Hiroko Oyamada: © Shinchosha Publishing Co.,Ltd.

Hiroko Oyamada

Born in Hiroshima in 1983, Hiroko Oyamada won the Shincho Prize for New Writers for The Factory, which was drawn from her experiences working as a temp for an automaker’s subsidiary. Her following novel, The Hole, won the Akutagawa Prize and will be published by New Directions in 2020.

The Factory

Fiction by Hiroko Oyamada

Translated by David Boyd

The English-language debut of Hiroko Oyamada—one of the most powerfully strange young voices in Japan. In an unnamed Japanese city, three seemingly normal and unrelated characters find work at a sprawling industrial factory. They each focus intently on their specific jobs: one studies moss, one shreds paper, and the other proofreads incomprehensible documents. Life in the factory has its own logic and momentum, and, eventually, the factory slowly expands and begins to take over everything, enveloping these poor workers.…
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“Oyamada paints a stirring portrait of modern work-life culture.”
—Annabel Gutterman, TIME Magazine
Disquieting in its slow creep forward, the book presents copious mysteries: What is the purpose of these individuals’ jobs? What does the factory even make? What is up with the human-sized nutria supposedly living and dying in great numbers on the factory grounds? Perhaps even more unexpected is the way writer Hiroko Oyamada refuses to answer the questions she presents, allowing those mysteries, and their unsettling effects, to linger.
The A.V. Club
In a wry, deadpan style, she distills the profound unease of a world where companies grow more and more imperceptibly controlling even as they promise workers less.
—Julian Lucas, Harper’s
A noteworthy young female writer with a distinctive voice.
Lit Hub
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