The Factory

The Factory

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Overview

The English-language debut of Hiroko Oyamada—one of the most powerfully strange young voices in Japan


In an unnamed Japanese city, three seemingly normal and unrelated characters find work at a sprawling industrial factory. They each focus intently on their specific jobs: one studies moss, one shreds paper, and the other proofreads incomprehensible documents. Life in the factory has its own logic and momentum, and, eventually, the factory slowly expands and begins to take over everything, enveloping these poor workers. The very margins of reality seem to be dissolving: all forms of life capriciously evolve, strange creatures begin to appear… After a while—it could be weeks or years—the workers don’t even have the ability to ask themselves: where does the factory end and the rest of the world begin?

Told in three alternating first-person narratives, The Factory casts a vivid—if sometimes surreal—portrait of the absurdity and meaninglessness of modern life. With hints of Kafka and unexpected moments of creeping humor, Hiroko Oyamada is one of the boldest writers of her generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811228855
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 325,137
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Born in Hiroshima in 1983, Hiroko Oyamadawon the Shincho Prize for New Writers forThe Factory, which was drawn from her experiences working as a temp for an automaker’s subsidiary. Her novelThe Holewon Akutagawa Prize.

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated stories by Genichiro Takahashi, Masatsugu Ono and Toh EnJoe, among others. His translation of Hideo Furukawa’s Slow Boat won the 2017/2018 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. With Sam Bett, he is cotranslating the novels of Mieko Kawakami.

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