A stunning and understated debut novel of seduction and infidelity about a woman who, devastated by the death of her son, takes an increasing interest in the personal affairs of her widowed daughter-in-law.
Following the devastating death of her son, Mieko Toganō takes an increasing interest in the personal affairs of her widowed daughter-in-law, Yasuko. She skillfully manipulates the relationships between Yasuko and the two men who are in love with her, encouraging a dalliance that will have terrible consequences. Meanwhile, hidden in the shadows, is Mieko’s mentally-handicapped daughter, who has her own role to play in her mother’s bizarre schemes.
About the Author
FUMIKO ENCHI was born in Tokyo in 1905, the daughter of the great Meiji scholar Ueda Mannen. She is the author of many novels and stories, and has produced a ten-volume translation of The Take of Genji into modern Japanese. Masks was first published in Japan in 1958.
“A subtle examination of universal female behavior.” —People
“[Enchi’s] allusions to the masks of Nō plays and to the classic The Tale of Genji, the brilliant way she layers and interweaves the ancient, the more recent past and the present are haunting and rich. A fictional enchantment.” —Publishers Weekly
“Enchi’s writing has some of the same amniotic fluidity as Tolstoy’s, an almost bodily, floating immersion into the effortless habitat of the story.” —The American Reader
“Clear and powerful.... Almost imperceptively woven.” —Kirkus