Book Review: Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke (China)

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

*+-By Gwendolyn Dawson In Yan Lianke’s novel, Dream of Ding Village, a remote, agricultural village in China suffers from an AIDS epidemic. Ten years ago, the inhabitants of Ding Village sold their blood to blood collectors to increase their wealth and improve their standard of living. While the blood sales allowed the villagers to replace their traditional mud and thatch huts …

Book Review: The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto (Japan)

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

*+-By Gwendolyn Dawson The Lake, the latest novel by well-known Japanese novelist Banana Yoshimoto, is an enigmatic love story told from the first-person perspective of Chihiro, a muralist and “going on thirty” daughter of unmarried parents. Chihiro’s unconventional childhood and the recent death of her mother contribute to her sense of isolation and unrest, and she spends hours staring out …

Book Review: Beautiful & Pointless by David Orr (USA)

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

*+-By Gwendolyn Dawson Despite its subtitle, Beautiful & Pointless is not really a “guide” to modern poetry. I would call it more of a meditation.  Orr, the poetry critic for the New York Times Book Review, doesn’t really explain the various poetic forms or the different methods for deconstructing and understanding a poem. He doesn’t give any helpful tips to the …