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In this short, late-blossoming novel published by Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) in 22 installments between June 1964 and October 1968, and subsequently revised from his notes after his death, Kawabata depicts the mostly out-of-view young woman Ineko, who is confined to an asylum with mental illness.

Much of the novel has the feeling of a play and there are long tracts of dialogue between Ineko’s mother and her daughter’s lover Kuno, who occasionally seems invisible to Ineko.

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