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Overview

Winner of 2018 National Book Award in Translated Literature

Library Journal Best Books of 2018

Yoko Tawada’s new novel is a breathtakingly light-hearted meditation on mortality and fully displays what Rivka Galchen has called her “brilliant, shimmering, magnificent strangeness”

Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient—frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers “the beauty of the time that is yet to come.”

A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out “the curse,” defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811227629
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 115,062
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Yoko Tawada—“strange, exquisite” (The New Yorker )—was born in Tokyo in 1960
and moved to Germany when she was twenty-two. She writes in both Japanese and
German and has received the Akutagawa Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the
Goethe Medal, and the Tanizaki Prize.

Margaret Mitsutani is a translator of Yoko Tawada and Japan’s 1994 Nobel Prize laureateKenzaburo Oe.

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