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Toddler-Hunting and Other Stories

by Kono Taeko

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Reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor's works, Kono Taeko's disquieting stories explore the dark side of human nature with an original voice and a strange, powerful beauty.

Translation Review

"A sense of unease permeates this disturbing and exceptional collection of stories centered on unhappy women in postwar Japan...," wrote Publishers Weekly. World Literature Today proclaimed: "Reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor’s works, Kono’s stories explore the dark, terrifying side of human nature that manifests itself in antisocial behavior." Toddler-Hunting & Other Stories introduces to American readers a startlingly original voice. Winner of most of Japan’s top literary prizes for fiction, Kono Taeko writes with a disquieting and strange beauty, always foregrounding what Choice called "the great power of serious, indeed shocking events." In the title story, the protagonist loathes young girls, but she compulsively buys expensive clothes for little boys so that she can watch them dress and undress. The impersonal gaze Kono Taeko turns on this behavior transfixes the reader with a fatal question: What are we hunting for? And why? Now available in paperback for the first time, Toddler-Hunting & Other Stories should fascinate any reader interested in Japanese literature––or in the growing world of transgressive fiction.

Toddler-Hunting and Other Stories

Fiction by Kono Taeko

published September 1st, 1998