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Winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, three dream-like tales of memory and war: part of our Japanese novella series, showcasing the best contemporary Japanese writing
A Japanese man, far from home, travels the countryside of Normandy with a friend - talking about war, literature, and everything in between. As his ideas of his life become more entangled with his personal writing, the pangs of his past and his half-forgotten memories overlap and threaten his peace.
Owing a debt to French writers from La Fontaine to Proust, the three fable-like tales in The Bear and the Paving Stone are stories of loss, memory and a longing to belong.
About the Author
Toshiyuki Horie (born 1964) is a scholar of French literature and a professor at Waseda University. He has won many literary prizes, including the Mishima Yukio Prize, Akutagawa Prize (for The Bear and the Paving Stone), the Kawabata Yasunari Prize, the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize and the Yomiuri Prize for Literature (twice).
"Horie weaves fables out of everyday existence in these three captivating tales of relationships and lives revisited . . . Across these ruminative stories, Horie suddenly drops in moments of piercing wisdom and revelation, revealing that, for better or worse, there is no escape from one’s memory. — Publishers Weekly
"A gentle, stirring novella of history and memory that simmers with raw emotional ferocity. . . Horie uses descriptive imagery in a distanced narrative style. His characters maintain an inner strength and Zen-like independence that wavers under the emotional weight of shared memories, which merge in unexpected ways to convey a yearning for deeper connections. The Bear and the Paving Stone adds to the bold collection of contemporary Japanese literature published by Pushkin Press." — Shelf Awareness
"It is a rather beautiful, very funny, often bitter or sadly gentle book that will entice and satisfy while leaving one thirsting for more." — Bookanista
"Whimsical stories, celebrating, language, friendship and life." — Japan Times