[A Dog’s Body]
Asahi Shimbun Shuppan (Asahi Bunko), 2010. Vol. I: 337 pp. ¥620. ISBN 978-4-02-264564-7. Vol. II: 294 pp. ¥600. ISBN 978-4-02-264565-4.
Also published in: n/a
Matsuura made her biggest splash with the 1993 Oyayubi P no shugyō jidai [trans. The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P], a novel with an unconventional plot that shocked readers in which she explored her unique outlook on sexuality.
In this work, unbound by the conventions of an ordinary story, she gives her imagination even freer rein, and by doing so strikes a chord in readers’ hearts. In the novel, the heroine in the form of a dog tells the Mephistopheles-like man who demands her soul, “My soul is damaged and must taste extremely bad.”
“Don’t worry,” he replies, “A well-beaten soul tastes good, just like certain kinds of meat.” With the kind of exquisite humor and earnestness epitomized in this dialogue, the story cultivates new ground for the contemporary novel. Dog-related puns feature throughout. Even the title has a double meaning: “a dog’s body” and “devotion.” (NM)
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