Here’s a book I read with enjoyment and very little criticism. It follows a young American couple (Marina and Carolyn) as they move in together for the first time when they move to Japan to teach English. The culture shock and new pressures and expectations are beautifully integrated into the story.
The book incorporates many of the themes I like to see included: race, sexuality, culture, personal growth, relationship challenges, LGBTTQ*, mental illness, weird families, friendship, suicide, and so on—without making a big deal about any of them. Continue reading →
Content warning for discussion of flashbacks, child abuse, domestic abuse, and trauma.
Workplace cubicles don’t allow for privacy.
On the small floor where I work, a small second floor perched like a hat on a larger building, the windowed offices ring a large area which has been packed with cubicles. At one end of this rectangle is the access stairwell. At the very far end from that stairwell is my workspace. The cubicles end, and my desk and filing cabinets are in the stub of space just past the fire exit stairwell.
It’s an old building. The heating and cooling are iffy, approximate, and likely controlled by someone in a different time zone. As a result, people tend keep their office doors open to improve air circulation.
This means everyone hears everything. We all know about each other’s kidney stones, grandchildren, car troubles, and how well we all slept last night.