Nails and Eyes by Kaori Fujino / ISBN 9781782279549 / 138-page paperback published in 2023 by Pushkin Press, from their new Japanese Novellas series
Tense, subtly disturbing literary horror from a prize-winning Japanese writer
A young girl loses her mother, and her father blindly invites his secret lover into the family home to care for her. As she obsessively tries to curate a pristine life, this new interloper remains indifferent to the girl, who seems to record her every move - and she realizes only too late all that she has failed to see.
With masterful narrative control, Nails and Eyes builds to a conclusion of disturbing power. Paired with two additional stories of unsettled minds and creeping tension, it introduces a daring new voice in Japanese literature.
Kaori Fujino, a lifelong resident of Kyoto, is best known for fiction that reimagines tropes from horror, science fiction, Hollywood thrillers, urban legends and fairy tales. She holds an MA in aesthetics and art from Doshisha University. In 2013, Fujino was awarded the Akutagawa Prize, Japan's most prominent literary prize, for Nails and Eyes. In the fall of 2017, she was in residence at the University of Iowa's prestigious International Writing Program. Her stories have appeared in English translation in Granta, Monkey and the US-Japan Women's Journal.