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Asa's husband is transferring jobs, and his new office is located near his family's home in the countryside. During an exceptionally hot summer, the young married couple move in, and Asa does her best to quickly adjust to their new rural lives, to their remoteness, to the constant presence of her in-laws and the incessant buzz of cicadas. While her husband is consumed with his job, Asa is left to explore her surroundings on her own: she makes trips to the supermarket, halfheartedly looks for work, and tries to find interesting ways of killing time. 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. This is the first in a series of bizarre experiences that drive Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape filled with eccentric characters and unidentifiable creatures, leading her to question her role in this world, and eventually, her sanity.
Born in Hiroshima in 1983, Hiroko Oyamada won the Shincho Prize for New Writers for The Factory, which was drawn from her experiences working as a temp for an automaker's subsidiary. Her novel The Hole won Akutagawa Prize.
David Boyd worked as a specialist corporate investor relations manager for a number of public listed companies in the UK and internationally, and previously held a range of general business and financial management and advisory roles in the UK, USA, and Belgium. In 2018 David's research paper Bridging the Gap - Exploring the role of the Staff during the 1916 campaign in Tanganyika was published in There Came a Time ... Essays on the Great War in Africa (2018).
Praise for The Factory:
She is fond of jump cuts and scenes that dissolve mid-paragraph and flow into the next without so much as a line break. A pleasant vertigo sets in. Objects have a way of suddenly appearing in the hands of characters. Faces become increasingly vivid and grotesque. Nothing feels fixed; everything in the book might be a hallucination.
--Parul Sehgal Horrific and scary, while at the same time affirming and beautiful.--Rumaan Alam