Confessions by Kanae Minato

Revenge can have a long shelf life, and often leads to all sorts of unintended consequences. This twisty and often disturbing tale is full of surprises, revealed in the successive confessions of the protagonists involved in the murder of a middle school teacher’s four-year-old daughter.

Minato starts slowly and then gradually intensifies the suspense. She’s an expert at creating intricately plotted stories that dare you to predict the outcome.

The author clearly understands human nature, especially the often muddled and emotion tinged thinking of middle-schoolers, not to mention distraught mothers. The story casts light on the shadows beneath the perfect veneer of Japanese society, resonating across cultures and raising a host of moral issues.

On more than one occasion I found myself gasping, oh my god! You might gasp too as the revelations build and build to an explosive conclusion.

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Anderson Cooper calls it “heartbreaking” and “quietly dazzling.” Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) calls it “delightful and heartwarming”. I can’t quite even put into words how good this book is.

My Brother’s Husband Volume 1 has grabbed me as no other graphic novel has! It is a contemporary story from Japan by one of Japan’s great gay manga artists about one straight father’s start in rethinking what makes a family, based on a surprise visit of a Canadian man who was his brother’s husband in Canada. (Japan does not recognize gay marriage, either between citizens or between visitors from other countries.) The story is full of tender surprises highlighting the differences between cultures. And the drawing is unbelievably good; Tagame draws men in great and loving detail (Kana, the young daughter in the story is more cartoon-like) revealing their unspoken feelings and thoughts.

Beautiful, shattering, intense, quiet and lovely.


Libraries of Japan Damaged

March 14, 2011








Of course, the important priorities are taking care of people and housing,etc., during a natural catastrophe. However, people do always wonder about the additional things they care about. In this case, I mean books. So, what is the status of libraries around Japan? The Huffington Post linked to this Japanese collection of photos- pardon the language barrier.

Shira S.

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