August 2018 Wrap-Up – Women in Translation Month

August saw the fifth running of Women in Translation Month, and the event just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  Meytal Radzinski of the Biblibio blog started it all off four years ago, and from a digital gathering of a handful of bloggers, the month has grown to be one with publishers falling over themselves to push their books (even if they don’t always quite get the idea behind the event…).  This year I decided to go with a theme underpinning my posts, with a host of reviews of books by female Japanese writers, plus a final summary post offering some more ideas.  It’s all been great fun, and you can see the results in the reviews I’ve posted – oh, and from the numbers below, of course 😉

Total Books Read: 16
Year-to-Date: 88

New: 13
Rereads: 3

From the Shelves: 7
Review Copies: 3
From the Library: 6
On the Kindle: 0 (0 review copies)

Novels: 9
Novellas: 0
Short Stories: 5
Non-Fiction: 1
Poetry: 1

Non-English Language: 15 (9 Japanese, 4 Korean, French, Polish)
In Original Language: 1 (French)

Books Reviewed in August were:
1) The Gossamer Years by the Mother of Michtsuna
2) In the Shade of Spring Leaves (Biography) by Robert Danly Lyons
3) In the Shade of Spring Leaves (Stories) by Ichiyō Higuchi
4) A Tale of False Fortunes by Fumiko Enchi
5) Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima
6) Of Dogs and Walls by Yuko Tsushima
7) The Word Book by Mieko Kanai
8) Building Waves by Taeko Tomioka
9) God’s Boat by Kaori Ekuni
10) The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
11) The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada

Tony’s Turkey for August is: nothing

My least favourite read of the month was probably Taoko Tomioka’s Building Waves, but it would have been a little harsh to label it a turkey.  We’ll just have to make this a poultry-free month, I suppose 😉

Tony’s Recommendation for August is:
Fumiko Enchi’s A Tale of False Fortunes

There were some excellent books among this bunch, with honourable mentions going to my first look at Kaori Ekuni’s work, Yuko Tsushima’s year in the life of a single mother and Robert Danly Lyons’ wonderful biography/short-story translations, introducing the reader to the life and work of Ichiyō Higuchi.  However, I had a feeling from the start that Enchi’s clever take on a classic was the one to beat, and so it proved.  It’s a book I loved and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, particularly during Women in Translation Month 🙂

After a very busy August, it’s back to normal life (and reviewing) in September.  However, I do have a couple of special posts to put up before that, with a look at my day out at the recent Melbourne Writers Festival.  Be sure to look out for those next week – and for the review posts to come over the rest of the month.  I can tell you now that there are a couple of big books that will be reviewed, so if that sounds like your kind of thing, please look out for the posts 🙂

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