming I read it then, ten years have passed and I approached the novel without any […]

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovksy, The Letter Killers Club

In 1920s Moscow, a secret society meets every Saturday night, identifying each other by nonsense syllables such as Rar, Zez, and Das. The ritual is the same each week: they arrive to a bare apartment with empty shelves and take their accustomed seats, a fire is lit in the fireplace, and the appointed member begins […]

The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk (August Reading Recap)

For reasons that included a trip to Utah and a whole lot of academic stuff that needed to happen before the start of the semester (even being on fellowship this year), I only read one book in August, Orhan Pamuk’s 2008 novel, The Museum of Innocence. Pamuk’s books also take a while to read because […]

The Lost book of Alexander the Great, Andrew Young

Andrew Young, The Lost book of Alexander the Great, Westholme, 2014. “This is a book about a book,” Young opens, but that book is lost. Young declares that it nevertheless possible to reconstruct Ptolemy’s history of Alexander’s campaigns in Asia and therefore Ptolemy’s vision of Alexander. A dedicated manuscript–not a not a full reconstruction, obviously, […]

Kerem Öktem, Turkey since 1989: Angry Nation, New York: Zed Books, 2011.

Turkey since 1989: Angry Nation is an installment in the series “Global History of the Present,” which is intended to introduce aspects of world history since 1989 and the end of the Cold War. Rather than trying to write an all-encompassing history of the past two and half decades, the series deals with limited subjects […]