Asa Yoneda


Under the Eye of the Big Bird

A Novel

From one of Japan's most brilliant and sensitive contemporary novelists, this speculative fiction masterpiece envisions an Earth where humans are nearing extinction, and rewrites our understanding of reproduction, ecology, evolution, artificial intelligence, communal life, creation, love, and the future of humanity

In the distant future, humans are on the verge of extinction and have settled in small tribes across the planet under the observation and care of "Mothers." Some children are made in factories, from cells of rabbits and dolphins; some live by getting nutrients from water and light, like plants. The survival of the race depends on the interbreeding of these and other alien beings--but it is far from certain that connection, love, reproduction, and evolution will persist among the inhabitants of this faltering new world.

Unfolding over fourteen interconnected episodes spanning geological eons, at once technical and pastoral, mournful and utopic, Under the Eye of the Big Bird presents an astonishing vision of the end of our species as we know it.

The Lonesome Bodybuilder


Winner of the Akutagawa Prize and the Kenzaburo Oe Prize, these eleven surreal tales, set in the offices, zoos, bus stops, boutiques, and homes of contemporary Japan "are reminiscent, at least to this reader, of Joy Williams and Rivka Galchen and George Saunders" (Weike Wang, The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice).

In the English-language debut of one of Japan’s most fearlessly inventive young writers a housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique, which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking commuters struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon, until an old man shows him that they hold the secret to flying. A saleswoman in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won’t come out of the fitting room, and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices that her spouse’s features are beginning to slide around his face to match her own.

In these eleven stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien--and find a doorway to liberation.