Asahi Shimbun Shuppan, 2012. 260 pp. ¥1,500. ISBN 978-4-02-250998-7.
Also published in: Chinese (traditional characters)
Since childhood, Sada loved the traditional game of fukuwarai, in which blindfolded players try to reconstruct a face by placing the eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, and other parts. Even when looking at real people, she does not judge based on beauty or ugliness but prefers those interesting faces that are out of balance. As an editor, she is also fond of the way words formed from unlimited combinations of characters can become sentences and ultimately books.
The novel depicts Sada’s growth, via which, without losing her rare innocence — which also contains its monstrous, grotesque aspects—she shares happiness with others and comes to sense love as a somewhat late bloomer. The reader learns how Sada’s pent-up, inert emotions blossom into an active love.
This unique and lively work of art was the highly deserving recipient of the first Kawai Hayao Story Prize. (OM)
Translation rights inquiries
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