OUT By Natsuo Kirino
It has been literal years since I finished a novel. OUT by Natsuo Kirino was not only a welcomed first read after a monster sabbatical from inhaling any literary content, but also, my experience of reading OUT and getting to be alongside Masako, Yayoi, Kuniko and Yoshi struggling, working class gals who embody the asymmetric power balance women of different ilks of the working class experience and face, in contemporary Japan felt universal, specific to place, but with likenesses to women working to pull the weight and provide for their families in Aotearoa, and the world. It like a rad feminist retaliation against a potential status quo.
Loosely, the book follows the events after Yayoi, a night shift worker on the floor of a bento lunch factory, kills her philandering, drunkard of a husband after he abuses her physically.
She asks for help from her colleagues Masako and Yoshi to get rid of the body. They agree, all goes to plan to evade discovery, until they are convinced to let the fickle, addictive and spendthrift Kuniko into the fold.
What I loved the most about this book, was the sparseness of text but the depth of metaphor throughout.
The allegorical way that violence transpires, not for violence’s sake, but so that we, the reader, are granted access into the psyche of women, otherwise unseen, or heard in Tokyo, of the working class.
I frikken loved this book