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N.P.

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Sarao Takase, a famous contemporary Japanese who wrote in English, left as his last work a collection of ninety-seven short stories. When the ninety-eighth story surfaces, it sets events in motion that entangle the novel’s narrator, Kazami Kano, in a web of relationships from which she ultimately cannot escape. After Takase’s death, Kazami meets his son, Otohiko, and daughter, Saki, at a reception she attended with her much older lover, Shoji Toda, who was working on a translation of Takase’s ninety-eighth and supposedly final story. It recounts an older man’s love affair with a young woman; when he later discovers her to be his daughter, he kills himself.

N.P., which Takase meant to stand for “North Point,” explores the relationship between Takase and his daughter, Sui Minowa, as well as the emotional and sexual...

(The entire section is 269 words.)