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Scattered All Over the Earth

Scattered All Over the Earth

Mitsutani, Margaret
Tawada, Yoko


Science FictionGeneral FictionLiterary Fiction

Publisher Price: $16.95

ISBN10: 0811229289
ISBN13: 9780811229289
Publisher: New Directions
Published: Mar 1 2022
Pages: 256
Weight: 0.50
Height: 0.60 Width: 5.10 Depth: 8.00
Language: English
Welcome to the not-too-distant future as envisioned by the remarkable Yoko Tawada. Japan, having vanished into the sea, is now remembered as the land of sushi. Hiruko, a former citizen of the land of sushi and a climate refugee herself, has a job teaching immigrant children in the Danish city of Odense with her invented language Panska (Pan-Scandinavian): homemade language. no country to stay in. three countries I experienced. no time to learn three different languages. might mix up. insufficient space in brain. so made new language. homemade language most Scandinavian people understand.

Hiruko soon makes new friends to join her in her travels as she searches for anyone who can still speak Japanese: Knute, a graduate student in linguistics, who is fascinated by her Panska; Akash, an Indian man who lives as a woman, wearing a red sari; Nanook, an Eskimo from Greenland, first mistaken as another refugee from the land of sushi; and Nora, who works at the Karl Marx House in Trier. All these characters take turns narrating chapters, which feature an umami cooking competition; a dead whale; an ultra-nationalist terrorist group called Breivik; Kakuzo robots; uranium; and an Andalusian bull fight. Episodic and mesmerizing, the scenes of Scattered All Over the Earth flash vividly along, until--since what everyone really needs is a lot of traveling companions--they all agree to go to Stockholm.

With its intrepid, ever-surprised and ever-surprising band of companions, this new novel (the first of a trilogy) may bring to mind a surreal mix of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Innocents Abroad, and The Wind in the Willows, but in fact it is like nothing else except another masterwork by Yoko Tawada--herself a consummate global citizen.

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