Book review: Men Without Women

Men Without WomenMen Without Women

As you probably know if you have been following this blog for a while, I usually do not currently read short stories. But of course, there are always exceptions to “the rule”. And with Murakami, my favorite Japanese author, exceptions are allowed. So I did request Men Without Women, his latest book, as soon as my library had it on order, and I managed to receive it on its release date. Thank you public libraries!

I knew it was a collection of short stories, but there was no way I would skip a new book by him.

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Japanese Literature Challenge 2015

Japanese Lit Challenge 9Click on the logo to join.

Dolce Belleza has been graciously hosting the Japanese Literature Challenge for 9 years! This year,  it runs from June 1, 2015 until January 30, 2016. It requires the reading of at least one work of Japanese literature (or poetry) written by a Japanese author (or poet).

I’m posting this super late, but I have already read 3 since June, and plan to read possibly 2 more.

So my list may be something like this:

  1. In a Grove, by Ryunosuke Akugatawa
  2. Rashoumon, by Ryunosuke Akugatawa
  3. The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro – listened to, really cool!
  4. The Face of Another by Kobe Abe
  5. Grass on the Wayside, by Soseki

NB: to my immense regret, I had to DNF Wind/Pinball, the most recent volume by my favorite Japanese Haruki Murakami. The volume contains two stories, actually the very first he ever wrote, but only now translated in Engligh.
I only read the first, I felt it was all over the place and I was not able to recognize in it the themes that I enjoy in Murakami’s other books. Maybe one day I’ll dare try the second story, which I heard is actually better!
But all lovers of Murakami should read the introduction by the author. It’s a neat sharing of how he started his writing life. This was the best part of the book for me.

Possible alternative titles for Challenge 9

Strangers”/or In Search of A Distant Voice, by Taichi Yamada

An Artist of the Floating World, by Ishiguro

Manazuru, by Kawakami

Volcano, by Shusaku Endo

I Am A Cat, by Soseki

The Sound of the Mountain, by Yasunari Kawabata

Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto


IFFP 2015: official and shadow shortlists

IFFP Shadow iffp2015logo

 Official and shadow shortlists


The official shortlist for the IFFP has been announced! Once again, the official choice does justify the existence of a Shadow Panel, according to my opinion. Let me know what you think. 
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