books + writers

In Conversation with Joanna Eleftheriou: This Way Back (2020)

What does it mean to love a homeland yet not be able to fully return? Eleftheriou asks in her book, and how can one express love for the same sex in a culture that doesn’t recognize its existence? How does one deal with the liberal privilege of labeling grief over such a cultural denial as inconsequential? Joanna’s insight into the dynamics of love and loss as one seeks a sense of belonging is moving and captivating and guided our conversation about her book.

Monthly Wrap-Up | January 2021

Initially, I was planning to change it up and post a short video as my January wrap-up–I don’t know what it is exactly (am I still resisting to the Instagram reel/ TikTok book review culture, who knows?), but I felt like writing a post–so here is the first wrap-up of 2021!

Reading around Asia Book List | The World Bookshelf Project

My ultimate goal here as a voracious reader is to delve right into the literary scene(s) and spaces created by Asian writers–which I’ve been missing out on all these years. Eventually, I’d like to complete a “World Bookshelf Challenge” at the end of which I will have read at least one contemporary text from each country around the world, but let’s see how this particular reading list goes.

‘Home is not a place to return to’: An I-Novel by Minae Mizumura | Japan

Minae is able to move beyond all the ideologies, illusions, and the pressure to belong, which, after twenty-years liberates her. The original version of An I-Novel, published in 1995, mixes Japanese and English seamlessly, creating a literary work that reflects its narrator’s desire to find her true self. Like the novel we hold in our hands, Minae is audacious and multifaceted, and she does not fit into a box.