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The Glass Slipper and Other Stories by Shotaro Yasuoka

Part of the Japanese Literature Series by Dalkey Archive Press, The Glass Slipper and Other Stories features World War II era shorts in a setting unique to American readers. In fact, of the three from this series I’ve reviewed so far, this one is my favorite due not only to the setting, but the contemporary flow that allows the reader to easily place themselves in the position of every protagonist.

Narrators of each story grapple with honesty, both in relationship to others and within themselves. While this is a theme most authors visit at some point in their writing, Shotaro Yasuoka set these shorts against a backdrop of a warring Japan, giving a flavor to this book that is anything but ordinary. The writing style and translation is so smooth and comfortable, English readers will forget the book was originally written in Japanese. These same readers can also expect to learn more about behind-the-scenes WWII Japan than any of their U.S. school history books ever put forth; and I guarantee it’s a lot more fun than sitting in Mr. Johnson’s World History class!

Other books reviewed here from Dalkey Archive Press’ Japanese Literature Series:
The Budding Tree
The Temple of the Wild Geese and The Bamboo Dolls of Echizen

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