From internationally bestselling crime writer Natsuo Kirino comes a mythical feminist noir about family secrets, broken loyalties, and the search from truth in a deceitful world.
In a place like no other, on a mystical island in the shape of tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of oracles. Kamikuu is admired far and wide for her otherworldly beauty; small and headstrong Namima learns to live in her sister’s shadow. On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is chosen to become the next Oracle, serving the realm of light, while Namima is forced to serve the realm of darkness destined to spend eternity guiding the spirits of the deceased to the underworld.
As the sisters serve opposite fates, Namima embarks on a journey that takes her from the experience of first love to the aftermath of scalding betrayal. Caught in an elaborate web of treachery, she travels between the land of the living and the Realm of the Dead, seeking vengeance and closure.
At the heart of this exquisitely dark tale, Kirino masterfully reimagines the ancient Japanese creation myth of Izanami and Izanaki. A provocative, fantastical saga, The Goddess Chronicle tells a sumptuous story of sex, murder, gods and goddesses, and bittersweet revenge.
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Natuso Kirino is a leading figure in the recent boom of female writers of Japanese hard-boiled crime fiction. A prolific writer, she is most famous for her 1998 novel, Out, which received the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction, Japan's top mystery award and was a finalist (in translation) for the 2004 Edgar Award. So far, four of her novels have been translated into English: Out, Grotesque, Real World and What Remains.
Rebecca Copeland is a professor of Japanese literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where her research and teaching focuses on women, gender, and translation studies. A fan of Natsuo Kirino's work, she also translated her 2003 novel GrotesqueReview:
"Kirino wows with her latest novel . . . [her] elegant writing brings Namima a tragic, sympathetic heroine to vivid life. Readers will devour this tragic story and be left transformed." Publishers Weekly
"Both realistic and dreamlike . . . Kirino writes lyrically as she spins a magical and ethereal tale." Kirkus Reviews
"Kirino’s foray into folklore shares similarities with her earlier novels, namely, female characters who, wronged by lovers, choose to resist societal expectations and fight to rectify injustice. Readers who enjoy crime fiction or re-envisioned myth will find that this imaginative veneer works well on such reliable scaffolding." Booklist
"A dark and lovely feminist retelling of the Japanese creation myth." NPR.com
"Kirino captures the rivalry-laced love of sisters, the bitterness of the female role in mythology and the destructive powers of yearning for vengeance." Shelf Awareness
"[An] enthralling tale of love, death and sisterhood. . . . It serves to immerse us in a world and mythology very different from our own. And yet, in the end, not so different." Washington Independent Review of Books
"Charged with the power of Japanese myth, tempered by the author’s resonant prose, and propelled by a young woman’s love and sorrow, The Goddess Chronicle is a haunting fable, a literary phantasia." Alan Brennert, author of Moloka’i and Honolulu
"Kirino is a master at creating an atmosphere of unease and distrust between her characters. In her skillful hands we see that the divide between man and woman is greater than the one between humans and gods. . . . [The Goddess Chronicle] is a taut, disturbing and timeless tale, filled with rage and pathos for the battles that women have to fight every day, battles which have, apparently, existed from the moment of creation." The Guardian (UK)
"The central narrative is lyrical, with an impelling storyline that demands attention . . . This is a compelling tale, with foundations in an allegory-rich fable that more than deserves its rejuvenation." The Independent (UK)
"Kirino enjoys depicting her heavenly characters as capricious and temperamental, much like the Greek gods. Yet despite the very human motivations of all involved, Kirino maintains an air of intriguing supernatural strangeness." Metro (UK)
"A spectacle that includes multiple layers of opposing forces . . . [Kirino] uniquely depicts an unruly mythological world." Shincho Magazine
"In her wildly far-reaching tale of relations between gods and men, men and women, life and death, darkness and light, Kirino tells a peripatetic, global, and truly satisfying love story of how it is to be human." Stella Duffy
"If you have enough time, I’m going to recommend you sit down and read this one straight through. . . . Although The Goddess Chronicle is not a mystery story, per se, I felt the same kind of insistent tug to read on that I get when reading mysteries." Three Percent
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Book Description Bantam Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111847673023