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Diary of a Void

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Emi Yagi (Author) Emi Yagi is an editor at a women's magazine in Japan. She was born in 1988 and... Read More

Product Description

Emi Yagi (Author)
Emi Yagi is an editor at a women's magazine in Japan. She was born in 1988 and lives in Tokyo. Diary of a Void is her first novel; it won the Osamu Dazai Prize, awarded annually to the best debut work of fiction.

Lucy North (Translator)
Lucy North is a British translator of Japanese fiction and non-fiction. She has translated works by Taeko Kono, Hiromi Kawakami, Fumiko Enchi and Natsuko Imamura.

David Boyd (Translator)
David Boyd is assistant professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated fiction by Hiroko Oyamada and Hideo Furukawa, among others.

Discover this prizewinning, thrillingly subversive new novel that's perfect for fans of Convenience Store Woman and Breasts and Eggs.

'One of the most intriguing new novels of the summer,' Independent


For the sake of women everywhere, Ms Shibata is going to pull off the mother of all deceptions...


As the only woman in her office, Ms Shibata is expected to do all the menial tasks. One day she announces that she can't clear away her coworkers' dirty cups - because she's pregnant and the smell nauseates her. The only thing is . . . Ms Shibata is not pregnant.

Pregnant Ms Shibata doesn't have to serve coffee to anyone. Pregnant Ms Shibata isn't forced to work overtime. Pregnant Ms Shibata can rest, watch TV, take long baths, and even join an aerobics class for expectant mothers. But she has a nine-month ruse to keep up. Before long, it becomes all-absorbing, and with the help of towel-stuffed shirts and a diary app that tracks every stage of her 'pregnancy', the boundary between her lie and her life begins to dissolve.

Diary of a Void will keep you turning the pages to see just how far Ms Shibata will go.

Translated from the Japanese by David Boyd and Lucy North

'Darkly funny and surprisingly tender.' Kirsty Logan, author of Things We Say in the Dark

If you're in the mood for a matter-of-fact and incredibly thought-provoking read, you'll love Yagi's writing.The tension grows along with the comedic details. . . . Diary of a Void starts as stylish satire... but it becomes something even more profound. Always expect the unexpected when you're not expecting.A subversive, surreal read that will strike a cord.One of the most passionate cases I've ever read for female interiority, for women's creative pulse and rich inner life.Endlessly strange, funny and meaningful... This book is a powerful exploration of what it means to be single and childless, and of the impact of work on our bodies and mental healthYagi has a light touch for the endless ironies made possible by her premise. There is humor, but also the realization that the alienation of pregnancy and motherhood is no reprieve from the oppressive office culture that inspires Shibata's experiment.Delightful . . . Yagi's focus is on how acting pregnant reshapes Shibata's relationship to herself... Yet the book never idealizes pregnancy...We see the difficulty of being a woman with or without a child, and Yagi emphasizes how society makes both roles harder... If you've ever wanted to bite back at a nosy boss, a rude co-worker, an unfair assignment, or the endless list of shoulds we face, then maybe you'll find something to enjoy in Shibata's audacity too.One of the most intriguing new novels of the summer.Shibata is a modern-day Bartleby.Darkly funny and surprisingly tender.In Diary of a Void, what begins as a bud of a lie blossoms into a gripping and thought provoking examination of womanhood and motherhood in a patriarchal society. A short read but by no means is this a small story.So tightly written, and so much fun to read.Comical and tender, absurd, bold and joyful.Yagi captures Shibata's loneliness and the community she's granted upon 'falling into step' with her married peers in such a keen way that, reading along, you're on pins and needles to discover what will happen... The [fun] premise pays off.Riveting and surreal . . . Absurdist, amusing, and clever, the story brings subtlety and tact to its depiction of workplace discrimination-as well as a touch of magic. Readers will eagerly turn the pages all the way to the bold conclusion.A book that reflects on life, solitude and what it means to be a woman.A surreal, engrossing meditation on loneliness, womanhood, and what it actually means to have a work-life balance.Takes office toxicity and how we cope to new heights.I found myself completely captivated by this novel's unusual and inviting premise and all that it questions and stirs up.I loved it. It's incredible. Diary of a Void is joyful, exuberant, and triumphant. It made my heart sing.Filled with sly humor and touching intimacy, Diary of a Void builds from its revolutionary premise into a powerfully resonant story of longing and defiance. An absolutely thrilling read - I didn't want to put it down.In this fictional diary of a pregnant woman, it is the real, rather than the made-up, aspects of society, such as single parenting and discrimination against women in the workplace, that are powerfully depicted.Yagi artfully blurs the boundary between truth and lies with this riotous solution to women's workplace challenges.[A] penetrating look at working life and gender expectations... In a tone perfectly modulated in Boyd and North's translation, Shibata's dry observations and choices are both relatable and humorous...At the heart of the story is Yagi's wry and witty consideration of how one woman, tangled up in a web of deceit, struggles to live a meaningful life through work and her relationships with others.Charming and funny

Product Details

Title: Diary of a Void
Author: Emi YagiLucy NorthDavid Boyd
SKU: BK0460972
EAN: 9781787302945
Language: English

About Author

Emi Yagi is an editor at a women's magazine in Japan. She was born in 1988 and lives in Tokyo. Diary of a Void is her first novel; it won the Osamu Dazai Prize, awarded annually to the best debut work of fiction.Lucy North is a British translator of Japanese fiction and non-fiction. She has translated works by Taeko Kono, Hiromi Kawakami, Fumiko Enchi and Natsuko Imamura.David Boyd is assistant professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated fiction by Hiroko Oyamada and Hideo Furukawa, among others.

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