2023 Book Review Mini Mag PDF


January 2023

My Annihilation (2022) By Fuminori Nakamura

What exactly is the "self," and how can it be defined? From modern psychology, we know that human minds can be usurped through drastic techniques such as brainwashing, manipulation, and even hypnosis. Elusive and slippery in nature, the malleable "self" forms and reforms in response to social interaction and individual encounters. The answer that enigmatic author Fuminori Nakamura offers in his latest novel is entirely unsettling: “Under a particular set of circumstances, it becomes impossible to tell.”

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The Color Of The Sky Is The Shape Of The Heart (2022) By Chesil Ginny Park, a teenage zainichi (Japan-born) Korean, is forced to come of age under the crushing weight of reality and the horrors of xenophobia, politics, and ethnic violence. Torn between her Korean heritage, her Japanese birthright, and her evolving contempt for both nations’ sociopolitical climates, she must make a fateful choice. Either bow down and lose her voice in the process or challenge the status quo and face the devastating consequences.

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If I Had Your Face (2020) By Frances Cha

South Korea, a place often nominated as the "plastic surgery capital of the world," is where it’s not only typical but expected for young women to have double eyelid surgery before they hit thirty. Author Frances Cha hides nothing in her boldly honest novel. Cha’s tale, deserving of all the international recognition it’s receiving, follows the stories of four women living in the same officetel, battling the impossibly restrictive and often lonely confines constructed for women in Korean society.

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