Terminal Boredom: Stories (Paperback)
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Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Thrillist, The Millions, Frieze, and Metropolis Japan
The first English language publication of the work of Izumi Suzuki, a legend of Japanese science fiction and a countercultural icon
At turns nonchalantly hip and charmingly deranged, Suzuki's singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in countless later works, from Margaret Atwood and Harumi Murakami, to Black Mirror and Ex Machina. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always earthed by the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.
Translated by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi, and Helen O'Horan.
About the Author
Izumi Suzuki (1949-1986) was a writer, actress, model and a countercultural icon in Japan. In the last decade of her life she produced an influential body of radical, punky and groundbreaking fiction.
“Suzuki is a daring writer and these stories will show the English-language world what she is made of.”
—Jessica Esa, Metropolis Japan (“5 Japanese Novels to Read in 2021”)
“Her punky irreverence remains radiant.”
“If you’re into Kōbō Abe and prefer Ryū Murakami to Haruki you’ll not (as the title of this inaugural translation of Suzuki into English suggests), be bored.”
—The Millions (“Most Anticipated”)
“Weird and wonderful, unique and unsettling … You won’t put this one down.”
“Eagerly awaited … [Terminal Boredom transports] readers to worlds both familiar and unfamiliar, indulging our fantasies and fears of the future … Dark and slightly absurdist, this collection is a poignant rumination on the despair and isolation of modern society.”
“The stories chosen for this collection showcase an author whose interest in alienation and despair as well as playful literary exploration parallels the work of other ’70s SF titans such as Joanna Russ or Thomas Disch … Essential reading not only for those interested in Japanese SF, but for anyone interested in spiky, beautiful, and bleak literature.”
—Nell Keep, Booklist (starred review)
“These strangely prescient stories are perfect for fans of Haruki Murakami, George Saunders, and Philip K. Dick.”
“The latest inclusion in the modern canon of Japanese women authors’ surreal feminist work, [Terminal Boredom] puts a distinctly sci-fi spin on the concept.”
—Thrillist (“30 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021”)