An independent spirit in an age when society could be unsparing in its scorn for single-minded women, Chiyo Uno’s (1897-1998) semi-autobiographical writings and personal affairs suggest a natural flair for living life on her own terms.

Much like the main character in her novel, “The Story of a Single Woman,” Uno escaped her family and provincialism by moving to Tokyo where she pursued the life of a writer. She blithely entered into a number of indiscreet love affairs during a time when adultery was a criminal offense, but rather than allowing her scandals to dominate the public’s attention, Uno drew focus to her characters and their dissolute lives, gaining respect in the process for her mastery of style and narrative.

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