The twelve hilarious fables in Yukiko Motoya’s The Lonesome Bodybuilder look at everyday life so closely they turn it inside out . . . Like Kelly Link and Karen Russell, the writers in America she most resembles, there’s an almost magician-like quality to what Motoya does: there’s no sleight of hand. It happens right in front of you. Yet the way she tilts reality always interrogates something bigger, like the meaning of masculinity in a marriage. This is thrilling work, and alongside Mieko Kawakami and Sayaka Murata, it seems clear there’s a movement of sorts coming from Japan.
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