A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
Born after Hiroshima, the writers in this dazzling collection of short stories represent the American debut of the best contemporary Japanese fiction. Inhabiting the exotic interstice between cultural traditionalism and high-tech futurism, the stories in this volume offer a rich portrait of the Japanese sensibility the zeitgeist that is transforming the way the rest of the world views itself. Sections include Kitchen” by Banana Yoshimoto, A Callow Fellow of Jewish Descent” by Masahiko Shimada, On Meeting My 100 Percent Woman One Fine April Morning” by Haruki Murakami, Swallowtails” by Shiina Mkoto, God Is Nowhere; God Is Now Here” by Itoh Seikoh, X-Rated Blanket” by Eimi Yamada, Yu-Hee” by Yang Ji Lee, On a Moonless Night by Sei Takekawa, Living in a Maze” by Kyoji Kobayashi, The Imitation of Leibniz” by Genichiro Takahashi, The Unsinkable Molly Brown” by Tamio Kageyama, and Wine” by Mariko Hayashi.
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Refuting the popular belief that literature in Japan is "dead," novelist McInerney states that current fiction there shows "the hybrid vigor of the traditional and the modern." While certainly vigorous, these 12 stories, all by prizewinning writers, are less "hybrid" than cutting-edge cosmopolitan: although primarily set in Japan, they seem products of a pure universe in which Kafka and the Divine Comedy are common points of reference; in which Helen Keller is so well known that an anecdote describing her progress need identify her only by first name. Mitsios, a professor of English, assembles an impressive range of literary ambassadors, from Sei Takekawa's sophisticated horror tale "On a Moonless Night" to Genichiro Takahashi's baseball story "The Imitation of Leibniz" and Eimi Yamada's erotic "X-Rated Blanket." Among the more poignant entries is Shiina Makoto's "Swallowtails," in which a teacher tells a struggling young couple that a classmate has accused their son of stealing, while perhaps the most comic is "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," by Tamio Kageyama, about an obese student at a scuba-diving school. This anthology should firmly resolve debates about the vitality of Japanese fiction.
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Mitsios assembles an impressive range of literary ambassadors. This anthology should firmly resolve debates about the vitality of Japanese fiction.” Publishers Weekly
A happy marriage of contemporary Western culture with the traditional Japanese sensibility makes this story collection by young Japanese writers a worthwhile successor to a distinguished literary past.” Kirkus Reviews
"Ms. Mitsios has assembled an intelligent collection." Herbert Mitgang, New York Times Book Review
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Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110871134268
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0871134268 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0459594