First English translation of an amazing debut novella by a major and incredibly prolific Japanese author
Tsugami, the editor-in-chief of a newspaper in war-scarred Osaka, agrees to sponsor a bullfight. For months this great gamble consumes him, makes him as wary and combative as if he was in a ring himself. And, as he becomes ever more distant, his lover Sakiko is unsure if she would like to see him succeed or be destroyed.
Yasushi Inoue's novella won him the prestigious Akutagawa Prize and established him as one of Japan's most acclaimed authors. From the planning of a bullfight-through Tsugami's struggle, his focus and his aloneness-he crafts something intensely memorable, a compelling existential tale.
Born in 1907, Yasushi Inoue worked as a journalist and literary editor for many years, only beginning his prolific career as an author in 1949 with Bullfight. He went on to publish 50 novels and 150 short stories, both historical and contemporary, his work making him one of Japan's major literary figures. In 1976 Inoue was presented with the Order of Culture, the highest honour granted for artistic merit in Japan. He died in 1991.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Number of pages: 128
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 165 x 120 x 13 mm
Intense, brilliantly paced narrative...Inoue's masterful novella triumphs through a series of perceptive character studies. It is a wonderful book, ironic yet sympathetic, and the perspective cleverly shifts between the players and their expectations, some complex, some relatively simple -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times Superb... a straightforward depiction of urban life expands into a rich, philosophical exploration of human agency and choice... Pushkin Press has performed a valuable service in making this great work available in English Independent on Sunday Perfection is the only word to describe this subtle tale of a plan to host a bullfight in a Japan still battered by the second World War -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times A disarmingly simple tale of ambition and entrepreneurial daring... written in tight, confident prose... Pushkin's exquisitely produced edition provides readers of English with long-overdue access to an important Japanese voice. There are plans to publish more... If Bullfight is any guide, what follows should be well worth the wait -- David Pilling Financial Times Rich with imagery and meaning that few novels manage today -- Chris Corker Japan Society Bullfight, a beautifully crafted tale, is a delight to read and its translation into English is long overdue World Today Written in spare, clean prose, and excellently translated by Michael Emmerich, Bullfight is a powerful, accessible read... Pushkin's edition is not only a beautifully produced physical object in itself, but an important and long-overdue introduction of a masterful writer to the anglosphere. With another title forthcoming from Pushkin this year, we may all hope to see Inoue's work achieve the global readership it so richly deserves -- Ariel Starling Quarterly Conversation A modern Japanese master... Inoue's humane and searching world view is there to be explored and these two novellas reward the effort -- (on Bullfight and The Hunting Gun) Spectator Both of these novellas are delightfully reminiscent of the works of Ryuunosuke Akutagawa... Inoue and Akutagawa were both intellectuals who managed to restrain over-intellectualisation in their writings. They wrote compassionately, but without a hint of sentimentality -- (Praise for Bullfight and The Hunting Gun) Times Literary Supplement Inoue's prose is wonderful - deceptively clear and lucid on the surface, but with sufficient depth and subtlety to make this a very satisfying and meaningful novella JacquiWine's Journal