The Emissary

The Emissary

3.51 (6,265 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient--frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers "the beauty of the time that is yet to come."

A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out "the curse," defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 132 x 206 x 13mm | 159g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0811227626
  • 9780811227629
  • 129,875

Review quote

Everywhere in the Japan of Yoko Tawada's The Emissary, strange mutations unfold. In the years (perhaps decades, or perhaps generations) since an environmental catastrophe, the basic tenets of biology have broken down. Children are born weak, with birdlike bones and soft teeth. The elderly, in turn, are youthful, athletic, seem to have been 'robbed of death'. Men begin to experience menopausal symptoms as they age. Everyone's sex changes inexplicably and at random at least once in their lives...Tawada has gifted us a quiet new magical realism for the Anthropocene.--Rebecca Bates "The White Review" (5/11/2018 12:00:00 AM)
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Rating details

6,265 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 15% (912)
4 36% (2,237)
3 38% (2,352)
2 10% (655)
1 2% (109)
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