'A terrific novel' Angela Carter
Koko won't do what is expected of her. Defying her family's wishes, she has brought up her eleven-year-old daughter alone in her apartment. And now, after a casual affair, she is unexpectedly pregnant again. What will this mean for her already troubled relationship with her daughter? As she faces the future, memories of her own childhood loss flood into her consciousness, threatening to overwhelm her.
Combining the beauty and unease of a dream, this haunting novel is an unflinching portrayal of a woman's innermost fears and desires.
'As relevant today as when it was published ... at once powerfully uplifting and achingly sad' Japan Times
'Wonderfully poetic ... extraordinary freshness ... a Virginia Woolf quality' Margaret Drabble
It is Spring. A young woman, left by her husband, starts a new life in a Tokyo apartment. Territory of Light follows her over the course of a year, as she struggles to bring up her two-year-old daughter alone. Her new home is filled with light, streaming through the windows, so bright you have to squint, but she finds herself plummeting deeper into darkness; becoming unstable, untethered. As the months come and go, and the seasons turn, she must confront what she has lost and what she will become.
At once tender and lacerating, luminous and unsettling, Territory of Light is a novel of abandonment, desire and transformation. It was originally published in twelve parts in the Japanese literary monthly Gunzo, between 1978 and 1979, each chapter marking the months in real time.
'Though their house was new, the wall had been there a long time.'
In these two stories, which have never before been translated into English, Tsushima shows how memories, dreams and fleeting images describe the borders of our lives.
Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
Yuko Tsushima was born in Tokyo in 1947, the daughter of the novelist Osamu Dazai, who took his own life when she was one year old. Her prolific literary career began with her first collection of short stories, Shaniku-sai (Carnival), which she published at the age of twenty-four. She won many awards, including the Izumi Kyoka Prize for Literature (1977), the Kawabata Prize (1983) and the Tanizaki Prize (1998). She died in 2016.