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  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781446485002
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176


A disturbing masterpiece of narrative invention and moving storytelling from one of Japan's most highly respected writers.

A woman goes into a bakery to buy a strawberry and cream tart. The place is immaculate but there is no one serving. She waits. Another customer comes in. The woman tells the new arrival that she is buying a cake for her son's birthday. It's his favourite. But he is dead. He died twelve years ago. Nevertheless, every year, on his birthday, she still buys him his favourite cake.

From this beginning Yoko Ogawa weaves a dark and beautiful narrative that pulls together an unlikely ensemble cast, all of whom are affected by dramatic events that change their lives. In Sad Acts of Revenge Yoko Ogawa uses her stunning imaginative powers to take us deep into a recognisable yet strangely unfamiliar world that leaves the reader both moved and disturbed

  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781446485002
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

About the author

Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space and Zoetrope. Her works include The Diving Pool, a collection of three novellas, The Housekeeper and the Professor,Hotel Iris and Revenge.

Also by Yoko Ogawa

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Praise for Revenge

Odd, quirky and unusual, and sure to linger in the mind for days afterwards


Ogawa is original, elegant, very disturbing

Hilary Mantel

Tightly constructed, these stories also pack a surprisingly emotional punch. A darkly moving, dazzling and intelligent book

5 stars, Lady

A conspicuously gifted writer…To read Ogawa is to enter a dreamlike state tinged with a nightmare, and her stories continue to haunt. She possesses an effortless, glassy, eerie brilliance.


Across eleven dark tales, Ogawa has created an entire universe… Revenge is full of beautifully pitched short stories, with a depth that defies brevity, but it also pushed the boundaries of what a collection of short stories can be

Irish Examiner

[Revenge] Erupts into the ordinary world as if from the unconscious or the grave…. A haunting introduction to her work… the overall effect is [that of] David Lynch: the rot that lurks beneath the surface


Ogawa is original, elegant, very disturbing. I admire any writer who dares to work on this uneasy territory - we're on the edge of the unspeakable. The stories seem to penetrate right to the heart of the world and find it a cold and eerie place. There are no narrative tricks, but the stories generate a surprising amount of tension. You feel as if you've touched an icy hand

Hilary Mantel

Fittingly, each tale seems to be its own torture chamber--dark and meticulous… More disturbing than the bloody imagery is the eerie calm with which each plot unfolds, as if one act of violence must necessarily transform into the portal for another

New Yorker

Deceptively elegant...written in such lucid, unpretentious language that reading it is like looking into a deep pool of clear water. But even in the clearest waters can lurk currents you don't see until you are in them. Dive into Yoko Ogawa's world...and you find yourself tugged by forces more felt than seen

New York Times Book Review

Magnificently macabre… Ogawa is the Japanese master of dread… These tales are not for the faint of heart, but Ms. Ogawa is more "Masque of the Red Death" than she is The Ring. She elevates herself above any limitations of the genre she's working in

New York Observer

The odd stories of Yoko Ogawa errupt from the ordinary world as if from the unconscious or the grave… Ogawa has said her work is influenced by Haruki Murakami’s magic-realist style. There are fantastic flashes, such as a woman born with a heart outside her body. Yet the overall effect is more David Lynch: the rot that lurks beneath the surface of the world… The result is spectral connectedness. Ms Ogawa understands the consolations of order within apparent randomness


Always eerie, often erotic, full of living ghosts and uncanny visitations, Yoko Ogawa’s terse and spooky fiction folds Japan’s supernatural tradition into her idiosyncratic brand of Asian goth


Haunting…using economical and precise language, Ogawa conveys intensity of emotion

Times Literary Supplement

Like her better-known compatriot Haruki Murakami, Ogawa writes stories that float free of any specific culture, anchoring themselves instead in the landscape of the mind

Washington Post Book World

Highly original

Paul Auster

Yoko Ogawa is able to give expression to the most subtle workings of human psychology in prose that is gentle yet penetrating

Kenzaburo Oe

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