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Pearl Reviews: The Strangeness of Hiromi Kawakami’s “Strange Weather in Tokyo”

Hi all,

Recently I wondered what I could start sharing here that might appeal to some of y’all, and was struck with the scathingly brilliant idea to start writing book reviews. I read enough as it is — why not share my thoughts, however unoriginal or unpopular? I’ll be mostly reviewing Japanese literature — I don’t have a B.A. in Japanese Studies just for nothing — but I might move away from that niche if I find a particularly gush-worthy read.

Anyways, these reviews/impressions/rambles probably won’t be too in-depth at first, but I’m hoping to develop a knack for dissecting the meat of a book objectively enough without spoiling it for everybody. (I know, I know, terrible metaphor.) Fair warning: I am not the greatest at summarizing stories, so I’ll always provide a link to the book where you can read its pitch-perfect synopsis.

For this first installment of Pearl Reviews, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Hiromi Kawakami‘s novel Strange Weather in Tokyo, translated by Allison Markin Powell and published by Counterpoint Press. This came out a few years ago, so I’m very much late to the party, but considering my TBR list is over 1000 books, I’m lucky I was able to get to it at all.

A woman in red dress floating by dining tables in a supermarket.
“Strange Weather in Tokyo” by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Allison Markin Powell, published by Counterpoint Press
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I Didn’t Study Japanese for 2 Weeks and Forgot Everything…Sort Of

Well, I’m glad to say I survived AWP, aka the nation’s largest literary conference. I acquired 58 books (I say acquired because some were free) which gave my bank account some severe cramps, but I’m bouncing back relatively well.

Now that I’ve somewhat recuperated, I’m ready to get back to studying Japanese. Because of my day job and conference prep, I didn’t have much time to study for two weeks. Some people can jump right back where they left off in their studies with only a short review of their notes. I used to be one of those people. Now, I look at my notes and can’t for the life of me remember writing them.

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A Belated 2019 Update + My Latest Articles

Hello, hi, yes, I’m still here, albeit very busy and very stressed.

Between not knowing if I would have my part-time job when the new owners took over (I still do) and figuring out what to do with my life this year (still working on it), promoting myself and my writing wasn’t much of a priority. In fact, I dreaded it.

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