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Diary of a Void: A Novel
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Books on Tape 2022
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A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker · NPR · WBEZ’s Nerdette · The New York Public Library · Literary Hub
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
“One of the most passionate cases I’ve ever read for female interiority, for women’s creative pulse and rich inner life.” ―Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
“Always expect the unexpected when you’re not expecting.” ―Sloane Crosley
A woman in Tokyo avoids harassment at work by perpetuating, for nine months and beyond, the lie that she’s pregnant in this prizewinning, thrillingly subversive debut novel about the mother of all deceptions, for fans of Convenience Store Woman and Breasts and Eggs

When thirty-four-year-old Ms. Shibata gets a new job to escape sexual harassment at her old one, she finds that as the only woman at her new workplace—a manufacturer of cardboard tubes—she is expected to do all the menial tasks. One day she announces that she can’t clear away her coworkers’ dirty cups—because she’s pregnant and the smell nauseates her. The only thing is . . . Ms. Shibata is not pregnant.
Pregnant Ms. Shibata doesn’t have to serve coffee to anyone. Pregnant Ms. Shibata isn’t forced to work overtime. Pregnant Ms. Shibata watches TV, takes long baths, and even joins an aerobics class for expectant mothers. She’s living a year of rest and relaxation, and is finally being treated by her colleagues as more than a hollow core. But she has a ruse to keep up. Before long, it becomes all-absorbing, and with the help of towel-stuffed shirts and a diary app that tracks every stage of her “pregnancy,” the boundary between her lie and her life begins to dissolve.
Surreal and absurdist, and with a winning matter-of-factness, a light touch, and a refreshing sensitivity to mental health, Diary of a Void will keep you turning the pages to see just how far Ms. Shibata will carry her deception for the sake of women, and especially working mothers, everywhere.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
08/09/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780593592878

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Emi Yagi. (2022). Diary of a Void: A Novel. Unabridged Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Emi Yagi. 2022. Diary of a Void: A Novel. Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Emi Yagi, Diary of a Void: A Novel. Books on Tape, 2022.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Emi Yagi. Diary of a Void: A Novel. Unabridged Books on Tape, 2022.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Aug 05, 2022 16:33:37
Date Updated:
Nov 07, 2022 19:47:01
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 16, 2024 17:50:42
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 16, 2024 17:50:42
Last Availability Check:
Jun 16, 2024 17:50:46
Last Availability Change:
Jun 08, 2024 23:59:48
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jun 19, 2024 02:34:19

OverDrive Product Record

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        David Boyd (translator) has translated fiction by Mieko Kawakami, Izumi Suzuki, and Hiroko Oyamada, among others. His translation of Hideo Furukawa’s Slow Boat won the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. Boyd is an assistant professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
         
        Lucy North (translator) is the translator of The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura as well as fiction and nonfiction by over half a dozen other modern and contemporary Japanese writers, including Taeko Kono, Fumiko Enchi, Hiroko Oyamada, and Hiromi Kawakami. Her fiction translations have appeared in Granta, Words Without Borders, and The Southern Review, as well as in The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, and Found in Translation: 100 of the Finest Short Stories Ever Translated.
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A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker · NPR · WBEZ’s Nerdette · The New York Public Library · Literary Hub
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
“One of the most passionate cases I’ve ever read for female interiority, for women’s creative pulse and rich inner life.” ―Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
“Always expect the unexpected when you’re not expecting.” ―Sloane Crosley
A woman in Tokyo avoids harassment at work by perpetuating, for nine months and beyond, the lie that she’s pregnant in this prizewinning, thrillingly subversive debut novel about the mother of all deceptions, for fans of Convenience Store Woman and Breasts and Eggs

When thirty-four-year-old Ms. Shibata gets a new job to escape sexual harassment at her old one, she finds that as the only woman at her new workplace—a manufacturer of cardboard tubes—she is expected to do all the menial tasks. One day she announces that she can’t clear away her coworkers’ dirty cups—because she’s pregnant and the smell nauseates her. The only thing is . . . Ms. Shibata is not pregnant.
Pregnant Ms. Shibata doesn’t have to serve coffee to anyone. Pregnant Ms. Shibata isn’t forced to work overtime. Pregnant Ms. Shibata watches TV, takes long baths, and even joins an aerobics class for expectant mothers. She’s living a year of rest and relaxation, and is finally being treated by her colleagues as more than a hollow core. But she has a ruse to keep up. Before long, it becomes all-absorbing, and with the help of towel-stuffed shirts and a diary app that tracks every stage of her “pregnancy,” the boundary between her lie and her life begins to dissolve.
Surreal and absurdist, and with a winning matter-of-factness, a light touch, and a refreshing sensitivity to mental health, Diary of a Void will keep you turning the pages to see just how far Ms. Shibata will carry her deception for the sake of women, and especially working mothers, everywhere.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 18, 2022
        Yagi, in her riveting and surreal debut, offers a close inspection of the demands of motherhood. Shibata, 34, works at a paper core manufacturer. Though it appears an improvement from her previous position, where she was sexually harassed, the new workplace has its own sexist culture. Shibata soon learns that as the only woman in her section, her responsibilities also include undertaking the traditionally feminine chores of cleaning up after everyone, making coffee, and serving snacks. Sick of it, Shibata invents a lie: she’s pregnant. Instantly, the menial tasks go away and people around her begin to treat her with more caution and consideration. She gets to leave early, and treats herself to relaxing baths and dinners by herself. Soon, though, she realizes the lie, though easily created, will need work to uphold. As the weeks progress, Shibata tracks fetus development with an app, eats for two and enrolls in maternity aerobics. The more she works to keep up the fake pregnancy, the more it begins to seem real to her. Absurdist, amusing and clever, the story brings subtlety and tact to its depiction of workplace discrimination—as well as a touch of magic. Readers will eagerly turn the pages all the way to the bold conclusion.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2022

        Yagi's subversive and surreal debut illuminates the demands of being a woman and a mother in modern society. Thirty-four-year-old Shibata works at a manufacturing company, having fled her previous job to escape sexual harassment. The grinding sameness of her work, where she is expected to do traditionally feminine tasks--washing the dirty dishes, cleaning the refrigerator, distributing snacks--is finally too much. She announces that she can no longer do these tasks, as she is newly pregnant. Shibata is not, in fact, pregnant, but her declaration changes everything. With wonder and delight, narrator Nancy Wu describes how Shibata, no longer expected to work overtime, revels in her newfound freedom. She rests, binge-watches Amazon Prime, and joins an aerobics class for expectant mothers. Shibata's satisfaction with her improved circumstances and curiosity about her pregnancy is vibrantly communicated through Wu's narration. Listeners will be entranced by the lengths that she goes to in order to perpetuate her lie, and they, along with Shibata herself, may wonder if there's more to her pregnancy than meets the eye. VERDICT Yagi is an author to watch. Share this original and haunting story with fans of Sayata Murata's Convenience Store Woman.--Sarah Hashimoto

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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A New York Times Editors’ Choice
“One of the most passionate cases I’ve ever read for female interiority, for women’s creative pulse and rich inner life.” ―Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
“Always expect the unexpected when you’re not expecting.” ―Sloane Crosley
A woman in Tokyo avoids harassment at work by perpetuating, for nine months and beyond, the lie that she’s pregnant in this prizewinning, thrillingly subversive debut novel about the mother of all deceptions, for fans of Convenience Store Woman and Breasts and Eggs

When thirty-four-year-old Ms. Shibata gets a new job to escape sexual harassment at her old one, she finds that as the only woman at her new workplace—a manufacturer of cardboard...
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