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Murder in the Age of Enlightenment: Essential Stories


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A stylishly original collection of seven newly translated stories from the iconic Japanese writer

'One never tires of reading and re-reading his best works. Akutagawa was a born short-story writer' - Haruki Murakami

From a nobleman's court, to the garden of paradise, to a lantern festival in Tokyo, these stories offer dazzling glimpses into moments of madness, murder and obsession. A talented yet spiteful painter is given over to depravity in pursuit of artistic brilliance. In the depth of hell, a robber spies a single spider's thread being lowered towards him. When a body is found in an isolated bamboo grove, a kaleidoscopic account of violence and desire begins to unfold.

These are short stories from an unparalleled master of the form. Sublimely crafted and stylishly original, Akutagawa's writing is shot through with a fantastical sensibility. This collection, in a vivid new translation by Bryan Karetnyk, brings together the most essential works from this iconic Japanese writer.