|B o o k R e v i e w
from the Japan America Society
Black Mist and Other Japanese Futures, edited by Orson Scott Card and Keith Ferrell. Japan has long been one of the key players in business, technology, and culture, and now some of today's finest writers have created these new novellas envisioning how its influence will change the world! Five expert science fact and fiction writers with knowledge of Japanese culture and society give their interpretations of Japan's future. Published by New American Library in 1997. Recommended reading may be purchased online
Black Mist and Other Japanese Futures.
The Broken Bridge - Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan, edited by Suzanne Kamata with an introduction by Donald Richie. This collection of thirty-six short stories written by expatriates living in Japan addresses the unique challenges met by the gaigin (foreigner) writing community in Japan. Contributors include Alan Brown, Karen Hill Anton, Edward Seidensticker, and William Wetherall. Published by Stone Bridge Press in 1997. Purchase this selection online The Broken Bridge.
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. This book is a New York Times bestseller and Steven Spielberg's next movie project for Columbia Tri-Star Pictures. Memoirs of a Geisha immerses the reader in an exotic world and is part historical novel, part fairy tale, and part Dickensian romance. Golden spent 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous. Published by Knopf in 1997. Purchase this selection online Memoirs of a Geisha.
The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family, by Elisabeth Bumiller. The author spent 1991-1992 interviewing the anonymous "Tanaka" family in the midst of a family crisis where the upbeat wife, Mariko, struggles with teenage children, PTA meetings and unrealized dreams. This behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a Japanese family offers an intimate view of the multifaceted roles of women in Japanese society. Published by Vintage Books in 1996. Purchase this selection online The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family.
Unlocking the Bureaucrat's Kingdom: Deregulation and the Japanese Economy, edited by Frank Gibney. In this book, a cross-section of Japanese, American, and European journalists and authorities in the business, political, and economic sectors examine the problems caused by overregulation and offer solutions for reshaping the Japanese marketplace. Published by The Brookings Institute in 1998. Purchase this selection online Unlocking the Bureaucrat's Kingdom: Deregulation and the Japanese Economy.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is the best selling author of Norwegian Wood and Hard Boiled Wonderland the End of the World. In his most recent book in English, Murakami follows the life of an out of work law clerk as he weaves through a surreal yet contemporary world. This is an absorbing, complex, and cleverly skewed piece of fiction. Published by Knopf in 1997. Purchase this selection online The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
Norwegian Wood is an extremely moving book, set in the Japan of the late 60s through the early 70s. The book deals with basically normal people who have been skewed by their circumstances, to the point where the reader can identify perfectly with the characters. Japan's "A Catcher in the Rye." Although this book is out-of-print, amazon.com may be able to obtain this title for you Norwegian Wood.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Japan's most widely-read and controversial writer, hurtles into the consciousness of the West with this narrative about a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters--not to mention Bob Dylan and Lauren Bacall. Purchase this selection online Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
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