I'm Thu. I'm a culture critic at The Japan Times, based in Tokyo. I write about art, books, and occasionally TV. I've written about adults coloring and women defending themselves. Also circles, commas, and the letter "g." My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Quartz, Wired, Slate, Catapult, The Believer, and ArtReview, among others.
In 2022, I'm writing a literary letter from Tokyo called the weekly grief.
Previously I was the books reporter for Quartz and context editor at TED. I also cofounded TEDxNewYork and was the executive producer of its first two flagship events. My debut novel, Hail Caesar, was published in 2007 by Scholastic/PUSH and was named an NYPL Book for the Teen Age.
I'm the grateful recipient of a 2021 Blakemore Freeman Fellowship for the study of advanced Japanese. Previously I was an Atlantic Media fellow and a Fulbright grantee in Turkey.
Here's a selection of my writing.
Essays and criticism
Heaven, by Mieko Kawakami (The Washington Post)
The Fifth Risk, by Michael Lewis (Quartz)
Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston (Quartz)
Walter De Maria’s "The Lightning Field" (The Believer)
Christian Marclay's "Found in Odawara" (ArtReview)
teamLab's "art with rinkan sauna" (ArtReview Asia)
HBO's My Brilliant Friend (Quartz)
Netflix/Sanrio's Aggretsuko (Quartz)
Stories appear on Quartz unless otherwise noted.
What's not in a name? (The Believer)
On the business of books
Thanks for stopping by.