The Fox and Dr. Shimamura

The Fox and Dr. Shimamura

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Overview

A delicious mix of East and West, of wonder and irony, The Fox and Dr. Shimamura is a most curious novel

Winner of the 2020 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize

The Fox and Dr. Shimamura toothsomely encompasses East and West, memory and reality, fox-possession myths, and psychiatric mythmaking. As an outstanding young Japanese medical student at the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. Shimamura is sent—to his dismay—to the provinces: he is asked to cure scores of young women afflicted by an epidemic of fox possession. Believing it’s all a hoax, he considers the assignment an insulting joke, until he sees a fox moving under the skin of a young beauty... Next he travels to Europe and works with such luminaries as Charcot, Breuer and Freud—whose methods, Dr. Shimamura concludes, are incompatible with Japanese politeness. The ironic parallels between Charcot’s theories of female hysteria and ancient Japanese fox myths—when it comes to beautiful, writhing young women—are handled with a lightly sardonic touch by Christine Wunnicke, whose flavor-packed, inventive language is a delight.

 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811226240
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 526,157
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Christine Wunnicke lives in Munich, Germany. She has published four award-winning novels, a biography, and several translations.

Philip Boehm is an American playwright, theater director, and the translator of numerous books, including Ingeborg Bachmann's Malina (forthcoming from New Directions).

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