Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Murder in the Age of Enlightenment

'One never tires of reading and re-reading his best works. Akutagawa was a born short-story writer' Haruki Murakami
'The quintessential writer of his era' David Peace
These are short stories from an unparalleled icon of modern Japanese literature. Sublimely crafted and shot through with a fantastical sensibility, they offer dazzling glimpses into moments of madness, murder and obsession.
A talented and spiteful painter is given over to depravity in pursuit of artistic brilliance. In the depths of hell, a robber spies a single spider's thread being lowered towards him. When a body is found in an isolated bamboo grove, a kaleidoscopic account of violence and desire begins to unfold.
Vividly translated by Bryan Karetnyk, this mesmerising collection brings together a series of essential works from the master of the Japanese short story.
Part of the Pushkin Press Classics series: timeless storytelling by icons of literature, hand-picked from around the globe.
Translated by Bryan Karetyn
Ryunosuke Akutagawa was one of Japan's leading literary figures in the Taisho period. Regarded as the father of the Japanese short story, he produced over 150 in his short lifetime. Haunted by the fear that he would inherit his mother's madness, Akutagawa suffered from worsening mental health problems towards the end of his life and committed suicide aged 35 by taking an overdose of barbiturates.
152 printed pages
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Original publication
Publication year
Pushkin Press
Bryan Karetnyk
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