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Out by Natsuo Kirino is a masterpiece of both modern crime fiction and the Japanese Gothic, where good and evil are inseparable, and harmony is achieved by accommodating rather than eliminating that which corrupts.
In the Tokyo suburbs, four women work the graveyard shift at a factory. Burdened with heavy debts, and alienated from husbands and children, they all secretly dream of a way out of their dead-end lives.
A young mother among them finally cracks and strangles her philandering, gambling husband. She confesses her crime to her colleagues and unexpectedly, they agree to help. But then the dismembered body parts are discovered, the police start asking questions and more dangerous enemies begin to close in.
OUT is a psychologically taut and unflinching foray into the darkest recesses of the human soul, an unsettling reminder that the desperate desire for freedom can make the most ordinary person do the unimaginable.
Among many other awards, Out won Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year when it was released in 1998 and was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Awards upon its translation into English in 2004.
This edition on sale in Enya's Attic is part of Penguin's VINTAGE JAPANESE CLASSICS - five masterpieces of Japanese fiction in gorgeous new gift editions.
Natsuo Kirinois the pen name of Mariko Hashioka, a Japanese novelist and a leading figure in the recent boom of female writers of detective fiction. Kirino was born October 7, 1951, in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. She studied law and following that, worked in various fields before becoming a fictional writer.
Kirino was 41 years old when she made her major debut as a writer. Since then, she has written thirteen full-length novels and three volumes of collective short stories, which are highly acclaimed for her intriguingly intelligent plot development and character portrayal, and her unique perspective of Japanese society after the collapse of the economic bubble.
Today, Kirino continues to enthusiastically write in a range of interesting genres. Her smash hit novel Out(Kodansha, 1997) became her first work to be translated into English and other languages.
Outwas also nominated for the 2004 MWA Edgar Allan Poe Award in the Best Novel Category, which made Kirino the first Japanese writer to be nominated for this major literary award.
Her other works are now underway to be translated and published around the world.