Translucent Tree

Winner of the Tanizaki Award

Translucent Tree

By Nobuko Takagi

Translated by Deborah Iwabuchi
Fiction / Literary
Hardcover, 192 pages, 5.375 x 7.5 inches
978-1-934287-14-9 / 1-934287-14-8
U.S.$19.95 / CAN$22.95

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Chigiri, a divorced single mother, lives in the countryside town where she grew up, caring for her swordsmith father whose trade and health are failing. Her life seems to be going nowhere. When a documentary filmmaker who worked on a piece about her father many years ago revisits the town, Chigiri, who was still a high school student back then, begins to feel like one again. Yet feelings aren’t where it ends when a half-serious offer of prostitution is floated between the financially desperate Chigiri and Go, the visitor, who has since become successful in Tokyo.

With a philosophical acumen and exaltation of passion reminiscent of Yukio Mishima, Milan Kundera, and Marguerite Duras, Translucent Tree follows the story of mature lovers for whom, despite all, innocence is never a thing of the past.

Translucent Tree left this reader with a feeling of pure insight into Japan, not unlike the movies of Hayao Miyazaki… This is a romance, a love story, and nothing is lost in translation.”
The Los Angeles Times

No romance novelist enjoys more critical accolades than author Nobuko Takagi, who won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize when she made her debut in 1984. In this novel, penned nearly two decades later, Japan’s queen of love stories harkens back to her roots in literary fiction to offer a tale as exquisite as it is torrid. Translucent Tree not only won the Tanizaki Award, granted to the best literary novel of the year, but also garnered further acclaim as a successful feature film.

Nobuko TakagiAfter working as an editor, Nobuko Takagi won the Akutagawa Prize in 1984 and became a professional writer in her thirties. In addition to the Tanizaki Award for Translucent Tree, she has been the recipient of the Women’s Literature Award and the Minister of Culture Award. Translucent Tree is her first novel to appear in English. The author lives in Fukuoka, Japan.

Visit Soaked In Asia (“SIA”) Nobuko Takagi’s online collection of short stories. The stories are available in English as well as Japanese.