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Praised by Nobel Prize laureate Kenzaburo Oe and winner of The Independent newspaper’s Foreign Fiction Prize, Saiichi Maruya’s 1993 novel was a welcome release from the prevalence of introspective, confessional narratives in modern Japanese literature.

Influenced by the contemporary English novel’s ability to treat serious, even ponderous topics with a light, comedic touch, Maruya’s work focuses on the travails faced by a fiercely independent woman, Yumiko Minami, working in the stifling, male-dominated world of a prominent daily newspaper.

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