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Diary of a Void by Emi Yagi
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Diary of a Void

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Diary of a Void by Emi Yagi
Hardcover $23.00
Aug 09, 2022 | ISBN 9780143136873

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  • Aug 09, 2022 | ISBN 9780143136873

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“Few novels live up to their promise of revelatory social commentary. But a particularly good one can still tempt even the most cynical of readers. . . . Yagi has a light touch for the endless ironies made possible by her premise. There is humor (“since I got pregnant” becomes a delightful refrain), but also the realization that the alienation of pregnancy and motherhood is no reprieve from the oppressive office culture that inspires Shibata’s experiment.” ―Lauren Oyler, The New York Times Book Review

“Yagi artfully blurs the boundary between truth and lies with this riotous solution to women’s workplace challenges.” ―The Washington Post

“Some premises prove so irresistible that they become crutches, excusing a colorless execution. That’s not the case here. . . . Shibata would make a terrific work friend. . . . Yagi doesn’t simply explore how ‘pregnancy’ affects Shibata, socially and psychologically. Her designs are both deeper and weirder; she wants to press on broad assumptions about life, vitality, and spirit, and where these qualities can be found. . . . [She] is after . . . those parts of us, precious and possibly hostile, which flower in darkness, disintegrate when described, and can be compared only to alien life-forms. Call it bioluminescence—whatever animates the esoteric chambers of the heart, the rooms so private that they are sometimes mistaken for voids.” ―The New Yorker

“A surreal, engrossing meditation on loneliness, womanhood, and what it actually means to have a work-life balance.” —Mother Jones

“Takes office toxicity and how we cope to new heights.” ―Fortune

“The premise . . . is so elegant, it’s one of those ideas that feels wonderfully familiar. . . . The tension grows along with the comedic details. . . . Diary of a Void starts as stylish satire about the societal luxuries afforded to pregnant woman, a cri de coeur for those who have yet to make such practical use of their wombs. But it becomes something even more profound.” ―Sloane Crosley, Departures

“A debut you won’t want to miss.” ―Associated Press
“One of the most intriguing new novels of the summer.” ―The Independent

“A subversive, surreal read that will strike a chord with many women.” ―Red

“Riveting and surreal . . . Absurdist, amusing, and clever, the story brings subtlety and tact to its depiction of workplace discrimination—as well as a touch of magic. Readers will eagerly turn the pages all the way to the bold conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“I found myself completely captivated by this novel’s unusual and inviting premise and all that it questions and stirs up. So much teems beneath the surface here!” —Aimee Bender, New York Times bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“Filled with sly humor and touching intimacy, Diary of a Void builds from its revolutionary premise into a powerfully resonant story of longing and defiance. An absolutely thrilling read—I didn’t want to put it down.” ―Claire Stanford, author of Happy for You

“I loved it. It’s incredible. The story of a woman who—with one tiny lie—transforms her dull existence into a life filled with daily miracles, Diary of a Void is joyful, exuberant, and triumphant. It made my heart sing.” —Claire Oshetsky, author of Chouette

“Darkly funny and surprisingly tender.” ―Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers and Things We Say in the Dark

“A gripping and thought-provoking examination of womanhood and motherhood in a patriarchal society.” ―An Yu, author of Braised Pork
“Comical and tender, absurd, bold, and joyful.” ―Ayşegϋl Savaş, author of White on White

“Captivating . . . [A] darkly funny story that point blank calls out the actions of men.” ―Debutiful

“Thrillingly absurd . . . Timely . . . Yagi’s subversive debut explores weaponized femininity while critiquing the modern working landscape in its division of gendered labor.” ―Mochi Magazine

“One of the most fun premises I’ve heard all year.” ―Walker Caplan, Literary Hub

“This story really shone for me. . . . You’re on pins and needles to discover what will happen as this fake pregnancy runs its course. . . . The [fun] premise pays off.” ―Eliza Smith, Literary Hub

“What I like about it is that it takes place in Tokyo, but you’re really watching quite a closed world [within] Tokyo, a massive city. It doesn’t feel narrow [or] solipsistic, but you just have her bouncing basically between work and home for a lot of the novel. And I like that sort of tight shot on the characters. I tried to do that with Cult Classic, too. To give you a cinematic comp, I would say Russian Doll does that very well.” ―Sloane Crosley, quoted in Bustle

“Satisfyingly acidulous.” ―Library Journal

“You can’t take your eyes off the page.” ―Croissant

“So tightly written, and so much fun to read.” ―Kikuko Tsumura, author of There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job
“In this fictional diary of a pregnant woman, it is the real, rather than the made-up, aspects of society, such as single parenting and discrimination against women in the workplace, that are powerfully depicted.” ―Kyoko Nakajima, author of The Little House

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