Elvira Baryakina talks about her novel ‘White Shanghai,’ a work that connects wildly different tales of struggle and survival in the best traditions of epic Russian storytelling (Russia Beyond Headlines)
After the Bolshevik Revolution, tens of thousands of Russians fled to Shanghai, which became Asia’s most cosmopolitan city.
Historical novelist Elvira Baryakina’s portrait of the roaring twenties in “White Shanghai” is a suitably bewildering kaleidoscope: prostitutes, bandits and fortune-telling Buddhist monks, warrior Cossacks and singing Mexicans. “Almost like Paris, New York, and Babylon combined,” is how Baryakina described 1920s Shanghai in an interview with RBTH.
Review of From the Fatherland, With Love, By Ryu Murakami, trans. Ralph McCarthy, Charles de Wolf and Ginny Tapley Takemori in The Independent
The “other” Murakami – Ryu, rather than the marginally older Haruki – is best known in the UK for short, sharp novels like In The Miso Soup and Audition, books that dig away at a contemporary Japanese culture obsessed with youth, sex and violence, and familiar to us through manga, anime and horror films.
JASMINE, by Noboru Tsujihara, translated by Juliet W. Carpenter., reviewed in the Japan Times
That the Western world has lost interest in Japan, and particularly in Japanese literature, and is turning its attention more and more to the colossus across the sea (China, not America) is a constant plaint on the part of Japan specialists and translators.
Sheila Melvin in ARB Upon learning that the novelist Mo Yan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for […]
Mia Warren reviews My Name Is Parvana by Deborah Ellis in the Asian Review of Books There is a decidedly […]
For most people, it is only a dream to be called a genius and handed a big check. But in the United States, 23 people recently received a phone call announcing that dream had come true. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hands out “genius” fellowships each year to assist people it determines are doing exceptional work. This year’s recipients of the $500,000 “no strings attached” grant include a stone carver, a quantum astrophysicist, a jazz pianist and a high school physics teacher.
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
By Daniyal Mueenuddin
Bloomsbury, 237 pages
My first brush with Pakistani writer Daniyal Mueenuddin’s material was in the pages of the New Yorker. I don’t remember the exact year but I had noticed the title of the story (Nawabdin Electrician) and the author’s name—not a very common feature in the noted American weekly. I was not going to miss it.
I remember reading the story and not being very impressed by it. I think I read it off the web, maybe after downloading the story and printing it out. I must have read it on the go—I admit that’s not a very good way of reading stories but that’s how I read books. We all live hurried lives. Anyway, I had decided that it was not a good story and after reading it, I had forgotten about it.