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Toddler Hunting and Other Stories

Taeko Kono

6 Reviews

Rated 0

Short stories

A captivating collection of pitch-black tales from one of the most important Japanese writers of the second half of the twentieth century - 'shocking, ominous, and subversive' The Paris Review

An immeasurably influential female voice in post-war Japanese literature, Kono writes with a strange and disorienting beauty: her tales are marked by disquieting scenes, her characters all teetering on the brink of self-destruction.

In the famous title story, the protagonist loathes young girls but compulsively buys expensive clothes for little boys so that she can watch them dress and undress. Taeko Kono's detached gaze at these events is transfixing: What are we hunting for? And why? Kono rarely gives the reader straightforward answers, rather reflecting, subverting and examining their expectations, both of what women are capable of, and of the narrative form itself.

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Praise for Toddler Hunting and Other Stories

  • There are resonances here with Tanizaki, but Kono's subversions feel somehow scarier, in part because of her deadpan prose and in part because she strikes at sacred paradigms of motherhood and femininity - The Wall Street Journal

  • It does a disservice to this collection of stories, which were originally published throughout the 1960s, to focus too much on its flashes of sadomasochism; but it's difficult not to start there. But the pleasure in Kono's work is not only, or even primarily, derived from its daring. These stories are also captivating in traditional ways - NY Times

  • The fiery, beguiling stories in Toddler Hunting and Other Stories are vertiginous tightrope walks between two planes of reality. Kono's writing is shocking, ominous, and subversive - The Paris Review

  • Left me shaken and in awe; they are incendiary, beautiful, and frightening confrontations of the lives we keep hidden from others - Gabe Habash, author of Stephen Florida

  • Japanese master of the unsettling: Kono should be an electrifying discovery for English-speaking lovers of short fiction - Kirkus

  • Reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor's works, Kono's stories explore the dark, terrifying side of human nature that manifests itself in antisocial behaviour - World Literature Today

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