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The Beautiful and the Grotesque

written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

W. W. Norton and Company | ISBN 9780871401922

Paperback – 432 pages

$19.95

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Here, from one of the masters of the short story, is an unforgettable collection of haunting and strange tales. Since his death in 1927, Ryunosuke Akutagawa has been hailed as one of the greatest short story writers in world literature. Most famous for his story Rashomon and the Kurosawa film it inspired, Akutagawa's wide range of fiction is beautifully displayed in this collection. With characteristic lyricism and great style, the stories capture the strange world of Akutagawa, from the slow, gentle death of a haiku master ("Withered Fields") to a vicious, marauding gang and their bloody fight with samurai ("The Robbers") and a tale told from a dog's perspective of his escape from home ("The Dog, Shiro"). Throughout, Akutagawa captures the confused spirit of a Japan undergoing great change and confronting modernity. But the stories remain timeless classics and the reader, a fan of Akutagawa or someone discovering him for the first time, will delight in this collection.

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