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Single Sickness and Other Stories by Masuda Mizuko

156 Single Sickness
Lynne KUTSUKAKE, trans.
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A New Japanese Horizons Series title. 

Single Sickness and Other Stories by Masuda Mizuko opens a window onto the intriguing fictional world of award-winning author Masuda Mizuko. Masuda explores themes of female subjectivity and biology, selfhood and autonomy, loneliness and desire, and the deep tensions inherent in female-male relations. The seven stories in this volume tap into a powerful undercurrent of disquiet pervading contemporary urban life. Masuda subtly evokes an air of menace underlying the mundane and a whiff of danger in the domestic.

In “Smoke,” a woman’s violent encounter with a stranger in a stairwell triggers unwanted memories of her former husband and a marriage gone wrong. In “Water,” a leak in the apartment below brings a young woman into conflict with her belligerent male neighbor. In “Horn,” a middle-aged spinster inexplicably sprouts a horn in the center of her forehead. In the title story, “Single Sickness,” a female cancer researcher in a male-dominated medical laboratory has been made cynical by her constant battle against sexism. Her hard protective shell is broken by the sudden discovery of a lump in her breast, and she is forced to confront issues of independence, isolation, maternity and sexuality. | 190 pages

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • HORN

Author and Translator
  • MASUDA Mizuko was born in 1948 in Tokyo. She is a prolific writer who has received some of Japan's most prestigious literary awards, including the Noma New Writers Award, the Izumi Kyoka Prize, the Ministry of Education Fine Arts Award, and the Ito Sei Literary Prize.
  • Lynne KUTSUKAKE is a writer, translator, and former Japanese studies librarian at the University of Toronto. She was a finalist for the Writer's Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Literary Prize.

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