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A new bilingual collection of short stories, “Love Child,” traverses bicultural themes and universal mileposts in life.

The 10 stories, written by Rakuko Rubin, 78, and translated by her husband, Jay Rubin, 79, a literary translator who often works on Haruki Murakami’s writings, illuminate lives at a crossroads. In “The Zipper,” a widow poignantly struggles to reenter society and make connections after her husband’s death and “Bamboo” provides an astute musing on what lies underneath the surface of a perfect marriage as the narrator finally consummates a youthful love. The title story, “Love Child,” explores how a child’s carelessly racist taunt cuts deep, as the targeted child’s concerned parents debate possible responses.

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