Tsugami, the editor-in-chief of a newspaper in war-scarred Osaka, agrees to sponsor a bullfight. For months this great gamble consumes him, makes him as wary and combative as if he was in a ring himself. And, as he becomes ever more distant, his lover Sakiko is unsure if she would like to see him succeed or be destroyed. Yasushi Inoue's novella won him the prestigious Akutagawa Prize and established him as one of Japan's most acclaimed authors. From the planning of a bullfight—through Tsugami's struggle, his focus and his aloneness—he crafts something intensely memorable, a compelling existential tale.
Pushkin Collection editions feature a spare, elegant series style and superior, durable components. The Collection is typeset in Monotype Baskerville, litho-printed on Munken Premium White Paper and notch-bound by the independently owned printer TJ International in Padstow. The covers, with French flaps, are printed on Colorplan Pristine White Paper. Both paper and cover board are acid-free and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
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Born in 1907, Yasushi Inoue worked as a journalist and literary editor for many years, only beginning his prolific career as an author in 1949 with Bullfight. He went on to publish 50 novels and 150 short stories, both historical and contemporary, his work making him one of Japan's major literary figures. In 1976 Inoue was presented with the Order of Culture, the highest honour granted for artistic merit in Japan. He died in 1991.Review:
"The three Inoue titles (thus far) sport distinctive covers in saturated, solid colors on subtly textured stock, invitingly sized to fit both pockets and hands. Beyond impeccable aesthetics, the stories prove even more exceptional. . . That a half-century-plus has passed since these stories were initially published has not diminished the universality of the experiences and themes within..." — American Book Review
"Taut, probing style and Proustian preoccupation with memory were there from the beginning of his fiction career. . . . Inoue depicts in admirably straightforward prose the roiling waters of love, marriage, passion, and the effects of the passage of time on all three, as in his evocation of a match whose light has gone out. . . . Inoue’s characters always are slaves to their fates. It’s a testament to his poetic imagination that he compels us to follow them avidly as they slide forward through time, transforming as they go into creatures of memory." - Jon Sobel, Blogcritics
"Intense, brilliantly paced narrative...Inoue's masterful novella triumphs through a series of perceptive character studies. It is a wonderful book, ironic yet sympathetic, and the perspective cleverly shifts between the players and their expectations, some complex, some relatively simple." - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
"Superb... a straightforward depiction of urban life expands into a rich, philosophical exploration of human agency and choice... Pushkin Press has performed a valuable service in making this great work available in English." - Independent on Sunday
"Perfection is the only word to describe this subtle tale of a plan to host a bullfight in a Japan still battered by the second World War." - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
"A disarmingly simple tale of ambition and entrepreneurial daring... written in tight, confident prose... Pushkin's exquisitely produced edition provides readers of English with long-overdue access to an important Japanese voice. There are plans to publish more... If Bullfight is any guide, what follows should be well worth the wait." - David Pilling, Financial Times
"Rich with imagery and meaning that few novels manage today." - Chris Corker, Japan Society
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