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Facing the Bridge
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From Japan to Vietnam to Amsterdam to the Canary Islands, these three new tales by master storyteller Yoko Tawada float between cultures, identities, and the dreamwork of the imagination.
"When he watched Michael Jackson's videos, every cell in Tamao's body started to seethe: he even felt his appearance begin to change. His friends all said plastic surgery was in bad taste. But didn't everyone harbor a secret desire for a new face? His own was as plain as a burlap sack, so he put it out of his mind and studied hard to compensate for how dull he looked. He told himself that fretting over one's appearance was a job for women. But deep down, doesn't every man who lacks confidence in his looks yearn for that moment when the Beast turns into a handsome young man?"--from "Facing the Bridge"
Reading Yoko Tawada becomes an obsession, like watching the films of Catherine Deneuve. In "Facing the Bridge," Tawada's second story collection with New Directions, obsession becomes delight as the reader is absorbed into three tales where identities flicker and shift within borders as wide as the mind.
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About the Author

Yoko Tawada (March 23, 1960 - Present) is a Japanese writer currently living in Hamburg, Germany. She was born in Tokyo, received her undergraduate education at Waseda University in 1982 with a major in Russian literature, then studied at Hamburg University where she received a master's degree in contemporary German literature. She received her doctorate in German literature at the University of Zurich. In 1987 she published A Void Only Where You Are, a collection of poems in a German and Japanese bilingual edition. Tawada's Missing Heels received the Gunzo Prize for New Writers in 1991, and The Bridegroom Was a Dog received the Akutagawa Prize in 1993. In 1999 she became writer-in-residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for four months. Her Suspect on the Night Train won the Tanizaki Prize and Ito Sei Literary Prize in 2003. Tawada received the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 1996, and the Goethe Medal in 2005.

Reviews

"In Tawada's work, one has the feeling of having wandered into a mythology that is not one's own." -- Rivka Galchen "...in the title of this volume [Tawada] chooses to face the bridge, to stare it down, perhaps, refusing to cross. Through her writing she seeks to create a new kind of bridge-not as a structure built of stone or concrete, but as a physical process, a continuing dance." -- Margaret Mitsutani

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