A major new collection of Japanese short stories, many appearing in English for the first time, with an introduction by Haruki Murakami, author of Killing Commendatore
A Penguin Classics Hardcover
This fantastically varied and exciting collection celebrates the art of the Japanese short story, from its origins in the nineteenth century to the remarkable practitioners writing today. Edited by acclaimed translator Jay Rubin, who has himself freshly translated some of the stories, and with an introduction by Haruki Murakami, this book is a revelation.
Stories by writers already well known to English-language readers are included–like Tanizaki, Akutagawa, Murakami, Mishima, Kawabata, and Yoshimoto–as well as many surprising new finds. From Yuko Tsushima’s “Flames” to Yuten Sawanishi’s “Filling Up with Sugar” to Shin’ichi Hoshi’s “Shoulder-Top Secretary” to Banana Yoshimoto’s “Bee Honey,” The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories is filled with fear, charm, beauty, and comedy.
“Reading through this collection has been so fresh and interesting. . . . Now and then I’d be quite astounded at the different and strangely compelling ways the fiction of my own country could be grasped. . . . Unpredictably rewarding.” —Haruki Murakami, from the Introduction
“With everything from ritual suicides to cows with human faces, The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories is bizarre, exotic and memorably gory.” —The Daily Mail
“Highly recommended.” —The Spectator
“A feast of literature . . . [It’s] a literature lover’s dream, page after page of memorable writing, stories that leave a lasting impression yet can be fully absorbed in one sitting. It’s one anthology that will surely find a life outside the classroom, offering up the living, vital world of Japanese literature in all its diversity and with a true taste for excellence.” —The Japan Times
“Superb . . . Impressive . . . A fascinating collection of short stories from all periods and from several authors who all too rarely make it into English translation . . . Offers a perfect balance of the classic, along with the unsettling and innovatively modern. All the traditional literary superstars are here, but there are also stories which resonate with contemporary experience. The result is a superb collection of diverse voices whose stories are both intellectually and emotionally rewarding.” —PopMatters