"I’ve always written short stories, I’ve always been interested in the form being dictated by the concept, rather than the other way round." Jon McGregor
Posts tagged "Japan"
Yukio Mishima: 'Swaddling Clothes'

Yukio Mishima: ‘Swaddling Clothes’

‘Swaddling Clothes’ by Yukio Mishima has haunted me ever since I encountered it twenty years ago when I was a literature student at UCLA. It is a fascinating character study of Toshiko, a woman consumed by her fear of inescapable fate – a subject that fascinates me. Over the years, the character of Toshiko has...
Out there

Out there

The Doll Funeral began as an image of a young girl running out from the back door into an unkempt garden. In my mind it’s as if there is a camera tracking behind her. The camera follows her out into the garden where she jumps off the step, runs through the overgrown grasses and begins...
On Silence

On Silence

How do you tell the story of Christian faith? The difficulty, the crisis, of believing? How do you describe the struggle? There have been many great twentieth-century novelists drawn to the subject – Graham Greene, of course, and François Mauriac, Georges Bernanos and, from his own very particular perspective, Shusaku Endo. When I use the...
Kitsune

Kitsune

“Goblin foxes are peculiarly dreaded in Izumo for three evil habits attributed to them… The third and worst is that of entering into people and taking diabolical possession of them and tormenting them into madness. This affliction is called kitsune-tsuki. “The favourite shape assumed by the goblin fox for the purpose of deluding mankind is that...
War stories for children

War stories for children

“Maybe humans aren’t such a terrible animal after all,” reflects a whale that daydreams about aeroplanes in the sky and fatefully falls in love with a Japanese submarine. As the whale insouciantly navigates the sardine-filled waters of nature, the human sea-routes of warships and submarines and the airways of military planes are rife with death...
The old she-wolf and the little girl

The old she-wolf and the little girl

In Manchuria, now north-east China, a large she-wolf and a girl just four years old squatted in a sorghum field. The wolf was sturdily built, but she was old and patches of her fur had fallen out and most of her teeth were missing. The little girl wore a white shirt with red baggy pantaloons,...
Pretending to wait for someone

Pretending to wait for someone

Wanting to be Tinkerbell and take you in my arms— pearly pink flat shoes After seeing you off this morning, I glance at my toothpaste tube— the dent in it is new Sharing in the sun with you summer’s first tomato, skin firm yet delicate He loved another first— and so I am cast as...
On the trail of Gideon Lewis-Kraus

On the trail of Gideon Lewis-Kraus

In his discursive and entertaining debut A Sense of Direction Gideon Lewis-Kraus challenges the boundaries of memoir and travelogue as he departs a life of lazy curiosity and stale hedonism in Berlin to embark on three distinct pilgrimages to examine how we may be defined by ritual, desire and purpose. Along the well-trodden trail of...