• In English,  Literary Fiction

    Kanazawa by David Joiner

    The story contained with the pages of Kanazawa is both compelling and sometimes frustrating. It’s a story that many (white?) immigrants who live in Japan can appreciate – especially those with Japanese partners. Not unlike Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags, martial conflict and personal identity are a big part of the story. However, the approaches are vastly different. Kanazawa is slow and meandering and the path to the final conclusion is initially obscured. Yet this doesn’t make the story boring. On the contrary, the protagonists dialogue manage to remain engaging throughout. Both the title, and perhaps the cover itself, suggest a cultural story. This is true. Various aspects of culture…

  • In English,  Literary Fiction

    Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags by Iain Maloney

    Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags by Iain Maloney is a sobering and thoughtful book. In particular, in late-2021, the pandemic setting feels almost too close to home. The pandemic has been a lot – for all of us. The losses we have individually and collectively experienced are immeasurable. It will likely be years before we are able to come to terms with what has, and is still happening. As Cormac so eloquently says on page two, “Life is elsewhere. I am elsewhere. But this year death is everywhere. Death is here.” Yet the story is about more than the pandemic. In Life is Elsewhere/Burn Your Flags, many other themes are…