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Charles De Wolf’s new understated-but-excellent translation of 2010’s “Ore Ore” is sure to bring novelist Tomoyuki Hoshino to a wider audience. “Me” is a bizarre, compelling — and at times confusing — novel, which Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe praised for its “literary thought.” Oe awarded the novel the Kenzaburo Oe Prize for 2011, which was influential in getting it translated.

Hoshino’s hook is the well-known “Ore, Ore” (“It’s me!”) telephone scam in which elderly people are swindled by fraudsters pretending to be relatives. In this case the fraudster is Hitoshi Nagano, a sales rep who picks up a nearby stranger’s phone and peruses the messages.

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