Inside And Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women By Japanese Women by Cathy LayneInside And Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women By Japanese Women by Cathy Layne

Inside And Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women By Japanese Women

EditorCathy LayneForeword byRuth Ozeki

Hardcover | June 30, 2006

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Inside and Other Short Fiction showcases the most original, thoughtful and cutting-edge fiction from Japanese women writers today. The short stories in this collection explore the issue of female identity in a rapidly changing society, where women have unprecedented sexual and economic freedom. From teens to fifty-somethings; married, single, divorced; the high school girl, the career woman, the sex worker, the housewife, the mother - the anthology deals frankly and explicitly with a broad range of women's experiences. The very best of recent writing has been selected, including prize-winning novelists and authors never before published in English.Why women? Recently, English translations of literature by Japanese women about Japanese women have been causing quite a stir overseas. Miyuki Miyabe's novels are in demand, and Natsuo Kirino's Out won acclaim not only as a gripping mystery thriller, but also for its hard-hitting portrayal of contemporary women's lives. Akutagawa prizewinner Hitomi Kanehara's Snakes and Earrings, a violent and sexually explicit tale of a young girl's involvement in a youth subculture of tattooing and body piercing has also recently been published in English. Inside capitalizes on the obvious interest in fictional portrayals of modern Japanese women's lives, and particularly in gritty stories of women who subvert the "good wife and wise mother"/geisha stereotypes often prevalent in the West.Japanese women now find themselves living in an era where women have more sexual and economic freedom than ever before. The traditional family unit supported by the stay-at-home wife and mother is breaking down, the birthrate is falling, divorce is on the increase, and growing numbers of women are delaying marriage or not getting married at all. Opportunities for women in the workplace are increasing. Contemporary literature reflects these dizzying changes, and also provides a forum for Japanese women to explore and reflect upon their role in society.
Cathy Layne is a Kodansha author.
Title:Inside And Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women By Japanese WomenFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.93 inPublished:June 30, 2006Publisher:KodanshaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:4770030061

ISBN - 13:9784770030061

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Table of Contents

CONTENTSForeword by Ruth Ozeki Milk (2004) by Tamaki DaidoA teenage girl offers a frank, humorous and touching commentary on her life as she goes through three years of high school, touching on friendships, family and her emerging sexuality.Tamaki Daido won the Akutagawa Prize in 2002 for her novel Shoppai Doraibu.Inside (2004) by Rio ShimamotoThe story of a teenage girl's first sexual relationship, against the backdrop of her parents' divorce..Rio Shimamoto was born in 1983. She was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize in 2004 at the age of twenty.Piss (1997) by Yuzuki MuroiThe sexually explicit story of a twenty-year-old prostitute who maintains her optimism and will to survive despite callous treatment at the hands of her boyfriend and clients.Yuzuki Muroi is a prolific, popular and outspoken essayist, novelist and TV commentator.My Son's Lips (2000) by Shungiku UchidaThe humorous tale of a harassed working mother struggling to maintain her identity as a woman amid the absurdly trivial demands of everyday domestic life.Shungiku Uchida is a popular novelist and manga artist, who shocked Japan in 1993 with the publication of the novel Father Fucker, a harrowing story of domestic sexual abuse that became a bestseller.Fiesta (2001) by Amy YamadaA sophisticated psychological portrait of the sexual desire of a repressed woman.Amy Yamada is a bestselling author with several works translated into English, including Trash, published by Kodansha America in 1995 and the forthcoming Bedtime Eyes from St. Martin's. Fans of Yamada's earlier work will be interested to see how she has matured as a writer.Her Room (2003) by Chiya FujinoThe subtle and powerful story of the relationship between two women, one divorced and one single.Chiya Fujino is a transexual. She won the Akutagawa Prize in 1999 for her novel Yoru no Yakusoku.The Unfertilized Egg (2004) by Junko HasegawaA hard-hitting, wryly humorous portrait of the life of a 36-year-old single woman who suddenly realizes that time is running out if she wants to have a baby.Junko Hasegawa is a well-known essayist. This story is taken from Hatsuga, her first collection of fiction.The Shadow of the Orchid (1998) by Nobuko TakagiA fifty-year-old woman resents the relationship between her doctor husband and a beautiful young cancer patient. When the girl dies, the husband brings home the gaudy, powerfully scented orchid that had been on her bedside table. In the suffocating presence of the orchid, the woman has an imaginary conversation with the dead girl.Nobuko Takagi is a well-known novelist who has won many literary prizes, including the Akutagawa Prize in 1984. Despite the fact that she is a highly respected member of the Japanese literary establishment, this is the first time she has been published in English.

Editorial Reviews

"The stories reflect the experiences of a wide diversity of Japanese women. . .The stories are, by turns, delicate and explicit, haunting and aggressive, tender and titillating, poignant and comical. They tackle everything from emerging sexuality, to love, abuse, perversion, motherhood, divorce, and finally death. And while diverse in their tone and content, what these eight stories share is a fearless and unsentimental narrative gaze that is fixed unblinkingly on the female experience in Japan today." - Ruth Ozeki, from the Foreword