The first thing self learns from Joseph Blake’s review of Another Kind of Paradise, published in the Fall/ Winter 2009 issue of the Pacific Rim Review of Books, is that “I couldn’t name a dozen writers from the countries included in Another Kind of Paradise.”

Ah, so this is precisely the kind of reader that the anthology aims at.

Blake then goes on to say that “the vast Asia-Pacific region that Carolan’s book reflects and its myriad neighborhoods of religion and culture share a history of village storytelling.”  Blake says his favorite stories from the collection are “written by women.” (Thank you, thank you so much Mr. Blake!)

Here are his favorites:

  • Seiko Tanabe’s “The Innocent,” a “soul-wrenching, ash-dry portrait of a single, urban female office-worker’s relationships with men and girl friends” (Self really liked this story as well!)
  • Vietnamese writer Pham Thi Hoai’s “Nine Down Makes Ten,” in which “nine men representing different facets of Vietnam’s workers’ paradise are portrayed with a sadly bitter and mocking tone limed with a dash of weary self-deprecation.”

The book is published by Boston’s Cheng & Tsui.  Not sure whether local chain bookstores will have it, but dear blog readers can certainly order direct from the publisher!

Here’s a little about the book’s editor, Trevor Carolan:

Trevor Carolan was born in Yorkshire and began writing professionally at age seventeen, filing dispatches from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury music scene. He is widely published as a journalist, literary critic, anthologist, poet, and translator and has also worked as a media advocate for international human rights, Canadian Aboriginal land claims, and Pacific Coast watershed issues.

Stay tuned.

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