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The Book of Kane and Margaret: A Novel

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Winner of FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize

A novel about two teenage lovers who disrupt a World War II internment camp in Arizona
Kane Araki and Margaret Morri are not only the names of teenage lovers living in a World War II Japanese relocation camp. Kane Araki is also the name of a man who, mysteriously, sprouts a pair of black raven’s wings overnight. Mar
Paperback, 298 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Fiction Collective 2
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Phong Nguyen
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune of reading this book in manuscript form and found it to be surprising, with a blend of the historical and the fantastical, and full of lyricism. I wish there were more books like it. THE BOOK OF KANE AND MARGARET is both a mirror and a window, revealing the world as it is but also showing the unique perspective of the narrator. It is full of potent images and moments of revelation. I highly recommend it.
Jeff Clark
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In these strange and difficult times, when my time to read has greatly inflated yet my capacity for immersion has vastly diminished, came The Book of Kane and Margaret. Ten days I read it and nothing else. Small bites, slowly chewed; morsels savored.

Highest recommendation if you can lay your hands on it.
Salomé Esteves
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Who says your body is the house where this dream is happening?"

What a lovely read! I've been dying to get a copy of this book for months because I knew I would love it. "The Book of Kane and Margaret" is masterfully written and criminally under-known and under-hyped.
At first, I approached it as a novel, like the name says, but I think it's best to start it knowing it most resembles a collection of short stories. That's why I didn't give it 5 stars, because, like in all collections of short sto
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the camp novel I didn't know I needed. This is the camp novel I have been waiting all my life for.

I have read a lot of camp novels. None of them have really truly satisfied me. While there are some good ones out there and some important ones too, they always seemed a little too reserved, a little too buttoned up for me to enjoy. Most of them are written by nisei and sansei. Maybe there's something constraining about writing about something you had to bear witness to. It's hard to imagine
Jordan Bingham
Mar 27, 2021 rated it liked it
I think my first book of 'short stories' in that each chapter was relatively self-contained and I found that aspect really enjoyable. Some stories definitely piqued my interest more than others. I dived into this book thinking I might learn a bit more about WW2. I did get to see the war from a different perspective i.e. that of a Japanese internment camp, however the stories definitely took precedence over the oppressive backdrop. I think what precluded me from loving this book is that I was con ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A charming little book of stories about a Japanese couple in an Arizona internment camp during WWII, who appear in every chapter as different characters in strange, whimsical, sad, and beautiful stories, with no shortage of curious dreams and talking insects.
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange but beautifully crafted stories of detainees in a internment camp during world war 2.
Elliott Moore
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Enjoyed, and a very unique book.

Didn't fully "get it" though and I blame myself more than the book. I think many people would enjoy this and take more away from it than I did.

In saying that, it was an entertaining style, with really enjoyable characters and stories intertwined with a bit of a history lesson in the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II which I knew nothing about.

Good book, would just about recommend to those who aren't afraid to be adventurous.
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gem after gem. The structure is brilliantly used. Highly recommend.
sumi kawaguchi
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely well written, thought provoking and whimsical. The characters are thoughtfully built, and their presence remains with you long after the book is finished. I hope Kiik graces the literary world with more of his work.
Janet K
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This debut is a remarkable treasure. The style is reminiscent of Aimee Bender, George Saunders, and Haruki Murakami; not in a derivative voice, but one that buzzes with freshness and wisdom. In these stories that follow the detainees, names are recalled as echos of individuals from one story to the next. The stories stand alone and lightly tie and crossover with each other. The writing expertly strikes humor and tragedy all at once. These images stick with you for days. What makes this novel spe ...more
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Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi writes dreampop speculative fictions and darkwave minimalist poetry that can be enjoyed on a bus ride or in line for coffee. All his best stories have something to do with talking insects. His best poems are X-Men fan fiction. He is the author of DISINTEGRATION MADE PLAIN AND EASY and THE BOOK OF KANE AND MARGARET.

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