A Robe of Feathers and other stories by Thersa Matsuura. Very 100 Demons: traditional ghostlies and ghastlies appearing unremarked in modern Japan. (Or historical Japan: several of the most powerful stories are backset to the same vague Meiji/Taisho countryside that Mushishi occupies, and several more have furusato longings to them, on the lines of leaving beloved country home for burgeoning alien city.) The narrative style is often a tad more surreal than Ima Ichiko's 'everyday reality with bakemono' but one could see many of the stories done in her style. In fact, there actually is an Ima illo for the ending of Mrs Misaki's Eyes, except that the circumstances are rather different.
Matsuura is an American who's lived there 23 years, and it may be that commonality that makes her two gaijin-narrated stories- Sand Walls, Paper Doors and Mrs Misaki's Eyes- especially congenial to me. The outsider seeing inside, and seeing much more than I ever did, for sure.
What are you reading now?
Still with Raffles and Masked City and The Edge- brief spurts of comfort reading after work. Or The Age of Exuberance, probably a university text aimed at American undergrads, but useful enough to have my scattered impressions of 18th century social history laid out clearly in one place. This week is a marathon complicated by continued sickness on several people's parts, including mine, and the loss, either temporary or permanent, of three replacement staff. Next week is holiday schedule and in theory much more doable. I may even have a brain for reading with.
What will you read next?
There's a newish Hilary McKay on its way to me from the library. Have gone back to reading book blogs; probably shouldn't. Or I could read the results of following book blogs two years ago ie my holds list at the library, which is where I got A Robe of Feathers from. Or I could weed the TBR pile by trashing everything that doesn't grab me by page ten, which is where I got The Age of Exuberance from, something I believe I've had for thirty years more or less?