And it is midweek again! Happy Wednesday everyone! Wednesdays also mean another WWW Wednesday update. WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme originally hosted by SAM@TAKING ON A WORLD OF WORDS. The mechanics for WWW Wednesday is quite simple, you just have to answer three questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What are you currently reading?

After nearly two months, I have finally culminated my journey to the heart of Japanese literature. As they say, with every ending is a new beginning. From works of Japanese literature, I am turning my attention towards books that were published this year, starting with Ashley Audrain’s The Push. Earlier this, while searching for books to include in my 2021 Books To Look Forward to List, The Push was a title that came highly recommended. It was enough to convince me to add the book to my own list and consequently, my growing reading list. The Push is the story of motherhood told in intimate and vivid details by the novel’s primary character and narrator, Blythe. It is an interesting and thought-provoking look into the turbulent, and often complicated, relationships between parents and children.

What have you finished reading?

I closed my journey into Japanese literature with the work of an unfamiliar author and one that is familiar. Sayaka Murata has swept the world of literature with the English translation of per popular novel, Convenience Store Woman. I did obtain a copy of the novel and also of her more recently translated work, Earthlings. However, I chose to read Earthlings first ahead of the former because my curiosity was piqued by the review of a fellow book blogger; she said that the book gave her a WTF moment. So yes, the book is as strange as it sounds. The story revolves around Natsuki, a young girl born to a family who barely noticed her. Exploring themes about conformity, body autonomy, and family dynamics, Earthlings does sound tame enough. But then, Murata incorporated darker elements such as murder, cannibalism, and child abuse to underscore the book’s message. It was clear enough. The conclusion, however, needs trigger warning as it was dark and graphic.

I culminated my journey into Japanese literature with one of its most influential works. The winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature, Kenzaburō Ōe begun his literary career by writing short stories. In 1958, he finally published his first full length novel, Memushiri Kouchi. It didn’t appear in the mainstream English literary market until 1995 when it was published as Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids (sometimes published as Pluck the Bud and Destroy the Offspring). The narrative revolves around fifteen boys who were sent to reformatory school in World War II Japan. It was related through the perspective of an anonymous narrator; he was also the leader of the boy’s group. As the threat of a plague hounded the reformatory and the adjacent village, the villagers started to flee, leaving the boys to their own devises. Ōe wrote the novel when he was twenty-three years old (the same age Carson McCullers published The Heart is a Lonely Hunter) but it was already brimming with promise.

What will you read next?

I am planning to read Jhumpa Lahiri’s newest work, Whereabouts once I am done with The Push. This is going to be my second book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer; my first was The Namesake which I read about five years ago. I am following it up with another book from my 2021 Books I Look Forward To list (my third from the list). Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful stood out when I was researching for books to include in the list. I did not need additional reasons to include it to my own list. Yes, I learned about Lahiri’s newest work while researching for 2021 Books I Look Forward To.

Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!