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A Robe of Feathers

And Other Stories

List Price: $14.95

May 1, 2009 | Paperback | 5-1/4 x 9-1/4, 208 pages | ISBN 9781582434896
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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.

About Thersa Matsuura

Thersa Matsuura has lived half her life in a small fishing town in Japan. There she researches Japanese myth and folklore, carves creepy hanga, and makes devil masks. She is also a Clarion West 2015 graduate and recipient of HWA's Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship.

"[A Robe of Feathers is] all fascinating material—very fresh to Western ears in both subject material and characterization—and comes to us wrapped in some of the most gorgeous prose I've read in a while. The stories are eerie, at times disturbing, occasionally sweet natured, but always compelling. A Robe of Feathers is truly a unique collection that suits no easy categorization except that of excellence." —Charles de Lint

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