Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Book Review: March Was Made Of Yarn

March Was Made of Yarn
Edited by David James Karashima and Elmer Luke
Published by Harvill Secker, a division of Random House

March Was Made of Yarn is a powerful, hard-hitting collection of fiction, nonfiction, manga and poetry, exploring the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe that hit Japan in March 2011.

The writers in this collection perfectly capture the aftermath, after the media attention has died down. Many stories prefer not to directly look at the events of March 2011. Some stories are set in the past like David Peace's After the Disaster, Before the Disaster, which explores the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. While, The Island of Eternal Life by Yoko Tawada, the first story in the collection is set in a bleak future where people from Japan are considered radioactive and have been cut off from the rest of the world. This story sets up the feeling of rootlessness through out the collection.

The themes of memory, family, place and overall hope run through each story. One of the most powerful images is in March Yarn by Mieko Kawakami. The short story explores the dreams of a pregnant woman. The world is yarn and starts to unravel, and then knits itself back together. This metaphor captures and distills the events that have happened in Japan.

March was Made of Yarn is a chilling collection but hopeful for the future. Each story shows that life goes on, but  life will never be the same.

Thank you Fiona from Random House for sending me a copy.

You can buy a copy from here or your favourite online or offline bookshops. All royalties will go to reconstruction charities in Japan.

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