Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
Woman Running in the Mountains
by Yūko Tsushima, translated from the Japanese by Geraldine Harcourt, introduction by Lauren Groff
February 2022 selection of the NYRB Classics Book Club
Alone at dawn, in the heat of midsummer, a young woman named Takiko Odaka departs on foot for the hospital to give birth to a baby boy. Her pregnancy, the result of a brief affair with a married man, is a source of sorrow and shame to her abusive parents. For Takiko, however, it is a cause for reverie. Her baby, she imagines, will be hers and hers alone, a challenge that she also hopes will free her. Takiko’s first year as a mother is filled with the intense bodily pleasures and pains that come from caring for a newborn. At first she seeks refuge in the company of other women—in the hospital, in her son’s nursery—but as the baby grows, her life becomes less circumscribed as she explores Tokyo, then ventures beyond the city into the countryside, toward a mountain that captures her imagination and desire for a wilder freedom.
The loneliness of modern existence tinged with a hopeful melancholy... [Yuko Tsushima] deserves to be much more widely known outside Japan.
—Iain Maloney, Japanese Times
This book is about calming the demons that pursue women who seek their own way, and about the triumphant superiority of feminine intuition.
—Susan Cheever, Los Angeles Times
The author of over 35 novels and countless short stories and essays, Tsushima left behind a stunning legacy of stylistically inventive and lyrically fierce prose that continually featured individuals pushed to the edges of society.
—The Japan Times