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Patient X: The Case-Book of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

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12 hours

Summary

The acclaimed author of Occupied City, Tokyo Year Zero, and The Red Riding Quartet now gives us a stunning work of fiction in twelve connected tales that take up the strange, brief life of the brilliant twentieth-century Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.

Haunting and evocative, brutal and surreal, these twelve connected tales evoke the life of the Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927), whose short story "In the Grove" served as an inspiration for Akira Kurosawa's famous film Rashōmon, and whose narrative use of multiple perspectives and different versions of a single event influenced generations of storytellers. Writing out of his own obsession with Akutagawa, David Peace delves into the known facts and events of the writer's life and inner world—birth to a mother who was mentally ill and a father who died shortly thereafter; his own battles with mental illness; his complicated reaction to the beginnings of modernization and Westernization of Japan; his short but prolific writing career; his suicide at the age of thirty-five—and creates a stunningly atmospheric and deeply moving fiction that tells its own story of a singularly brilliant mind.

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