Kyoko Yoshida’s debut collection Disorientalism brings together nineteen short stories that systematically smash the boundaries of the real and its imagining. Told with a deadpan, visceral humour these stories unsettle and surprise, leading the reader into alternate realities at once comic and nightmarishly beautiful and human. This is contemporary surrealism at its best—mischievous, dissonant, dystopic, bewildering. Disorientalism introduces to Japanese and international readers alike a significant new voice in transnational literature.
“Hilarious and lovable short pieces! Yoshida’s stories astonish you with their strangeness, and wise you up to the strangeness actually happening in the world.” Kyoko Nakajima
“Throughout the remarkable short stories of Disorientalism, a world familiar by consensus shifts along the hairline cracks of Kyoko Yoshida’s peculiarizing imagination. Philosophical, international in orientation, structurally innovative, and fantastical in their crisp, sensual details, Yoshida’s stories might have been conceived through some wormhole conflation of Jorge Luis Borges and Bruno Schulz. She is that good and the stories are that intense. Her consistently understated endings are like slow-mo detonations. Long after you put her book down, her words will be turning the ordinary upside down. And commonplace animals, dear reader, will never look quite the same to you.” Forrest Gander
Kyoko Yoshida is a fiction writer and translator living in Kyoto. Her translation, with Forrest Gander, of Kiwao Nomura’s Spectacle & Pigsty won the 2012 Best Translated Book Award in Poetry in the United States.
Vagabond Press. 192pp. RRP$24.95
Cover image: ©Takanori Ishizuka ©Dokuro Kogyo Untitled, 2013, 240 x 280 x 300 cm, urethane, latex, TV monitor and others at Dokuyo Stationery shop, Tokyo. Courtesy of nca | nichido contemporary art