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Two brilliant, multi-layered stories from the winner of the Kenzaburo Oe Prize: part of our Japanese novella series, showcasing the best contemporary Japanese writing.
On the eve of the Iraq War, a man and a woman meet in a nightclub in Tokyo. They go to a love hotel, and spend the next five days in a torrid affair. Written in a stream of consciousness, with the reader's perceptions shifting and melting into one another, what is remarkable in this story is not what happens, but the ability of the writer to enter the minds and memories of the protagonists.
In the second story, a woman living in a damp flat obsesses on the filthy state of her dwelling. She remains in bed for the duration of the narrative, but the drama and tension of her inner life - spiralling further and further into her memories and anxieties - keep the reader engrossed to the very end.
The End of the Moment We Had demonstrates the fluidity and richness of this extraordinarily gifted writer's language and ideas.
About the Author
Toshiki Okada is a hugely admired playwright, director and novelist. Born in Yokohama in 1973, he formed the theatre company "chelfitsch" in 1997. Since then he has written and directed all of the company's productions, practising a distinctive methodology for creating plays, and has come to be known for his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique choreography. His play Five Days in March, on which the first story in The End of the Moment We Had is based, won the prestigious Kishida Drama Award. His works have been translated into many languages around the world.
"Hyperrealistic. . . Okada captures the ennui that has paralyzed a generation." — New York Times Book Review
"So richly layered and strangely beguiling that we are left craving more. . . Samuel Malissa’s translation has fizz and verve, and each slangy meditation or exchange rings true. . . The stories are at their best — and their most baffling — when Okada topples our expectations and proceeds by way of surprise steps and wrong turns." — Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Nothing short of superb... This book gives me hope for the future of Japanese literature... there is power in the flow of this writer's prose." - Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature