Monday 7 February 2022

Book Review: Solo Dance by Li Kotomi (LGBT/Contemporary Fiction)

Title: Solo Dance
Author: Li Kotomi
Publisher: World Editions
Publication Date: 7 June 2022 (2018)
Pages: 133
eBook - EPUB
Genre: LGBT/Contemporary
ARC via NetGalley

Cho Norie, twenty-seven and originally from Taiwan, is working an office job in Tokyo. While her colleagues worry about the economy, life-insurance policies, marriage, and children, she is forced to keep her unconventional life hidden—including her sexuality and the violent attack that prompted her move to Japan. There is also her unusual fascination with death: she knows from personal experience how devastating death can be, but for her it is also creative fuel. Solo Dance depicts the painful coming of age of a gay person in Taiwan and corporate Japan. This striking debut is an intimate and powerful account of a search for hope after trauma.

Solo Dance was a short but intense read which deals with some dark themes including homophobia, rape and suicide. As such, this piece won't be for everyone, but I found it engaging and thought-provoking, as well as interesting in the way it looked at evolving LGBT acceptance (or not) in Taiwan and Japan. I found it bleak, but not depressing, and I enjoyed all the literary and cultural references throughout. Reactions to this book will vary, I think, but if the darker subject matter doesn't put you off, I think you will find this book as worthwhile read.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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