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Touring the Land of the Dead (Paperback)
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Touring the Land of the Dead (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
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£11.99
Paperback 144 Pages / Published: 04/03/2021
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PICKED BY THE GUARDIAN AS 'FICTION TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2021' A dream-like, emotionally charged narrative by a bold new voice in Japanese fiction A mesmerizing combination of two tales about memory, loss and love, both told with stylistic inventiveness and breath-taking sensitivity. Taichi was forced to stop working almost a decade ago and since then he and his wife Natsuko have been getting by on her part-time wages. But Natsuko is a woman accustomed to hardship. When her own family's fortune dried up years during her childhood, she, her brother, and her mother lived a surreal hand-to-mouth existence shaped by her mother's refusal to accept their new station in life. One day, Natsuko sees an ad for a spa and recognizes the place as the former luxury hotel that Natsuko's grandfather had taken her mother to when she was little. She decides to take her damaged husband to the spa, despite the cost, but their time there triggers hard but ultimately redemptive memories relating to the complicated history of her family. The overnight trip becomes a voyage into the netherworld - a journey to the doors of death and back to life. Modelled on a classic story by Junichiro Tanizaki, Ninety-Nine Kisses is the second story in this book and it portrays in touching and lyrical fashion the lives of the four unmarried sisters in a historical, close-knit neighbourhood of contemporary Tokyo. "Kashimada is a writer who brings something truly rich." - Nikkei "The tense disquiet that hangs over the work has a unique charm. This is a world that only Kashimada could have depicted." - Yoko Ogawa

Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
ISBN: 9781787702806
Number of pages: 144
Dimensions: 210 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"While Kashimada's stories, like Murakami's, resist easy interpretation, the former revel in the beauty of experience, whether sorrowful or joyous, affirming life in all its strangeness, horror and mystery." * TLS *
Fiction to look out for in 2021 "Magical Japanese novel: Maki Kashimada's Touring the Land of the Dead asks whether places are haunted by their own past." * The Guardian *
"Two polished novellas, though different in mood, probe family relationships with insight and elegance." * Tatler *
"Kashimada's writing is exceptional; this collection is dark and suffocating. It is part of a trend in Japan of female authors rewriting traditional and well-loved stories through a feminist lens, and is a welcome addition to the works by Japanese women being translated into English." * The Spectator *
"A spare and profound story, beautifully translated." * Waterstones *
"The tense disquiet that hangs over the work has a unique charm. This is a world that only Kashimada could have depicted." -- Yoko Ogawa
"While difficult to pin down, this novel is particularly compelling. This sense of sincerity comes, I think, not from the strength of the emotions put into the novel, but rather from the author's writing style, and is a credit to her craftsmanship." -- Hiromi Kawakami
"An intriguing introduction to a significant voice in contemporary Japanese fiction." * Kirkus Reviews *
"Kashimada is a writer who brings something truly rich." -- Nikkei
"Maki Kashimada writes about one woman's trauma with razor-perfect concision and an austere beauty." * Asian Review of Books *
"It's fair to make comparisons here with Hiromi Kawakami's Strange Weather in Tokyo and Yoko Ogawa's The Housekeeper and the Professor, and Kashimada's tale is a similar example of an unusual love story that simply works..." * Tony's Reading List *

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“Two compelling short stories”

Two short novellas that, at first, seem quite different, but on closer reading reveal a common theme of a woman who feels that her identity is formed by those around her, that she has no real sense of self, and who... More

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“All that I have come to expect of a Japanese novel - intense and spare, with a lingering resonance.”

The book consists of two short stories. The first a compelling story of a woman trapped in a claustrophobic family situation, with a manipulative, cruel and profligate mother and brother. Her family are unable to... More

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Helpful? Upvote 2

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