Saturday, May 17, 2008

Autofiction


I finished reading "Autofiction" by Hitomi Kanehara a few hours ago.

This was a good read. It's told from the first person point of view (hence, "auto(biographical) fiction"), and goes from the present day to backwards in time.  It's about a successful author in her early twenties whose emotionally instability is manifested most disturbingly in her constant need to feel loved. Because the story is told backwards, you discover why she is the way she is. And if you google the author, her similarity with the book's narrator is uncanny, and you wonder if she's playing a trick on us all by calling her book "Autofiction".

I've read a couple of Japanese authors (meaning born and bred in Japan, so Ishiguro is excluded), and all of them, in addition to the weird/gritty/violent character of the narrations, seem to talk about freeing repression and breaking free of convention. But maybe I haven't read enough Japanese authors.