Friday, January 1, 2016

Book Recommendation:Tokyo Decadence: 15 Stories by Ryu MURAKAMI Translated by Ralph McCARTHY

I'm halfway through reading this collection of short stories by Murakami Ryū, which I highly recommend (from Kurodahan Press website);no one writes the smutty Tokyo underworld better than Murakami Ryū (possible exception: Yoshiyuki Junnosuke); and Ralph McCarthy's translations are superb -- almost [Jay] Rubinian in their superbness。[Study Guides forthcoming]

Tokyo Decadence:
15 Stories by Ryu MURAKAMI


Translated by Ralph McCARTHY

A cream-of-the-crop selection of Murakami's brilliance and piercing wit.
This collection shows sides of Ryu Murakami that even avid fans may not be expecting.
The intriguing, somewhat disturbing stories that Topaz was based on are included here, as are three entertaining and revealing portraits of the artist as a young man back in the Transparent Blue period of the late sixties and early seventies. We hear tales told by four very different individuals living in eighties Tokyo, each with his or her own problems but all with a thing about a certain pro baseball player, and we meet a brokenhearted young woman who finds an unexpected moment of love in the nineties and a single mother who stumbles on a ray of hope in the hard times of the noughties.
Mixed in there somewhere are three linked stories about desire and obsession, with the timeless, seductive rhythms of Cuban music in the background.
This book contains explicit content and is not suitable for minors.
Contents
From Run, Takahashi! (1986, 走れ!タカハシ)
  • Whenever I Sit at a Bar Drinking Like This (カウンターで飲んでいる時、いつも思うのだが、バーテンダーというのは何と崇高なのだろう)
  • I Am a Novelist (私は小説家である)
  • It All Started Just About a Year and a Half Ago (あれはちょうど一年半くらい前のことだった)
  • Each Time I Read Your Confession (調書を全部何回読んでも、わからん事がある、どうしてお前はあの女を殺さなかったんだ?)
From Topaz (1988, トパーズ)
  • Topaz (トパーズ)
  • Lullaby (子守唄)
  • Penlight (ペンライト) 
From Ryu's Cinematheque (1995, 村上龍映画小説)
  • The Last Picture Show (ラストショー)
  • The Wild Angels (ワイルドエンジェル)
  • La Dolce Vita (甘い生活)
From Swans (1997, 白鳥)
  • Swans (白鳥)
  • Historia de un Amor (或る恋のものがたり)
  • Se Fué (彼女は行ってしまった)
  • All of Me (わたしのすべてを)
From At the Airport (2003, 空港にて)
  • At the Airport (空港にて)

Reviews
  • If you're looking for some sort of sin, you've found yourself the right book. All of the stories in Tokyo Decadence are surprising and unique, but they all move toward the same general destination—sex and drugs and blood and tears. ... The collection portrays the Japan of the bubble and postbubble decades as a place where anything in your wildest dreams and darkest nightmares could happen. Murakami's fiction is a love letter to the infinite possibilities of urban life delivered with style and panache.
    Kathryn Hemmann, Contemporary Japanese Literature
  • "Terrific—funny, quirky, trenchant, and a great deal of fun to read." —Poe Ballantine, author of Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere

Details
  • Pages: vii + 273
  • Trade paperback 5" x 8" (127mm x 203mm)
  • ISBN: 978-4-902075-78-6
  • Kurodahan Press Book No. FG-JP0049L
  • List Price: US$20.00
  • Cover: Author

ARCs are shipping now
  • Scheduled for publication in March 2016

About the author
Ryu Murakami (村上 龍; 1952–) was not yet 24 when he won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for his debut novel, Almost Transparent Blue. He has now published some forty best-selling novels, a dozen short-story collections, an armful of picture books, and a small mountain of essays. In his spare time, Ryu hosts a popular and long-running weekly TV show focusing on business and economic topics, and has for many years promoted tours and produced records for Cuban musicians. He has written and directed five feature films, of which Topaz a.k.a. Tokyo Decadence (1992) is probably the best known, and many of his novels have been made into films by other directors (notably Takashi Miike'sAudition).
Translated novels include Coin Locker Babies(Noma Prize for New Writers), Sixty-Nine,Popular Hits of the Showa EraAuditionIn the Miso Soup (Yomiuri Prize for Literature), Piercing, and From the Fatherland, with Love (Noma Prize for Literature and Mainichi Publishing Culture Award).

About the translator
Ralph McCarthy lives in Southern California. He has translated several novels by Ryu Murakami, including Sixty-NineIn the Miso Soup and Popular Hits of the Showa Era, as well as works by Yayoi Kusama (Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama and Hustlers Grotto), Teru Miyamoto (two of the novellas in Rivers), and Dazai Osamu (Blue Bamboo and Otogizōshi).

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