The Word Book

Japanese Literature Series
Mieko Kanai
Translated by Paul McCarthy

Like the surfaces of a jagged crystal, each story in this collection shows an entirely different facet when viewed from a different angle. Playing games with the basic units of both life and fiction—the solid certainties of the self, the world around us, and the words we use to describe these things to one another—Mieko Kanai creates a reality where nothing is certain, and where a little boy going out to run errands for his mother might find that he’s an adult, and his mother long dead, at the end of a single train ride. Using precise language to describe dreamlike plots owing as much to Kafka and Barthelme as to Kenzaburō Ōe and the long tradition of the Japanese folktale of the macabre, The Word Book is an unforgettable voyage to absurd, hilarious, and terrifying locales, and is the English-language debut for one of the greatest and most interesting Japanese writers working today.

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Translated by Paul McCarthy
Publication: Japanese Literature Series
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 180
ISBN-13: 9781564785664
GTIN13: 9781564785664
Publication date: 10/1/2009
Language: eng
List price: $14.95