Diary of a Void (Paperback)
  • Diary of a Void (Paperback)
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Diary of a Void (Paperback)

(author), (translator), (translator)
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£9.99
Paperback 224 Pages
Published: 03/08/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Perfect for fans of Convenience Store Woman, this award-winning Japanese debut revolving around a fake pregnancy is a triumphant mix of comedy, tension and social commentary.

As the only woman in her office, Ms Shibata is expected to do all the menial tasks. One day she announces that she can't clear away her coworkers' dirty cups - because she's pregnant and the smell nauseates her. The only thing is... Ms Shibata is not pregnant.

Pregnant Ms Shibata doesn't have to serve coffee to anyone. Pregnant Ms Shibata isn't forced to work overtime. Pregnant Ms Shibata can rest, watch TV, take long baths, and even join an aerobics class for expectant mothers. But she has a nine-month ruse to keep up. Before long, it becomes all-absorbing, and with the help of towel-stuffed shirts and a diary app that tracks every stage of her 'pregnancy', the boundary between her lie and her life begins to dissolve.

Diary of a Void will keep you turning the pages to see just how far Ms Shibata will go.

Translated from the Japanese by David Boyd and Lucy North.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781529114812
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 159 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

If you're in the mood for a matter-of-fact and incredibly thought-provoking read, you'll love Yagi's writing. - Stylist

The tension grows along with the comedic details. . . . Diary of a Void starts as stylish satire... but it becomes something even more profound. Always expect the unexpected when you're not expecting. - Sloane Crosley, Departures

A subversive, surreal read that will strike a cord. - Red Magazine

One of the most passionate cases I've ever read for female interiority, for women's creative pulse and rich inner life. - The New Yorker

Endlessly strange, funny and meaningful... This book is a powerful exploration of what it means to be single and childless, and of the impact of work on our bodies and mental health - Good Housekeeping, Books of the Year*

Yagi has a light touch for the endless ironies made possible by her premise. There is humor, but also the realization that the alienation of pregnancy and motherhood is no reprieve from the oppressive office culture that inspires Shibata's experiment. - Lauren Oyler, New York Times Book Review

Delightful . . . Yagi's focus is on how acting pregnant reshapes Shibata's relationship to herself... Yet the book never idealizes pregnancy...We see the difficulty of being a woman with or without a child, and Yagi emphasizes how society makes both roles harder... If you've ever wanted to bite back at a nosy boss, a rude co-worker, an unfair assignment, or the endless list of shoulds we face, then maybe you'll find something to enjoy in Shibata's audacity too. - Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, The Atlantic

One of the most intriguing new novels of the summer. - Independent

Shibata is a modern-day Bartleby. - The Baffler

Darkly funny and surprisingly tender. - Kirsty Logan, author of THINGS WE SAY IN THE DARK

In Diary of a Void, what begins as a bud of a lie blossoms into a gripping and thought provoking examination of womanhood and motherhood in a patriarchal society. A short read but by no means is this a small story. - An Yu, author of BRAISED PORK

So tightly written, and so much fun to read. - Kikuko Tsumura, author of THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN EASY JOB

Comical and tender, absurd, bold and joyful. - Aysegul Savas, author of WHITE ON WHITE

Yagi captures Shibata's loneliness and the community she's granted upon 'falling into step' with her married peers in such a keen way that, reading along, you're on pins and needles to discover what will happen... The [fun] premise pays off. - Eliza Smith, Literary Hub

Riveting and surreal . . . Absurdist, amusing, and clever, the story brings subtlety and tact to its depiction of workplace discrimination-as well as a touch of magic. Readers will eagerly turn the pages all the way to the bold conclusion. - Publishers Weekly

A book that reflects on life, solitude and what it means to be a woman. - Financial Times, Books of the Year*

A surreal, engrossing meditation on loneliness, womanhood, and what it actually means to have a work-life balance. - Ruth Murai, Mother Jones

Takes office toxicity and how we cope to new heights. - Fortune

I found myself completely captivated by this novel's unusual and inviting premise and all that it questions and stirs up. - Aimee Bender, author of THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE

I loved it. It's incredible. Diary of a Void is joyful, exuberant, and triumphant. It made my heart sing. - Claire Oshetsky, author of CHOUETTE

Filled with sly humor and touching intimacy, Diary of a Void builds from its revolutionary premise into a powerfully resonant story of longing and defiance. An absolutely thrilling read - I didn't want to put it down. - Claire Stanford, author of HAPPY FOR YOU

In this fictional diary of a pregnant woman, it is the real, rather than the made-up, aspects of society, such as single parenting and discrimination against women in the workplace, that are powerfully depicted. - Kyoko Nakajima, author of THE LITTLE HOUSE

Yagi artfully blurs the boundary between truth and lies with this riotous solution to women's workplace challenges. - The Washington Post

[A] penetrating look at working life and gender expectations... In a tone perfectly modulated in Boyd and North's translation, Shibata's dry observations and choices are both relatable and humorous...At the heart of the story is Yagi's wry and witty consideration of how one woman, tangled up in a web of deceit, struggles to live a meaningful life through work and her relationships with others. - The Japan Times

Charming and funny - Crack Magazine

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Steve at Trafalgar Square

“Arthouse Isekai For Lovers Of Language”

The premise of Diary Of A Void is simple; a single lie and its consequences.

The ensuing plot is paper thin, but this novel is not concerned with linear narrative so much as an aggregation of metaphors, imagery and... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 25

“Quirky!”

Thank you to the publishers for this review copy, I loved it!
Such a quirky read but also really makes you consider...
In order to not work long hours and to not have to do everything for everyone how far would you... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 23

“Social Commentary but a bit of a jumble.”

A woman is tired at being asked to do the most menial of tasks in an office that is mainly staffed by .She pretends that she is pregnant and it is only then that her tasks are distributed between the other staff and... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 21

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