The Hole

Hiroko Oyamada


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Granta Books
4 April 2024
ISBN: 9781803510606
96 pages

From the publisher

Translated by David Boyd

A woman moves to live with her in-laws in the Japanese countryside in this haunting and surreal novel featuring a mysterious relative, an elusive hairy creature, and lots of strange holes - from the author of Weasels in the Attic

'As I tried to move, I realized how narrow the hole really was. The hole felt as though it was exactly my size - a trap made just for me' When Asa's husband is offered a new job away from the city, the couple end up relocating. And since his new office is very close to his family's home, it makes sense to move in next door to his parents. Through the long hot summer, Asa does her best to adjust to their new rural lives, to the constant presence of her in-laws, to the emptiness of her existence and the incessant buzz of cicadas. And then one day, while running an errand for her mother-in-law, she comes across a strange creature, follows it to the embankment of a river, and ends up falling into a hole - a hole that seems to have been made specifically for her. Thus begins a series of bizarre experiences that drives Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape and the family she has married in to, leading her to question her role in this world and, eventually, who she even is. '

A great book' - Patti Smith

'Surreal and mesmerizing' - New York Times

'A rare literary page-turner' - Monique Truong

'A haunting and transformative work of fiction' - Laura van den Berg