Maru Ayase pulls no punches. Have you ever had to work with a sexist jerk at the office? Or worse, have you ever met your favorite author and he turned out to be a misogynistic cad? These are the characters that populate the pages of Ayase’s “The Forest Brims Over,” a novel filled with social commentary and a dose of surrealist wonder.

The story centers on the author Nowatari and his wife, Rui, who is the idealized and sexualized subject of his novels. After a fight and some infidelity, Rui confines herself to the bedroom, where she begins to develop buds, sprout plants and, eventually, grow into a literal forest. Though Nowatari’s hapless editor tries to convince him to use the circumstance as material for new work, the author is terrified and unable to confront his wife in her new form. Ayase plays around with various perspectives — that of the editor, Nowatari’s lover, a young and up-and-coming female editor who takes over to manage Nowatari, and Nowatari and Rui themselves — exploring the dizzying dynamics of a married couple at odds from the inside and out.

The Forest Brims Over, by Maru Ayase, Translated by Haydn Trowell. 208 pages, COUNTERPOINT, Fiction.