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Ennui and existential loneliness have become synonymous with contemporary Japanese literature, and those sentiments receive one of their most direct treatments in this newly translated novel from 2002. “The Part of Me That Isn’t Broken Inside” is as unrelentingly bleak as its title suggests.

Naoto Matsubara is the titular “me,” a sexually aggressive misogynist who uses and abuses people with an almost sociopathic detachment. At one point he describes his decision to stop seeing Tomomi, a single mother who is emotionally reliant on him, as being as important as his choice of lunch.

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