A dark and beautifully written story of a young girl's tragic love triangle with an older man and his young nephew
Since 1988, Yoko Ogawa has written more than twenty works of fiction and non-fiction, and has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope. Harvill Secker published The Diving Pool, a collection of three novellas, in 2007 and her novel The Housekeeper and the Professor in 2009.
Ogawa (The Housekeeper and the Professor) explores the power of words to allure and destroy in this haiku-like fable of love contorted into obsession. One rainy evening, Mari, a downtrodden 17-year-old who helps her demanding mother run a seedy seaside hotel, overhears a middle-aged male guest ordering an offended prostitute to be silent. In the days that follow, every word-both spoken and conveyed in surreptitious letters-from this man, a hack translator who may have killed his wife, gradually and inexorably leads Mari to submit to his every sadistic desire. Ogawa's relentlessly spare prose captures both Mari's yearning for her lost father and the translator's bipolar oscillation between insecure tenderness and meticulously modulated rage. As this savage novel drives to its inevitable conclusion, Mari's world collapses around her in both a terrifying bang and a pitiful whimper. (Apr.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"Ogawa is original, elegant, very disturbing."--Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL Praise for "The Housekeeper and the Professor": "I've been telling everyone about this book. . . . It's a story about love, which is quite different from a love story. It's one of the most beautiful novels."--Junot Diaz "Gorgeous, cinematic. . . This novel has all the charm and restraint of any by Ishiguro or Kenzaburo Oe, and the whimsy of Murakami."--"Los Angeles Times" "Strangely charming, flecked with enough wit and mystery to keep us engaged throughout."--"The Washington Post Book World""" Praise for "The Diving Pool": "Still waters run dark in these bright yet eerie novellas, whose crisp, almost guileless prose hides unexpected menace."--"The New York Times Book Review""" "Exquisitly disturbing . . . Ogawa steadily builds the tension to an unexpected crescendo."--"Elle""" "Ogawa writes in a lean, muscular way that goes deep, expl