The Accusation Review

The Accusation: A Review

The AccusationIt’s only natural to expect people in the U.S. to be fascinated by — and a little wary of — news out of North Korea. The Hermit Kingdom has become our new boogeyman, replacing China and Russia as the focus of our Red Scare. But given the United States’ near-total lack of communication with the other country, the bulk of our narratives about North Korea come from outsiders, from imaginative novelists and traveling teachers, or from defectors who have successfully found asylum elsewhere. All of this warrants saying, because all of this is necessary for readers to understand just how unique The Accusation, the first foreign-published book by a North Korean author living in North Korea — in this case, Bandi — is. There’s no other short-story collection like it in the world. Continue reading

If Found Please Return To Elise Gravel: A Review

If Found…Please Return to Elise Gravel: A Review

If Found...Please Return to Elise GravelIt’s not often a book comes along that is so full of wholesome, all-ages fun that you feel refreshed and inspired just by reading it, but If Found…Please Return to Elise Gravel is that book. Reproduced from the author’s grid-paper notebook doodles, this 2016 graphic novel from Québécoise illustrator Elise Gravel — The Cranky Ballerina, I Want a Monster! — received an English-language edition from Drawn + Quarterly this summer. Continue reading

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: A Review

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First ComputerNearly two centuries ago, two great minds and distinguished individuals among the English rich collaborated to create and program the Analytical Engine: the world’s first mechanical computer. Although Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine was never built during his lifetime, in Sydney Padua‘s The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer, he and Ada Lovelace team up to build their wonderful machine and use it to improve British lives. Continue reading

pachinko review

Pachinko: A Review

PachinkoSet against the backdrop of Japanese occupation,
Min Jin Lee‘s Pachinko tells an earnest and heartfelt saga that encompasses nearly 80 years in the lives of one family. The story follows Sunja, the daughter of a Korean innkeeper, who marries a virtual stranger after a love affair with an older man leaves her pregnant and adrift. What could devolve into either melodrama or tawdriness does neither, as Pachinko deftly examines the little generosities that even the worst among us are capable of. Continue reading