There is a paradox in all great short stories: they leave large marks that bely their stature. Like a tiny comet crashing to Earth, they are brilliantly devastating forces of nature that make a hell of a profound impact.
Often when reading narratives that decide to play with time, jumping back and forth without warning, I wonder if the book would hold up as well if it were rearranged in chronological order.
There’s a tenderness within Gazdanov that seems to recall Carson McCullers or Anne Tyler
And when the narrative stops on a dime after an ice-cold 97 pages, you’re left wanting more.
The case is open and shut. But when the incarcerated murderer hires a disreputable lawyer to investigate the possibility that it was someone else, the case inverts into a claustrophobic entanglement of red tape, sin and checkered pasts.
Themes of security, honour, obligation and voyeurism converge into something enticing and engaging under Togawa’s pen.