ISBN-10: 1949641287
ISBN-13: 9781949641288
Publisher: Two Lines Press
Publish Date: 04/12/2022
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 4.90" W, 0.70" H

At the Edge of the Woods

Translator: Juliet Winters Carpenter


Price: $16.95


“Balances wonder and disquiet with incomparable grace and precision…Ono continues to captivate.” –Bryan Washington, author of Memorial

In an unnamed foreign country, a family of three is settling into a house at the edge of the woods. But something is off. A sound, at first like coughing and then like laughter, emanates from the nearby forest. Fantastical creatures, it is said, live out there in a castle where feudal lords reigned and Resistance fighters fell. When the mother, fearing another miscarriage, returns to her family’s home to give birth to a second child, father and son are left to their own devices in rural isolation. Haunted by the ever-present woods, they look on as the TV flashes with floods and processions of refugees. The boy brings a mysterious half-naked old woman home, but before the father can make sense of her presence, she disappears. A mail carrier with gnashing teeth visits to deliver nothing but gossip of violence. A tree stump in the yard refuses to die, no matter how generously the poison is applied.

An allegory for alienation and climate catastrophe unlike any other, At the Edge of the Woods is a psychological tale where myth and fantasy are not the dominion of childhood innocence but the poison fruit borne of the paranoia and violence of contemporary life.


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"Ono's immersive narrative accrues insights about the nature of violence and mercy... an accomplished work by a masterful writer. Publishers Weekly

"An eerie allegory of climate apocalypse and unnatural nature...full of dark laughter, figures that appear and disappear, sounds of violence and gnashing teeth." The Millions (Most Anticipated 2022)

"Like Murakami paying homage to Stephen King...It is with a sense of compelling unease that one wanders through the curious world of [Ono's] novel...I want to go back and read it over again." Litro Magazine

"Ono structures his novels like classical productions...The joy and surprise in his novels come from such play, such variations and how they are juxtaposed against and absorb that which is outside the norm, on the other side of the edges. At the Edge of the Woods is an excellent introduction to his work." The Rupture

"Enchanting and vividly terrifying...At The Edge of The Woods can only be read at the edge of your seat." International Examiner

"The terrors in Ono's world seem unfamiliar and strange. Until they don't. Like an image that slowly resolves into focus, the occasional appearance of people in unexpected places becomes a full blown refugee crisis like the ones that rock the contemporary world." Asian Review of Books

"A haunting fable about the disturbing strangeness of modern life....Some readers might think At the Edge of the Woods has perfectly captured the mood of the times." Shelf Awareness

"A surreal tale of a world torn apart by disaster...Written in startling, imaginative vignettes, At the Edge of the Woods is an evocative terrifying story about a family's efforts to survive a crisis." –Rebecca Hussey, Foreword Reviews

"[The novel] dares to question modernity...The woods become a metaphor for the aspects of nature that the modern man and woman can no longer accept. Humans always seek answers to every question, but what if there is no answer? There exists a deep chasm in our understanding, an emptiness that instinctually horrifies us. A void we must fill with 'imps' and 'demons' in order to justify our trepidation." Asia Media International

"Japan, of course, has a long tradition of ghostly stories, both in literature and cinema and it is clear that Masatsugu Ono: is well within this tradition. It certainly is a clever and well-written book and one thoroughly enjoyable to read." The Modern Novel

"At the Edge of the Woods balances wonder and disquiet with incomparable grace and precision; in this novel about a family navigating their unsteady future, Masatsugu Ono illustrates modern life's horrors alongside the wonder of the unknown. Ono is one of our great chroniclers of love, with all of its possibility and dread, and the worlds this novel inhabits are both unsettling and awe-inspiring. At the Edge of the Woods is beautiful and seductive. Ono continues to captivate." –Bryan Washington, author of Memorial

"This book. I have never read anything quite like it. Think The Turn of the Screw meets Signs Preceding the End of the World. Ono, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter, is an exquisite writer." –Rachel Swearingen, author of How to Walk on Water & Other Stories

Praise for Masatsugu Ono

"[Ono] is a master storyteller" The Japan Times

"Cross García Márquez and Simenon and set the piece on the Sea of Japan, and you'll have a feel for Ono's latest... Fans of Kenzaburo Oe's Death by Water and Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 will enjoy Ono's enigmatic story." Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Echo on the Bay

"[A] slim, albeit mighty, narrative that begins comically wry and ends with shocking resonance...Understated, yet unforgettably stunning." Booklist (starred review) on Echo on the Bay

" so skilled at conveying emotion that Takeru and his world are mesmerizing, and often heart-rending." The New Yorker on Lion Cross Point

"A mesmeric fusion of fable, ghost story and haunting depiction of family trauma....unsettling and quietly moving." San Francisco Chronicle on Lion Cross Point

More Reviews


ISBN-10: 1949641287
ISBN-13: 9781949641288
Publisher: Two Lines Press
Publish Date: 04/12/2022
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 4.90" W, 0.70" H
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