Book Reviews on Asian Lit

Almond by Won Pyung Sohn

Almond by Won-Pyung Sohn

Almond is a debut novel by South Korean novelist Won-Pyung Sohn. Set in contemporary time in Seoul, it is a coming of age story of Yunjae who was born with Alexithymia, a brain condition which makes him difficult to identify and express emotions.

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State of Emergency by Jeremy Tiang

State of Emergency by Jeremy Tiang

In his debut novel State of Emergency, Jeremy Tiang offers a slice of Singapore’s history that is less discussed by people. This historical fiction delves into the tempestuous time of leftist movements and political detentions in Singapore and Malaysia.

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The Garden of Words, novel by Makoto Shinkai

The Garden of Words by Makoto Shinkai

The Garden of Words is a novelisation of a 2013 animated film of the same name written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. Translated to English by Taylor Engel, it is a story of two lonely souls finding comfort in the company of one another after running into in a garden on a rainy day.

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We the Survivor by Tash Aw

We, the Survivors by Tash Aw

We, the Survivors by Tash Aw is a poignant story of a middle-class Malaysian man named Ah Hock released from prison recently after serving the time for murdering a Bangladeshi migrant worker. Su-Min who had been doing research for her studies in America returned to Malaysia and interviewed Ah Hock about his life which later turned into a book.

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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.

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