The Forest Brims Over

A Novel


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9781640095373 | Paperback 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | 208 pages Buy it Now

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9781640095380 | Ebook | 208 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

A woman turns herself into a forest after long being co-opted to serve as the subject of her husband’s novels—this surrealist fable challenges traditional gender attitudes and exploitation in the literary world

Nowatari Rui has long been the subject of her husband’s novels, depicted as a pure woman who takes great pleasure in sex. With her privacy and identity continually stripped away, she has come to be seen by society first and foremost as the inspiration for her husband’s art. When a decade’s worth of frustrations reaches its boiling point, Rui consumes a bowl of seeds, and buds and roots begin to sprout all over her body. Instead of taking her to a hospital, her husband keeps her in an aquaterrarium, set to compose a new novel based on this unsettling experience. But Rui breaks away from her husband by growing into a forest—and in time, she takes over the entire city.

As fantasy and reality bleed together, The Forest Brims Over challenges unconscious gender biases and explores the boundaries between art and exploitation—muse abuse—in the literary world.

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

Tokyo Weekender, A Most Anticipated Title

"A sprightly, compelling tale with magical realist flair in which a novelist’s muse takes charge of her own story." —Kirkus Reviews

"Ayase’s inventive English-language debut offers a fantastical account of the gendered power dynamics between a writer and his muse . . . This smart and dreamy story will leave English-language readers wanting more from Ayase." —Publishers Weekly

"The Forest Brims Over fascinates with its surrealistic and yet all-too-familiar tale of female agency subsumed under male ambition. Again and again the prose shifts registers and morphs, a feat that Ayase and Trowell pull off beautifully." ––YZ Chin, author of Edge Case