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Fugainai boku wa sora o mitaの表紙画像

ROMANTIC LOVE

Fugainai boku wa sora o mita

[Cowering, I Saw the Sky]

By Kubo Misumi

Shinchōsha (Shinchō Bunko), 2012. 318 pp. ¥550. ISBN 978-4-10-139141-0.

Also published in: Chinese (traditional and simplified characters), Korean and Spanish, Translation underway in: English and Italian

This is a collection of five connected stories. Events in the life of a high school boy whose mother runs a maternity clinic act as an organizing axis, linking the stories in a loose spiral across gaps of time and space.

    The opening story shows the midwife’s son acting the lead in a series of sexual role-play scenarios scripted by a housewife with a fetish for dressing up as her favorite anime characters. In the second story, the perspective shifts to an otaku housewife who was bullied as a schoolgirl and is now visiting a fertility clinic. The reader gradually comes to realize that this is the same housewife from the first story. In the stories that follow, we are introduced to the daily lives of the young man’s girlfriend, a classmate struggling with poverty, and a coworker in the convenience store where that classmate works part-time who is struggling to come to terms with some unusual sexual proclivities.

    As the same events are shown from the perspectives of different characters, discrepancies become apparent between the thoughts of the background characters and the world seen by the protagonist. The clumsy but warm emotions of characters seen only tangentially gradually overlap and reinforce each other.

    The main action involves a leak of personal information over the Internet: a suitably shady and contemporary series of events. Despite deep emotional scars, the characters remain passive, almost numb. It is the infectious enthusiasm for life of the midwife mother and her assistant, Mitchan, that saves the day. (SH)
Fugainai boku wa sora o mitaの表紙画像

By Kubo Misumi

Kubo Misumi

Born in Tokyo in 1965. After working at an advertising and production company, became a freelance editor and writer. In 2009, her short story “Mikumari” won the grand prize in the R-18 Prizes in Literature by Women for Women. The story was included in the collection Fugainai boku wa sora o mita, which won the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize in 2011 and was made into a film directed by Tanada Yuki and shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Translation rights inquiries

Shinchōsha Publishing Co., Ltd.
(attn. Kimura Tatsuya, Foreign Rights Section)
71 Yarai-chō, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8711
Email: t.kimura@shinchosha.co.jp
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