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In her skillful debut novel, Kij Johnson took the classic Japanese myth of the fox who dared to become a woman to win true love and created The Fox Woman, a luminous, lyrical tale of love, desire, joy, and the nature of the soul.
Set in the same universe as The Fox Woman, this time Kij Johnson takes on another animal totem and enters the world of the creature who comes to be known as Kagaya-hime, a sometime woman warrior, occasional philosopher, and reluctant confidante to noblemen.
And who may or may not be the figment of the imagination of an aging empress who is embarking on the last journey of her life, setting aside the trappings of court life and reminiscing as she follows the paths that are leading her to the nunnery and death.
Fudoki is the tale of a being who starts her journey on the kami, or spirit road, as a humble-if ever a being such as a Cat can be humble-small tortoiseshell feline. She has seen her family destroyed by a fire that decimated most of the Imperial city. This loss renders her taleless, the only one left alive to pass on such stories as The Cat Born the Year the Star Fell, the Cat with a Litter of Ten, the Fire-Tailed Cat. Without her fudoki-self and soul and home and shrine-she cannot keep the power of her clan together. And she cannot join another fudoki because, although she might be able to win a place within another clan, to do so would mean that she would cease to be herself.
So a small cat begins an extraordinary journey. Along the way she will attract the attention of old and ancient powers, including gods who are curious about this creature newly come to Japan's shores, and who choose to give the tortoiseshell a human shape.
And who set her on a new kami road, where Kagaya-hime will have to choose a way to find what happiness she can.
Weaving a haunting story of one being's transformation and journey of discovery with the telling of another's long life set against the backdrop of the courtly rituals of Imperial power, Kij Johnson has written a powerful novel about the nature of freedom and the redemptive power of transformation--if only one is brave enough to risk it all.
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Praise for Kij Johnson and The Fox Woman
"A magnificent book, powerfully and profoundly moving; in its moods and atmosphere, utterly magical, a genuine and unique work of high art. The Fox Woman immediately sets the author in the front rank of today's novelists."
"The Fox Woman is one of the more notable fantasy novels in recent memory."
"If you are a smash-and-grab, blood-on-the-sword fantasy reader, this astonishingly lyrical first novel about a medieval Japanese shapeshifter is not for you. But if you want lush prose, romantic settings, and a poetry-of-the-soul book, run-do not walk-to get this. God, I wish I had written it!"
"Steeped in historical detail, Johnson's prose is uncommonly musical; it captures the atmosphere of Japan's old courts while avoiding ostentation."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Kij Johnson reminds us that the magic (and strength) of Fantasy is seeing ourselves in the mirror of the Other. Never has that mirror shimmered more seductively. Look."
"A moving examination of passion and the gaining of hard-won knowledge¿this tale entirely escapes the constraints of standard fairy tales to stand entirely on its own as a celebration of that far-from-mundane thing we call life."
"The Fox Woman is a wonderfully evocative and gripping novel, a book that will stay with you and resonate in your heart long after the final page is turned."
-Charles de Lint
Kij Johnson is the author of several novels, including The Fox Woman and Fudoki. Her short fiction has sold to Amazing Stories, Analog, Asimov's, Duelist Magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Realms of Fantasy. She won the Theodore A. Sturgeon award for the best short story of 1994 for her novelette in Asimov's, "Fox Magic." In 2001, she won the International Association for the Fantastic in the Art's Crawford Award for best new fantasy novelist of the year.
She taught writing and science-fiction writing at Louisiana State University and at the University of Kansas, and has lectured on creativity and writing at bookstores and businesses across the country. Since 1994, she has assisted at the Writer's Workshop for Science Fiction, hosted by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. Since 1999, she has taught a series of writing seminars at the GenCon Game Fair.
In the past ten years, she has worked as managing editor at Tor Books; collections and special editions editor for Dark Horse Comics; editor, continuity manager and creative director for Wizards of the Coast; and as a program manager on the Microsoft Reader. She has also run chain and independent bookstores, worked as a radio announcer and engineer, edited cryptic crosswords, and waitressed in a strip bar.
She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with her husband, writer Chris McKitterick, a dog and two cats.
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Book Description Tor Books, New York, 2003. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Michael Dringenberg (illustrator). First edition/second printing. Set in the same universe as Johnson's THE FOX WOMAN, this is the tale of a small tortoiseshell feline who gains human form and begins her journey on the KAMI -- spirit road -- to seek happiness after her family is destroyed. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR; signed at Norwescon in SeaTac, WA, 2004. Signature comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 000172
Book Description Condition: New. NEW COPY, shipped from the UK. Seller Inventory # 093/TE/500H
Book Description Tor Books, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110765303906
Book Description Tor Books, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0765303906
Book Description Tor Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0765303906 Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Seller Inventory # XM-0765303906