Even though the term dystopian was first coined in the 1740s by historian George Claeys, dystopian fiction novels did not become fully defined until the turn of the twentieth century. Written in 1921, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s social satire We laid the foundations for the genre that is now ubiquitous: dystopian fiction. Zamyatin’s We imagines a future … Continue reading We
When I feel like reading an atmospheric and gritty crime fiction novel, my mind takes me to the cold and snowy landscape that is Scandinavian or Nordic noir. Jane Harper’s gripping debut novel, The Dry, shows that the heat of the Australian outback is as good place as any for a good mystery story. Set … Continue reading The Dry
Set in Lithvas, a fictional country in Eastern Europe, Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver follows the story of a moneylender’s daughter as she strives to survive in medieval England. Living in abject poverty, Miryem decides to take over her father’s failing moneylending business. She is quite successful at it that soon she attracts the attention of … Continue reading Spinning Silver
Set in mid-20th century Hungary, The Door revolves around the unlikely relationship of two women —Magda, the writer, and Emerence, the housekeeper.
The creator of the Renegade Mothering blog, Janelle Hanchett, explores motherhood, addiction, and mental illness in her moving memoir, I’m Just Happy to be Here. When she was 21, Janelle Hanchett found herself pregnant. Newly married, Hanchett soon began to struggle with depression and substance abuse issues. Hanchett’s writing is raw and honest—motherhood is not … Continue reading Short Review: I’m Just Happy to be Here
The modern-day Filipino-American experience is intimately explored in Elaine Castillo’s debut novel America Is Not the Heart.
In David Small’s new graphic novel Home After Dark, he soberly explores a 13-year old’s struggle with belonging. Just as he did with the critically acclaimed Stiches: A Memoir, David Small has crafted a somber and compelling coming-of-age story that will resonate with people of all ages.
Violence, obsession, and repressed desires are explored in Han Kang’s visceral, vivid, and undeniably compelling The Vegetarian. The story begins simple enough; Yeong-Hye decides to turn vegetarian. Despite her husband’s consternation regarding her decision, Yeong-Hye provides only a vague explanation for her sudden change, “I had a dream.” Unbeknownst to her husband and others around … Continue reading The Vegetarian
Set in the fictional town of Macondo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles the lives of five generations of the Buendia family.