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“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? …we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”

— Franz Kafka

Reviews on Asian Literature

The Hunter's Walk

The Hunter’s Walk by Nabeel Ismeer

The Hunter’s Walk by Nabeel Ismeer is a coming of age story but a prehistoric one about a fictional tribe named Zardan. It’s a story of two boys—Ghar, a dark skin boy and Dun, his fair skin brother. Focusing on colourism and climate change, the story evolved around the adventurous journey of the cave boys in pursuit of completing the Zarda rite of passage which is the Hunter’s Walk.

Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds Anthology

Hidden World, Hidden Literature

Hidden Words, Hidden worlds is an anthology of contemporary short stories from Myanmar published by the British Council in 2017.

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

Set in the early 90’s, Heaven was narrated by a 14-year-old, unnamed protagonist with a lazy eye. He was frequently bullied by a group of boys at school. At the beginning of the novel, he received a note that said we should be friends.

Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yū, translated by Morgan Giles, is one of those books that could make you love it and also break your heart at the same time. The story is narrated by Kazu, a homeless man living in a makeshift shelter in Ueno Park. The hardship and emotional pains he had endured throughout his life are poignantly told.