Out by Natsuo Kirino
Nothing in Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino’s award-winning literary mystery Out.
This mesmerizing novel tells the story of a brutal murder in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works the night shift making boxed lunches strangles her abusive husband and then seeks the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The coolly intelligent Masako emerges as the plot’s ringleader, but quickly discovers that this killing is merely the beginning, as it leads to a terrifying foray into the violent underbelly of Japanese society.
At once a masterpiece of literary suspense and pitch-black comedy of gender warfare, Out is also a moving evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds, and the friendships that bolster them in the aftermath.
“Mingling biting feminist commentary with engrossing storytelling . . . a scathing allegory about the subjugation of women in Japanese society and the secret lives this forces them to lead.” –The New York Times
“Masterful and psychologically astute.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“A brutally realistic picture of contemporary society. . . . Spare, unsentimental.” –Newsweek