Book Review | Malafemmena by Louisa Ermelino

malafemmena

Malafemmena is a collection of Ermelino’s short stories, some previously published, focusing on female protagonists in untraditional situations. The sixteen pieces are of varying lengths and take place at different times, on different continents, over the past few decades. From women crossing borders abroad, to drug fueled relaxeés on permanent holiday, to the delusional and victimized, Ermelino has incorporated tales for all depraved readers to relate to.

Ermelino’s distinctive writing style is both easy to read and picturesque. The reader will be able to envision two naked women described sharing a bed in a rented room in India and other scenes. Tastefully written, some of these stories are particularly thought provoking. Though sex, drugs and violence are incorporated into the stories, none of them are overdone. Some of the character’s delusions are quite impressive, and some of the stories are much better than others. This book is a quick read, great for commute or travel. Check it out from a library near you.

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Film Review | Kantai (Hospitalité) by Koji Fukada

Hospitalite dvd coverTitled in English Welcome to Our House, Hospitalité tells the story of a Japanese family whose hospitality is tested when an employee hired with room and board brings numerous others to live in the family home. After the death of his father, Kobayashi is running the family printing business out of his house where he lives with his daughter, younger second wife and divorced sister. Things seem balanced enough until the printing apprentice takes ill and Kagawa is hired on and given a room. Sequentially, his English speaking “wife” moves in and soon seduces Kobayashi, putting him in a position where he cannot argue Kagawa’s outlandish decisions. Kagawa continues to bring more residents into the house until it is overflowing and culminates in the events of a birthday party for Kobayashi’s wife.

Fukada does a good job in this film of portraying a bizarre series of events without being overly dramatic. The dialogue is more ample than in most current Japanese films and interesting scenes and relationships keep the audience’s attention. Billed as a comedy, you may find yourself laughing from time to time. Check out Hospitalité from a library near you.