Sunday Salon: a Japanese literature treasure trove edition

I have been waiting for the mailman most impatiently this week. Finally, yesterday, he delivered all that I’ve been anticipating (except Samantha, the tabby).

First, there is The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita. With over one million copies sold, it is the winner of the Japan Booksellers’ Award, “selected by bookshop staff as the book they most wanted to hand-sell.”

Set in small-town Japan, this warm and mystical story is for the lucky few who have found their calling – and for the rest of us who are still looking. It shows that the search for the purpose in life is a winding path – one filled with treacherous doubts and, for those who persevere, astonishing revelations. (Inside cover)

Then, there is The Hunting Gun by Yasushi Inoue sent to me by Pushkin Press for review. It is called “A tragedy in three letters: the masterpiece of one of Japan’s greatest writers.”

Born in 1907, Yasushi Inoue worked as a journalist and literary editor for many years, only beginning his prolific career as an author in 1949 with Bullfight. He went on to publish 50 novels and 150 short stories, both historical and contemporary, his work making him one of Japan’s major literary figures. In 1976 Inoue was presented with the Order of Culture, the highest honour granted for artistic merit in Japan. He died in 1991.

Finally, I received the Red Circle Minis from Red Circle Press. I first read about them in an article from The Japan Times as books to look for in 2020, and indeed, they are most special.

Red Circle Minis is a series of short captivating books by Japan’s finest contemporary writers that brings the narratives and voices of Japan together as never before. Each book is a first edition written specifically for the series and is being published in English first. (Red Circle)

Look for reviews of each of these books during the next few weeks, and of course, a give-away or two, as we progress through the Japanese Literature Challenge 13.

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