Turning Japan into Ireland: Life and Writing

Before reading Rain Fall, what my year in Japan reminded me of most was a year my family spent in England. Instead of an eighth-grade teacher, I was the student. Superficial things: the food is different, the language is different, the kids wear school uniforms. Deeper attitude things: both are island nations with a senseContinue reading “Turning Japan into Ireland: Life and Writing”

Life and Fiction and Barry Eisler

Another bout of vacation reading: Rain Fall, the first of Barry Eiseler’s novels about a Japanese American assassin, and another book I found out about by hanging out on Twitter. My response to the novel gets me thinking about how readers engage writing. Eisler pulls off a tough sell: a first-person narrative by a killerContinue reading “Life and Fiction and Barry Eisler”

Fantasy Baseball: Jill Shalvis’s Double Play

My recreational reading this summer has taken a backseat to my new membership on Twitter. (I’ll pause here so you can lay in firewood or whatever your personal preparations for the apocalypse involve—the beauty of the interwebs is we’ll be here when you get back.) I decided to check it out because a writer friendContinue reading “Fantasy Baseball: Jill Shalvis’s Double Play

Reading about People Who Look Like Me

You may be aware of the controversy around the cover of Justine Larbalestier’s book Liar: the American edition of the book has a picture of a white girl on the cover, even though the narrator of the book is black. The first publisher rationalization for the decision was that the character tells lies, and maybeContinue reading “Reading about People Who Look Like Me”