Ellan Read

sometimes witty book reviews

Song of Everlasting Sorrow

Like much literature written still in the mid-1990s, the female character is subjected to the whims of various male protagonists and comes to a violent and unnecessary end. I was stunned to discover the author of Song of Everlasting Sorrow was a woman.

July 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology

For some reason, reading this piece threw up so many different, powerful feelings. Though not highly complex or even elegant, this poem in particular rang many bells across the scope of my musical and literary memory.

July 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Rickshaw

Xiangzi is a remarkable lead character destined for tragic poverty, and the host of side-characters are also similarly tragic and garish. My favourite character, however, is the city of Beijing itself.

June 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Records of the Grand Historian: Part 2

I am not either a person of the Confucian age (or even of a contemporary Confucian society) in possession of a set of testicles, or currently in a position of knowing if my work will be given a grand enough title to last longer than my own living memory.

June 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Records of the Grand Historian: Part 1

At this point am I just desperately trying to make sure y’all know I’ve read The Iliad?

June 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wild Grass

Finding Katherine Mansfield when you weren’t looking.

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Outlaws of the Marsh

I found this text both swashbucklingly compelling and conversely utterly uninteresting.

May 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Analects

As a person raised in a predominantly White, rural area in the Southern Hemisphere, notions of trustworthiness were taught via the parable of Moses and the Ten Commandments: thou shalt not steal, adult(er), kill, covet asses, etc.. But not as succinct as the Analects puts it – be trustworthy.

March 7, 2018 · 1 Comment

FILM: Aimée & Jaguar

After neo-nazis smeared her front door with excrament, Lily Wurst fought back with the truth she felt she owed to the love of her life. Wurst revealed that the women she protected during WII weren’t just Jewish, they were also queer. And so was she. And so was her lover, Felice Schragenheim.

December 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Fifth Season

Its writers like N. K. Jemisin that remind you that the world didn’t stop writing when a bunch of old white people up and died in the late nineteenth century.

December 3, 2017 · 1 Comment