Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Woman Running in the Mountains
by Yūko Tsushima, translated from the Japanese by Geraldine Harcourt, introduction by Lauren Groff
Alone at dawn, in the heat of midsummer, a young woman named Takiko departs on foot for the hospital to give birth to a baby boy. Her pregnancy, the result of a casual 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 but also an instrument for her long-wished-for independence. Takiko’s first year as a mother is filled with the intense bodily pleasures and pains that come from caring for a newborn, learning how to accommodate him. At first Takiko seeks refuge in the company of other women, in the maternity hospital, in her son’s nursery, but as he grows, her life becomes less circumscribed, expanding outward into previously unknown neighborhoods in her city and then beyond, into the countryside, toward a mountain that captures her imagination and feeling for a wilder freedom. First published in Japan in 1980, Woman Running in the Mountains is as urgent and necessary an account today of the experience of the female body and of a woman’s right to self-determination.
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