No Man’s Land

“No Man’s Land” by Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) Synopsis Set in a hamlet in the countryside of central Vietnam immediately following the end of the war in 1975, the novel’s plot is set in motion when a young woman, happily married to a successful farmer, comes home one day to find a throng of villagers assembled around her gate. She learns that her first husband, … Continue reading No Man’s Land

I Am A Cat

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) Synopsis ‘I am a cat. As yet I have no name.’ So begins one of the most original and unforgettable works in Japanese literature. Richly allegorical and delightfully readable, “I Am A Cat” is the chronicle of an unloved, unwanted, wandering kitten who spends all his time observing human nature – from the dramas of businessmen and … Continue reading I Am A Cat

Questions of Travel

“Questions of Travel” by Michelle de Kretser (Sri Lanka)                           Review Members of our Summer Reading Group liked the differences in writing styles and themes of this year’s four shortlisted books finding most of the stories highly enjoyable. “Questions of Travel” has two parallel narratives, one set in Sri Lanka, the other in Australia. With over 500 pages, readers found the book a bit long and … Continue reading Questions of Travel

The Solemn Lantern Maker

“The Solemn Lantern Maker” by Merlinda Bobis (Philippines) Favourite Quote Foolish men. Not for a moment do they think of their wives who will be widows or their mothers who will be childless, but about country and integrity, the bigger picture. Always the home is too small. The heroic resides somewhere else. If not the streets, the halls of government, or a war. Would they … Continue reading The Solemn Lantern Maker

The Lake

“The Lake” by Banana Yoshimoto (Japan) Review Mystical and mysterious were some of the words readers used to describe this book that they thoroughly enjoyed. Most were familiar with the author having read other of her books and they liked her writing style, which they found captured the atmosphere well. They were drawn to the two protagonists feeling a mixture of sympathy and interest for … Continue reading The Lake

Map of the Invisible World

“Map of the Invisible World” by Tash Aw (Malaysia) Review Intriguing, colourful and touching are some of the words that readers used to describe this story set at the beginning of Indonesian independence. They agreed that the author painted a vivid picture of life both in the countryside and in the city during these turbulent times. One reader found it somewhat confusing because of the change in … Continue reading Map of the Invisible World