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HOKKAIDŌ

Shizumu Furanshisu

[Sinking Francis]

By Matsuie Masashi

Shinchōsha, 2013. 186 pp. ¥1,400. ISBN 978-4-10-332812-4.

Translation underway in: Korean

After breaking up with a man she had been living with, a woman quits her job in Tokyo and makes up her mind to move to Hokkaidō. There, she finds a job at a post office in a small village of 800 people and begins working. Though she is in her mid-thirties, she still has vivid memories from her experiences living in Hokkaidō during junior high school—like encountering an Ezo sika deer on a mountain road or seeing baby foxes playing in the grass—and her heart has been longing for that place.

    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)
Shizumu Furanshisuの表紙画像

By Matsuie Masashi

Matsuie Masashi

Born in Tokyo in 1958. Graduated from the School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at Waseda University. After working as an editor, he made his literary debut in 2012 with the full-length novel Kazan no fumoto de [At the Foot of a Volcano] which won the Yomiuri Prize for Literature in 2013.

Translation rights inquiries

Tuttle-Mori Agency, Inc.
(attn. Kawachi Asako)
2-17, Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0051
Email: asako@tuttlemori.com
www.tuttlemori.com
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