Granta excerpt: The Book of the Dead

Granta Magazine

The Book of the Dead (Orikuchi Shinobu)First published in 1939 and extensively revised in 1943, The Book of the Dead, loosely inspired by the tale of Isis and Osiris from ancient Egypt, is a sweeping historical romance that tells a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth century Japan. Its author, Orikuchi Shinobu, was a well-received novelist, distinguished poet, and an esteemed scholar. He is often considered one of the fathers of Japanese folklore studies, and The Book of the Dead is without a doubt the most important novel of Orikuchi’s career and it is a book like no other.

For the first time, the University of Minnesota Press will publish the complete English translation of Orikuchi’s masterwork, whose vast influence is evidenced by multiple critical studies dedicated to it and by its many adaptations, which include an animated film and a popular manga. The Book of the Dead focuses on the power of faith and religious devotion, and can be read as a parable illustrating the suffering an artist must experience to create great art. A great deal lies hidden beneath the surface of the story; the entire text is a modernist mystery waiting to be decoded.

Read the excerpt at Granta.

University of Minnesota Press Podcast

More than two dozen essays of Indigenous resistance to the privatization and allotment of Indigenous lands

Allotment Stories: Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O'Brien.

A fascinating and unprecedented ethnography of animal sanctuaries in the United States

Saving AnimalsElan Abrell and Kathryn (Katie) Gillespie on sanctuary, care, ethics.

How popular debates about the so-called digital generation mediate anxieties about labor and life in twenty-first-century America

Making creative laborers for a precarious economy: Josef Nguyen, Carly Kocurek, and Patrick LeMieux.

FALL/WINTER 2022-23 BOOKS

f22_cover.png

Browse our Fall/Winter 2022-23 catalog for exciting forthcoming books!

Viewing options:

Web collection

PDF (with accessibility features)

Issuu

Simplebooklet