“Imagine a man in his fifties disappointed to have reached middle age so quickly and utterly, residing in his modest house in a suburb of Nagasaki…” Shimura returns to this modest house one day to find that the juice container is emptier than it had been that morning. This would be a triviality if not for the fact that he’s been noticing subtle changes in his home, missing yogurt cups, a fish he’d sworn he’d bought. He decides to install a webcam to dispel his unease and discovers a woman in his home. After she’s arrested, he learns that she’s been living in his home for a year!
This brief narrative features two characters with very small lives. Shimura is so immured in his daily routine that he doesn’t notice a woman living in his home. And the entire scope of the woman’s life is a cabinet in Shimura’s spare bedroom. I found this isolation depressing. For me, the bleakness of the story was not alleviated by the poetry of the writing. As a metaphor for modern alienation, Nagasaki is spot on. In fact, Faye crafted the mood too well; I left the book with a lingering malaise and Shimura’s insidious sense of unease.
|Author||Eric Faye, Emily Boyce, Translator|
|Page Count||112 pages|
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