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Territory of Light

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


From one of the most significant contemporary Japanese writers, a haunting, dazzling novel of loss and rebirth

“Yuko Tsushima is one of the most important Japanese writers of her generation.” —Foumiko Kometani, The New York Times

I was puzzled by how I had changed. But I could no longer go back . . .

It is spring. A young woman, left by her husband, starts a new life in a Tokyo apartment. Territory of Light follows her over the course of a year, as she struggles to bring up her two-year-old daughter alone. Her new home is filled with light streaming through the windows, so bright she has to squint, but she finds herself plummeting deeper into darkness, becoming unstable, untethered. As the months come and go and the seasons turn, she must confront what she has lost and what she will become.

At once tender and lacerating, luminous and unsettling, Yuko Tsushima’s Territory of Light is a novel of abandonment, desire, and transformation. It was originally published in twelve parts in the Japanese literary monthly Gunzo, between 1978 and 1979, each chapter marking the months in real time. It won the inaugural Noma Literary Prize.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 05, 2018 – A young woman confronts life as a single mother in this graceful, eye-opening novel from Tsushima (1937 2016), one of the most influential feminists in Japanese literature. An unnamed radio archivist rents a light-filled Tokyo apartment with her unnamed two-year-old daughter after separating from her husband, Fujino, a deadbeat film student. Over the course of a year, the mother readjusts her routines, tentatively attempts to kindle a romance with one of her husband's tutoring students, and, most challenging of all, transitions to single parenthood. She experiences nightmares about her daughter dying, then guilt that some part of her wishes it were so; she longs to have her "old life back," yet does everything she can to make her daughter feel "keenly alive." "Why were children the only ones who ever got to melt down?" she wonders. As the separation from her husband becomes a divorce, the mother begins to find her footing with the assistance of a friend who offers to babysit. But even once the mother has embarked on a spur-of-the-moment solo trip to the seaside, she can't forget her daughter and finds "the physical distance between us allowed me a pillowy kind of peace." Equal parts brutal and tender, Tsushima's portrait of the strains and joys of motherhood is captivating.
Territory of Light
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Feb 12, 2019
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 128 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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