An engaged couple falls out over the husband’s dislike of clothes and objects made from human materials; a young girl finds herself deeply enamoured with the curtain in her childhood bedroom; people honour their dead by eating them and then procreating. Published in English for the first time, this exclusive edition also includes the story that first brought Sayaka Murata international acclaim: ‘A Clean Marriage’, which tells the story of a happily asexual couple who must submit to some radical medical procedures if they are to conceive a longed-for child.
Mixing taboo-breaking body horror with feminist revenge fables, old ladies who love each other and young women finding empathy and transformation in unlikely places, Life Ceremony is a wild ride to the outer edges of one of the most original minds in contemporary fiction.
One of the most celebrated of the new generation of Japanese writers, Sayaka Murata has won not only the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, but the Gunzo, Noma, and Mishima Yukio Prizes as well. Her story, ‘A Clean Marriage’, was featured in Granta 127 Japan.
Read: A Clean Marriage, Granta
Review: In This Story Collection, the Dead Are Served Up Hot-Pot Style, The New York Times
Prompt: Start by writing about a typical day in your life. Aim for 300 words. Then allow yourself to go wherever your imagination takes you.