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The first major English translation of one of contemporary Japan's most celebrated, award-winning authors.
Yoko Ogawa has won every major Japanese literary award including the Akutagawa and the Tanizaki Prizes. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope. Her works include The Housekeeper and the Professor, Hotel Iris and Revenge.
In this first book-length translation into English, Japanese author Ogawa's three polished tales demonstrate her knack for a crafty, suspenseful hook. Each is narrated in the listless, emotionally remote voice of a young woman, such as the high schooler of the title story whose infatuation with her foster brother, Jun, prompts her to obsessively observe his diving practice. As the daughter of religious parents who run an orphanage, Aya feels alienated from the workings of the so-called Light House and finds an outlet for her frustration in romantic fantasy about Jun as well as in tormenting-shockingly-an orphan baby. The underhandedly creepy "Dormitory" is narrated by a Tokyo wife who begins nursing the ailing, armless one-legged manager at her old college dormitory. The manager's increasingly alarming tale of love for one of the renters, now vanished, enthralls the wife. "Pregnancy Diary" offers a bit of levity, narrated by a young unmarried woman whose rage toward her pregnant sister take the form of cooking her grapefruit jam prepared from fruit treated with a chromosome-altering chemical. Ogawa's tales possess a gnawing, erotic edge. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Written in haunting, spare, shimmering prose...punctuated by acts of casual violence and vindictive spite. Profoundly unsettling, magnificently written and instantly memorable, these stories vindicate [Ogawa's] status as one of Japan's greatest living writers" * Guardian * "Yoko Ogawa's British debut is inexcusably belated....Ogawa is a conspicuously gifted writer... Not a word is wasted, yet each resonates with a blend of poetry and tension... mesmerising... To read Ogawa is to enter a dreamlike state tinged with a nightmare, and her stories continue to haunt. She possesses an effortless, glassy, eerie brilliance. She should be discovered in Britain, and this book must surely begin the process" * Guardian * "The three Japanese novellas in The Diving Pool are both creepy and disturbingly lovely...spine-tingling uncertainty surfaces throughout the haunting prose" * Dazed & Confused * "A fine collection of three queasily unsettling novellas... She invests the most seemingly banal domestic situations with a chilling and malevolent sense of perversity, marking her out as a master of subtle psychological horror" * Daily Telegraph * "An intriguing trilogy of exquisitely sketched stories... Elegant, intelligent, quietly disturbing" * Financial Times *