This shocking, boisterous novel was a runaway bestseller and award winner in Japan: "Pressingly real . . . In these pages, you will find the lives of all of us" (Japan Times).
Searingly honest and sexually explicit, So We Look to the Sky
is a novel told in five linked stories that begin with an affair between a student and a woman ten years his senior, who picks him up for cosplay sex in a comics market. Their scandalous liaison, which the woman's husband makes public by posting secretly taped video online, frames all of the stories, but each explores a different aspect of the life passages and hardships ordinary people face. A teenager experimenting with sex and then, perhaps, experiencing love and loss; a young, anime-obsessed wife bullied by her mother-in-law to produce the child she and her husband cannot conceive; a high school girl, spurned by the student, realizing that being cute and fertile is all others expect of her; the student's best friend, who lives in the projects and is left alone to support and care for his voracious, senile grandmother; and the student's mother, a divorced single parent and midwife, who guides women bringing new life into this world and must rescue her son, crushed by the twin blows of public humiliation and loss, from giving up on his own.
Narrating each story in the distinctive voice of its protagonist, Misumi Kubo weaves themes including sex, love, the female body, gossip, and the bullying that leaves young people feeling burdened and helpless into a profoundly original novel that lingers in the mind for its affirmation of the raw, unquellable force of life.
About the Author
Misumi Kubo withdrew from junior college and worked for an advertising company before turning freelance as a writer and editor. She is the author of seven novels. She won the R-18 Literature Prize in 2009 for the short story that became the first chapter of So We Look to the Sky, her debut novel, which won the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize, placed second in the voting for the Japan Booksellers' Award, and was a runaway bestseller. Her next novel, Stray Whale on a Sunny Day, won the Futaro Yamada Prize, and in 2018, Staring at Our Hands was shortlisted for the Naoki Prize. She lives in Japan.