[trans. ME : A Novel]
Shinchōsha (Shinchō Bunko), 2013. 343 pp. ¥550. ISBN 978-4- 10-116452-6.
Also published in: Chinese (traditional and simplified characters), English, and Korean
The novel opens with a series of random events that lead the protagonist to acquire a stranger’s mobile phone. He uses the phone to con an easy ¥900,000 out of the stranger’s mother. At this stage, the reader expects a contemporary crime story depicting the mores and values of modern society. Instead, the novel takes a bizarre, unpredictable twist and enters the realm of absurdist fantasy. For some reason, the mother remains convinced that the protagonist is her son, even after meeting him face to face. When the narrator returns to his parents’ home, he is startled to find another ore living there and to learn that his mother no longer recognizes him. The number of these ore characters increases steadily, until society is overrun with people claiming the same identity. The competing egos wind up killing and eating one another. This blackly humorous work satirizes the modern identity crisis and the erosion of family and community ties in contemporary society. (NM)
Translation rights inquiries
Shinchōsha Publishing Co., Ltd.
(attn. Kimura Tatsuya, Foreign Rights Section)
71 Yarai-chō, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8711
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