The Shut Ins

$32.99

Description

From the winner of the Australian/Vogel's Literary Award, this tour-de-force explores loneliness and desire, the peril and beauty of solitude - and our need for connection.

Mai and Hikaru went to school together in the city of Nagoya, until Hikaru disappeared when they were eighteen.

It is not until ten years later, when Mai runs into Hikaru's mother, Hiromi Sato, that she learns Hikaru has become a hikikomori, a recluse unable to leave his bedroom for years. In secret, Hiromi Sato hires Mai as a 'rental sister', to write letters to Hikaru and encourage him to leave his room.

Mai has recently married J, a devoted salaryman with conservative ideas about the kind of wife Mai will be. The renewed contact with her old school friend Hikaru stirs Mai's feelings of invisibility within her marriage. She is frustrated with her life and knows she will never fulfill J's obsession with the perfect wife and mother.

What else is there for Mai to do but to disappear herself?

About the Author

Katherine Brabon’s first novel, The Memory Artist, won The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award in 2016. It was shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and longlisted in the Indie Book Awards.
Her second novel, The Shut Ins was published in 2021. It won the People’s Choice Award at the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in 2022, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and Longlisted for the ALS Gold Medal from the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.
Katherine lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia, the unceded land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation.

Praise for The Shut Ins

'A compelling story about isolation, duty, desire, fear and escape. As each character in The Shut-Ins feels increasingly trapped by societal pressure, they explore the possibility of retreating to some indefinable, unknowable place. The Shut Ins will appeal to fans of thoughtful literary fiction with a touch of otherworldliness, such as Untold Night and Day by Bae Suah and Earthlings by Sayaka Murata.' - Bookseller & Publisher

'Not only is The Shut Ins a compelling story about hikikomori, those who seek absolute isolation from society, and those who orbit them in their reclusion, it is also a profound exploration of loneliness, solitude, and that peculiar, ineffable yearning for inner or unconscious worlds; the chimeric 'other side'. Katherine Brabon is a precise and contemplative writer, her prose capable of intense, almost-heady evocation. I will read everything she writes.' - Hannah Kent, bestselling author of Burial Rites and The Good People

'Brabon's intellectual and emotional knowledge, and her plainspoken yet spellbinding prose come together in a mesmerising work of art.' - Mireille Juchau, bestselling author of The World Without Us

'Brabon has Murakami's verve and craftsmanship. Her love of Japan shines through: myths, metaphors, its social life, and the vividness of its human faces make this a particularly rewarding piece of fiction.' - Sydney Morning Herald

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