Housewife Natsumi leads a small, unremarkable life in a modern Tokyo apartment with her husband and two sons: she does the laundry, goes on trips to the supermarket, exchanges gossip with neighbours. Tracing the conversations and interactions she has with her family and friends as they blend seamlessly into her internal monologue, Mild Vertigo explores the dizzying inability to locate oneself in the endless stream of minutiae that make up a life confined to the home, where both everything and nothing happens. With shades of Clarice Lispector, Mavis Gallant and Lucy Ellman, this late-period novel by the esteemed novelist, essayist, and film and literary critic Mieko Kanai – whose often dark and cynical work occupies something of a cult place within the Japanese canon – is a disconcerting and astute portrait of life in late-stage capitalist society.
Mieko Kanai, Polly Barton
Published 21st June 2023 – Order Now.