Nipponia Nippon (Japanese Novellas) (Paperback)
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A fast-paced, darkly ironic novella from one of Japan’s contemporary luminaries—and the husband of Mieko Kawakami—making his English language debut
A teenager gripped by obsession seeks to free endangered birds in this darkly funny study of solitude and toxic masculinity set in modern-day Tokyo
Perfect for fans of Earthlings by Sayaka Murata and Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs
Isolated in his Tokyo apartment, 17-year-old Haruo spends all his time online, researching the plight of the endangered Japanese crested ibis, Nipponia Nippon.
Living on an allowance from his parents, he drops ever further into a fantasy world in which he alone shares a special connection with the last of these noble birds, held at a conservation centre on the island of Sado.
His conclusion is simple: it is his destiny to free the birds from a society that does not appreciate them, by whatever means necessary. With his emotional state becoming ever more erratic, he begins sourcing weapons and preparing for a reckoning in this darkly ironic study of toxic masculinity.
About the Author
Kazushige Abe is one of Japan’s pre-eminent contemporary writers. A graduate of the Japanese Film School in Tokyo, he worked as an assistant director before turning his hand to writing. Since winning the Gunzo New Writers’ Prize for his first novel, American Night, he has been awarded several of Japan’s most prestigious literary prizes, including the Sei Ito Award, the Mainichi Culture Award, the Akutagawa Prize and the Tanizaki Prize.
Kerim Yasar teaches modern Japanese literature at the University of Southern California. He is active as a translator in a variety of genres and media, from contemporary novels to pre-modern poetry, and has translated more than a hundred feature films in the Criterion Collection library.