Where East Meets West...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I had already been sort of wondering about the large number of books about Japan lately. It seems like there are a few books out there that are fiction/semi-memoirs about Americans being in Japan. Then I came across these two book covers.... I feel like there's another one just like it too but I can't think of what that one was. But really? How does this happen? I know there are trends in book covers... right now it's a picture of real people from the side or back to where their faces can't be seen. But these two are quite similar.

But, like I said, I also found it interesting that there are all these books about Japan out. Girl in Translation is more about a Japanese girl living in America, but these other four are either a memoir, fiction, or combination of American's in Japan.

So what do you think? Have you read any of these? And if you have, do you plan on reading any of the others? This is also interesting to me because of a recent conversation with some other bloggers about more than one book being published about a similar topic. (You probably know who you are but I didn't mention your name in case you didn't want me to). If you like one of these books does it make you want to read more like it? Or do you want to only read the one to savor that specific one? Or does it just depend? And just for fun, which of the above is your favorite cover? I like If You Follow Me because it's different and I like the Cherry Blossoms on it, but I also really like the Plum Wine cover. (Just for the record, I've only read the last two of these).


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

No but these allll look good. I want to try Japan took the JAP out of me :)

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

I blame this new wave of Foreigners-in-Japan on the success of Memoirs of a Geisha and Lost in Translation. And that the fetishizing of the Japanese Geisha, (hence all the neck poses) for the very, very unfortunate covers of the first two examples. Emphasizing the exotic in portrayals of Asian themed covers is nothing particularly new, but I don't care for it much.

Not that I'm totally hating on the trend. From what I gather about If You Follow Me, that actually seems like a good story that has no apparent too racefail-y elements, as far as I can see, and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it... But I also don't care for the cover either. I'm so sick of cherry blossoms.

lol, I'm afraid I'm not being too eloquent with my words over my dislike of these covers, but I just remembered a post made a while back that expresses my discontent far better than my spew has so far: How to Make a Chinese or Japanese Book Cover

Jenny said...

Juju -- hehe, clever title!

Ah Yuan -- I never realized that about the neck poses! I just went and read your post and it's very interesting! It's funny how the Asian book covers are sort of stereotypical... I do actually like most of them, lol, but you can definitely tell just by glancing at the cover that it's Asian.

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