The Women in Translation Bundle includes The Pachinko Parlour by Elisa Shua Dusapin, The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernandez and Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura.
It is summer in Tokyo. Claire finds herself dividing her time between tutoring ten-year-old Mieko, in an apartment in an abandoned hotel, and lying on the floor at her grandparents: daydreaming, playing Tetris and listening to the sounds from the street above. The heat rises; the days slip by. The Pachinko Parlour is a nuanced and beguiling exploration of identity and otherness, unspoken histories, and the loneliness you can feel amongst family. Crisp and enigmatic, Shua Dusapin’s writing glows with intelligence.
It is 1984 in Chile, in the middle of the Pinochet dictatorship. A member of the secret police walks into the office of a dissident magazine and finds a reporter, who records his testimony. Our narrator was a child when she first saw this man’s face on a magazine cover with the words ‘I Tortured People’; his complicity in the worst crimes of the regime has haunted her ever since. Through extraordinary feats of the imagination, Nona Fernández follows ‘the man who tortured people’ to places archives can’t reach, into the sinister twilight zone of history where morning routines, a game of chess, Yuri Gagarin and the eponymous TV show of the novel’s title coexist with the brutal yet commonplace machinations of the regime. The Twilight Zone pulls us into the dark portals of the past, reminding us that the work of the writer in the face of historical erasure is to imagine so deeply that these absences can be, for a time, spectacularly illuminated.
In a tranquil neighbourhood of Tokyo, seven teenagers wake to find their bedroom mirrors are shining. At a single touch, they are pulled from their lonely lives to a wondrous castle filled with winding stairways, watchful portraits and twinkling chandeliers. In this new sanctuary, they are confronted with a set of clues leading to a hidden room where one of them will be granted a wish. But there’s a catch: if they don’t leave the castle by five o’clock, they will be punished. As time passes, a devastating truth emerges: only those brave enough to share their stories will be saved. Tender, playful, gripping, LONELY CASTLE IN THE MIRROR is a mesmerizing tale about the importance of reaching out, confronting anxiety and embracing human connection.
The book bundle comes beautifully wrapped in brown craft paper and a green Daunt Books ribbon, making it a perfect gift.