The Fox and Dr. Shimamura

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Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.1 X 8.0 X 0.5 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

Christine Wunnicke lives in Munich, Germany. She has published four award-winning novels, a biography, and several translations.
Philip Boehm is an American playwright, theater director, and the translator of numerous books, including Ingeborg Bachmann's Malina (forthcoming from New Directions).


A wonderful and most of all wonderfully told story.
What a beautiful book!
An appealingly haunting novel, slightly off-kilter, suggesting the unknown and the unknowable.--M.A. Orthofer
A marvel, a wonder--a deeply strange little novel about medicine, memory, and fox possession. With her delicate prose, arch tone, and mischievous storytelling, Wunnicke proves herself a master of the form.-- (01/31/2019)
Wunnicke spoofs the misogynist history of psychology in this clever and rewarding novel of slippery memories tinged with Japanese myths: this gracefully amusing blend of history and imagination will beguile readers.
A mythical, mystical, and at times bizarre tale of a late nineteenth-century Japanese doctor who is sent to remote areas of the Shimane prefecture to cure women of fox possession. Wunnicke slyly reminds us that, although women are powerless, even when it comes to treating their own illnesses, they find ways to quietly assert their will over men.--Melissa Beck
Christine Wunnicke's glittering, absurdist jewel of a novel.
A miniature voyage around the world and into the not-so-distant past. Wunnicke's deftly drawn vignettes of Dr. Shimamura's life provide tantalizing glimpses into the manifestations of Eastern and Western psychiatry at the turn of the last century.--Catherine Venner
The Fox and Dr. Shimamura recovers the almost magical counternarratives running parallel to key moments in the history of western modernity. Shimamura is marked as someone who is navigating the hazy boundaries of gender, finding through the fox spirit some access to an internalized femininity that is rebuked by his society in the form of history's most gendered diagnosis. Rich and engaging.
The Fox & Dr. Shimamura is a cornucopia of strange pathologies and historical oddities, spanning multiple continents and languages, that breaks down the polarities between religion and science, supernatural hauntings and neurotic hauntings, and Eastern and Western cultural ideologies. Dr. Shimamura, a Japanese neurologist who travels to the hotspots of psychiatry in early twentieth-century Europe, thinks in both Japanese and German, and harbors a slight disdain for the backwardness of Japanese science; yet while he prides himself on being a supremely rational, modern man, he can't shake the conviction that he is possessed by a fox that slithers under his skin. Christine Wunnicke takes her place alongside the Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada as an adept celebrator of cosmopolitan intermixture and the magic of subverting monocultural systems.--Gregory Ariail