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New Release – A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories

Posted by Dark Whisperer on June 30, 2009

Robe of FeathersA Robe of Feathers and Other Stories

Author: Thersa Matsuura

Publisher: Counterpoint LLC

Release Date: May 1st, 2009

ISBN-10: 1582434891
ISBN-13: 978-1582434896

Author Website

In Japan, the line that divides myth from reality is not merely blurred, it is nonexistent. Superstitions, legends, and folk myths are passed down through generations and pervade daily living.

When a child playing near a river fails to return home, it is whispered that she was swept away by an adzuki arai, or Bean Washer. When a man boarding a ship hears the ringing of an unseen insect, it is announced that a funadama (Boat Spirit) is present and so the auspicious harbinger of smooth seas and abundant catch is celebrated. Even something as innocuous as waking up to find your pillow at the foot of your bed is thought to be the trick of a makura gaeshi, otherwise known as a Pillow Turner. Nothing is as simple as it seems. Your neighbor isn’t merely an eccentric old woman—she might very well be a shape-shifting, grudge-harboring Water Sprite.

The Japanese examine life and living with the keenest eyes and the most vivid of imaginations. Thersa Matsuura has captured that essence in this darkly insightful collection illuminating the place where reality falters and slips into the strange and fantastical.

Table of Contents:

“Hate and Where it Breeds”
“The Bean Washer”
“Yaichiro’s Battle”
“Sand Walls, Paper Doors”
“Her Favorite”
“What the Cat Knew”
“Taro’s Task”
“One Thousand Stitches”
“Mrs. Misaki’s Eyes”
“Devils Outside”
“Tip of the Nose”
“Eden on the 18th Floor”
“The Seed of the Mistake”
“My Devil’s Gate”
“Ganguro and the Mountain Witch”
“The Smallest Unit of Time”

Whispers about A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories

“Inspired by Japanese folklore, Matsuura’s debut story collection is as clever as the mythical spirits and creatures who romp through her fable-like tales. Although her penchant is for the malevolent and unforgiving, , the humans who populate these seventeen stories are seldom innocent victims…The captivating stories gathered here offer lively glimpses of Japanese culture, urban and rural, present and past.” – Publisher’s Weekly (Web Pick of the Week)

“Thersa Matsuura’s collection of 17 stories turns the folktale on its head and re-imagines myth in modern Japan, where fanciful creatures invade a subway car (in “Hate and Where It Breeds”) and where, in the title tale, an epic quest for beauty amid a crowded intersection leads to tragedy… But as steeped as they are in literary tradition, Matsuura also imbues her tales with a contemporary feel, making them relevant even to those among us who gave up on the idea of fairy godmothers and happily ever after long ago.” – The San Diego Union Tribune

A Robe of Feathers gave me nightmares. But not in the ways you might expect. Instead, it slithered into the dark recesses of my mind and found things cowering there that are better off left alone. All in all, this is a brilliant yet disturbing work. Even the Stephen Kings of the world could learn a thing or two from Matsuura.” – Jim Melvin, author of The Death Wizard Chronicles

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