Yuko Tsushima

Territory of Light

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Books : TERRITORY OF LIGHT'Wonderfully poetic ... extraordinary freshness ... a Virginia Woolf quality' Margaret Drabble

Territory of Light is the radiant story of a young woman, living alone in Tokyo with her two-year-old daughter. Its twelve chapters follow the first year of the narrator's separation from her husband. The novel is full of light, sometimes comforting and sometimes dangerous: sunlight streaming through windows, dappled light in the park, distant fireworks, dazzling floodwater, de-saturated streetlamps and mysterious explosions. The delicate prose is beautifully patterned: the cumulative effect is disarmingly powerful and bright after-images remain in your mind for a long time.


Series Title
Penguin Modern Classics
Penguin UK
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Yuko Tsushima
Publication Date
May, 2019
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.77 x 5.00 x 0.30 Inches

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.5)out of 5 stars
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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Territory of Light by ...

Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima is a slender volume which is episodic due to its initial release as a serial in a monthly journal. That said, it still holds together as a novel because it takes place over the course of a year, each chapter taking place in subsequent months. This is the type of novel one can read in a single sitting quite easily, but I wouldn't recommend it. I think this warrants a slower read with time between chapters to think about what happened, what it means, and how the character may have changed. In that sense this might be better read as a collection of related short stories even though it isn't. At times poignant and tender, at times harsh and almost cruel, Territory of Light illustrates the fluctuations of everyday life, especially after a life-altering decision. What seems certain one moment is questionable the next. Plans become merely hopeful predictions while surprises become the new normal. These aspects will speak to all readers. The fact that this is a woman in a very gender-conscious society speaks specifically to any readers who know what it is like to battle not only personal obstacles but societal ones as well. I highly recommend this for readers who might like to read and think about the day-to-day process of living, flaws and mistakes included. While very specific it also offers multiples avenues into the narrative so that any reader will be able to find something with which to empathize. Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

A woman in Tokyo is le...

A woman in Tokyo is left by her husband, alone she must raise her two year old daughter. There are twelve segments, and each covers a glimpse into their lives. They find an apartment, she still needs to work do her daughter attends daycare. We are privy to her personal thoughts as she draws us into their lives. She loses her temper, she gets depressed, wondering how she can go on, keep doing all she is doing. Her husband shows up at the unlikliest of times, though he is living with another woman, he still refuses to leave them alone. This novel is about the struggle for women to make a new life for themselves when they still have responsibilities and feeling from the old. It is simply about life. The writing is spare, elegant, and it lifts the novel from the mundane. It is a short book, but a beautifully done one. "I could not conclude that every sheet in the pack of origami paper I had bought my daughter a few days earlier had floated down, need after the other, taking its time and enjoying the breeze, onto the tiled roof below. I pictured a small hand plucking one square at a time from the pack. My daughter, who had just turned three, would have been laughing out loud with pleasure as she watched the different colors waiting down." One of the delightful images within.

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