Shinchōsha, 2013. 186 pp. ¥1,400. ISBN 978-4-10-332812-4.
Translation underway in: Korean
One day, while delivering mail, she meets a middle-aged man who seems to be single. She takes a liking to him, and they become intimate. Before long, she learns that the man works as the caretaker for “Francis”—a hydroelectric mill powered by a Francis turbine, on the riverbank behind his house, that supplies electricity to the village. Soon, however, her idyllic days of romance in these beautiful, refreshing natural surroundings are thrown into confusion when the shadows of multiple women become apparent in the man’s past. Then, at the end of summer, a typhoon hits, causing the river to rise and threatening to sink “Francis.” In the middle of this crisis, the heroine has an epiphany about life.
Matsuie made a splash with his debut work Kazan no fumoto de [At the Foot of the Volcano], which won the Yomiuri Prize for Literature, normally given to veteran writers. The power of his richly evocative prose, reminiscent of Murakami Haruki at times, is even more polished in this second work, in which it vividly depicts the drama of a man and a woman played out in the northern heartland. (NK)
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