Sonoko Kakiuchi is a cultured Osaka lady, unfortunately widowed young. But her story is unsettlingly at odds with her image. It is a tale of infatuation and deceit, of eliberate evil. Its theme is humiliation, its victim Sonoko's mild-mannered husband. At is centre - seductive, manipulating, enslaving - is one of Tanizaki's most extraordinary characters, the beautiful and corrupt art student, Mitsuko.
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(197mm x 130mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The narrator, Sonoko, a respectable young woman who is bored with her lawyer husband, embarks on a relationship with beautiful art student Mitsuko. Their liaison sets in motion a series of events that have far-reaching, eventually tragic consequences. Through her obsessive love for the clever, manipulative Mitsuko, Sonoko is drawn into a web of lies, secrecy and deception. Matters grow complex when Watanuki, Mitsuko's handsome but impotent boyfriend, persuades Sonoko to enter into a pact with him whereby they agree to 'share' Mitsuko's love. But when Mitsuko refueses to marry him he becomes dangerously embittered and reveals all to Sonoko's husband, who also falls under Mitsuko's spell. Coaxing and threatening by turns, Mitsuko now exerts control over the lives of both Sonoko and her husband in order to test their devotion to her. They submit to her demands, seeking no other happiness but to see her. Set in Osaka, Japan, during the 1920s, this psychological drama epxlores the relationship between physical attraction and power. A compelling satisfyingly, complex story. (Kirkus UK)
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