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The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction

by Jim Hinks, Masashi Matsuie & Michael Emmerich (Editors)
£9.99   paperback  Comma Press (2015)

The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction by Jim Hinks, Masashi Matsuie & Michael Emmerich (Editors) Featuring Banana Yoshimoto, Osamu Hashimoto, Toshiyuki Horie, Shūichi Yoshida, Hiromi Kawakami, Nao-Cola Yamazaki, Hitomi Kanehara, Hideo Furukawa, Kaori Ekuni & Mitsuyo Kakuta
 
A shape-shifter arrives at Tokyo harbour in human form, set to embark on an unstoppable rampage through the city’s train network...
 
A young woman is accompanied home one night by a reclusive student, and finds herself lured into a flat full of eerie Egyptian artefacts...
 
A man suspects his young wife’s obsession with picnicking every weekend in the city’s parks hides a darker motive...

 
At first, Tokyo appears in these stories as it does to many outsiders: a city of bewildering scale, awe-inspiring modernity, peculiar rules, unknowable secrets and, to some extent, danger. Characters observe their fellow citizens from afar, hesitant to stray from their daily routines to engage with them. But Tokyo being the city it is, random encounters inevitably take place – a naïve book collector, mistaken for a French speaker, is drawn into a world he never knew existed; a woman seeking psychiatric help finds herself in a taxi with an older man wanting to share his own peculiar revelations; a depressed divorcee accepts an unexpected lunch invitation to try Thai food for the very first time… The result in each story is a small but crucial change in perspective, a sampling of the unexpected yet simple pleasure of other people’s company. As one character puts it, ‘The world is full of delicious things, you know.’
 
Translators include Samuel Malissa, Lydia Moed, Hart Larrabee, Takami Nieda, Jonathan Lloyd-Davies, Morgan Giles, Dan Bradley, Asa Yoneda, Lucy Fraser, Ginny Tapley Takemori.

ISBN 13: 9781905583577 | ISBN 10: 1905583575