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Contemporary Japanese Fiction E-Resources at MVCC Library

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Convenience Store Woman

by Sayaka Murata

“Alienation gets deliciously perverse treatment in Convenience Store Woman... Murata herself spent years as a convenience store employee. And one pleasure of this book is her detailed portrait of how such a place actually works. Yet the book’s true brilliance lies in Murata’s way of subverting our expectations... Murata celebrate[s] the quiet heroism of women who accept the cost of being themselves.” --NPR “Fresh Air”

Killing Comendatore

by Haruki Murakami

"Killing Commendatore, his 14th novel, feels almost like a debut. It’s a voyage of discovery, loquacious and digressive, largely making itself up as it goes along. The deeper into the woods it progresses, the more abundantly woolly the scenery grows... Murakami is happy to exist in a state of flux, entirely unperturbed by the circuitous course he has taken. His pace remains easy and unhurried. His prose is warm, conversational and studded with quiet profundities. He’s eminently good company; that most precious of qualities that we look for in an author. We trust him to get us entertainingly lost, just as we trust that he’ll eventually get us home." --The Guardian

Goodbye Tsugumi

by Banana Yoshimoto

"Lyrical, accessible, enchanting: Yoshimoto deserves her international popularity." --Kirkus

"A vital portrait of a complicated friendship.” --Entertainment Weekly

The Ten Loves of Nishino

by Hiromi Kawakami

"Kawakami (Record of a Night Too Brief, 2017, etc.) explores desire and the elusive nature of love through the voices of 10 women who all loved the same man, Nishino Yukihiko, at different points in their lives and his. The title character remains a cipher, but the women who memorialize him are vividly rendered individuals and together form a lively spectrum of female desire... Kawakami's novel treats its feminist themes with a light hand but still slyly lands its points." --Kirkus

Death by Water

by Kenzaburō Ōe

“Layered and reflexive . . . Told in echoing and overlapping accounts of conversations, telephone calls, and stage performances, Oe’s deceptively tranquil idiom scans the violent history of postwar Japan and its present-day manifestations, in the end finding redemption.” --Publisher's Weekly

Memoirs of a Polar Bear

by Yoko Tawada

"“Memoirs of a Polar Bear” is a study of blurred lines: the line between human and animal, the line between one person’s (or creature’s) story and another’s, the line between love and exploitation." The book "hums with beautiful strangeness. Look at the animals we are. Look at us searching for love, for meaning, for our own true forms." --The New York Times

The Lonesome Bodybuilder

by Yukiko Motoya

"Motoya’s English-language debut is an unusual but ingenious collection that blends dark humor and bemused first-person narrators suddenly confronted with unhappy relationships and startling realities... Funny without collapsing into wackiness, these eccentric, beguiling stories are reminiscent of Haruki Murakami and Kafka." --Publisher's Weekly

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