The Factory – Hiroko Oyamada

Oyamada tackled the banality of corporate life, the economic insecurity of a generation of Japanese, and the quest to find meanings in work and life in contemporary Japan. It hit close to home in a way.

“I don’t want to work. I really don’t. Life has nothing to do with work and work has no real bearing on life. I used to think they were connected, but now I can see there’s just no way.”

The writing in this book is simple and the story is uneventful till the very end where there is a Kafkaesque twist (or not). This is such an absurd novella and I personally am not sure I got it. I wonder if I should give this author another chance and read her Akutagawa Prize winning novel The Hole coming out sometime in 2020.

Translated from the Japanese by David Boyd
New Directions 2019

T. Hoang Nov. 2019

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