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  • Mild Vertigo

Fitzcarraldo Editions

Mild Vertigo

by Mieko Kanai.

Translated from Japanese by Polly Barton.

  • £12.99
  • Available
  • Paperback published on 21/06/2023
  • Page count: 176 pages
  • ISBN: 9781804270387
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Quick take

Mesmerising, precise, dizzying. 

Why we love it

We loved the precise sentences and poetry in small moments, and Polly Barton’s masterful translation of those long and winding sentences that you sink into.


Housewife Natsumi leads a small, unremarkable life in a modern Tokyo apartment with her husband and two sons: she does the laundry, goes on trips to the supermarket, visits friends and gossips with neighbours. Tracing her conversations and interactions with her family and friends as they blend seamlessly into her own infernally buzzing internal monologue, Mild Vertigo explores the dizzying reality of being unable to locate oneself in the endless stream of minutiae that forms a lonely life confined to a middle-class home, where both everything and nothing happens. 

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About the author

About Mieko Kanai 

Mieko Kanai is a highly regarded Japanese author and artist known for her distinctive contributions to contemporary literature. She was born on 1947, in Tokyo, Japan. Kanai's work spans various genres, including novels, short stories, essays, and poetry, all of which demonstrate her unique literary style and imaginative storytelling.

Kanai's literary career began in the late 1970s when she published her first novel, "Miharashi-tei no Kako" (The Past of the Scenery Pavilion). Her writing often explores themes of memory, identity, and the blurred boundaries between reality and fantasy. Through her evocative prose and attention to detail, Kanai has captivated readers and critics alike, earning her a reputation as one of Japan's most innovative and thought-provoking writers.

About Polly Barton 

Polly Barton is a Bristol-based writer and translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction. Her books include the prizewinning Fifty Sounds – a personal dictionary of the Japanese language, and Porn: an oral history. Her translations include Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, and Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki.

More books published by Fitzcarraldo Editions

Fitzcarraldo Editions is an independent publisher specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays. Founded in 2014, it focuses on ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing, both in translation and in the English language.

View all books by Fitzcarraldo Editions

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