Motoya takes ordinary objects like umbrellas, curtains, dogs, rocks, etc., and ensures we never see them the same way again. Whether she’s exploring marriage or gender or power, her surreal, absurdist, fantastical ways of looking at the world is reminiscent of Angela Carter and, in more recent times, Carmen Maria Machado. Her talent with varied voices comes through well in this skillful translation. The title story, about a housewife who takes up bodybuilding and what that does to her relationship with her not-so-observant husband, is representative of Motoya’s worldview throughout: behind every seemingly normal home or workplace, there are weird, unsettling aspects. We only have to be willing to look.
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