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Junichiro Tanizaki is best known for his novels, “Naomi” and “The Makioka Sisters,” and is widely considered one of Japan’s greatest writers of modern literature. This collection of his early stories “Red Roofs & Other Stories,” published between 1917 and 1926, begins with a novella-like story that alludes to Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” as well as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.”

In “The Strange Case of Tomoda and Matsunaga,” a famous novelist named F.K. receives a letter from a stranger whose husband, Matsunaga Gisuke, vanishes every three years, only to return to his family life later without any explanation. After looking through her husband’s satchel and finding a postcard written by a Tomoda Ginzo and addressed to F.K., the woman asks the novelist to help her solve the mystery of her husband’s alternate identity and frequent disappearances.

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