A review by teseyasfalcon
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women by Grace Chan, Gabriela Lee, Nadia Bulkin, Alma Katsu, Geneve Flynn, Rin Chupeco, Angela Yuriko Smith, Rena Mason, Elaine Cuyegkeng, Christina Sng, Lee Murray

  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot


I was really excited to read this, because the concept is fantastic and one we sorely need more of. I'll always advocate for more angry Asian women stories, and I strongly resonate with feminine anger and horror as a genre. There was an enjoyably wide range of genres and inspirations, and some truly incredible concepts, twists, and images throughout the book, with Grace Chan's horrific, layered and poignant "The Mark" as a true standout. However, a lot of the other stories didn't quite work for me in execution; a lot of them felt underdeveloped, and I wished a lot of them were better paced and had more depth, for such a meaningful theme. I was slightly surprised there was no queer rep in an anthology about othered Asian women.

I was also jarred by the italicisation of non-English words, and there was also reason we needed, in an anthology of Asian voices, a white writer doing the afterword talking about how the stories rang true based on her generalisations from living in Japan for 2 years as a teenager.