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Three perfectly balanced stories from one of Japan’s greatest authors
Three perfectly executed stories from one of Japan’s most beloved writers showcase the exquisitely tuned talent of Yasushi Inoue. The writer describes each character and landscape with a lucid, deft tenderness. In the title story, the narrator, who is supposed to be writing a biography of a famous artist, becomes obsessed instead with the wasted life of the man who forged his paintings. In his typically understated way, Inoue probes into the difference between fact and fiction, and how the ‘fake’ can sometimes become more important than the original.
Inoue was one of Japan’s greatest writers, but has been too little known in English. Following on from Bullfight and The Hunting Gun, Life of a Counterfeiter is the third of Inoue’s books to be published in English by Pushkin Press.
Born in 1907, Yasushi Inoue worked as a journalist and literary editor for many years, only beginning his prolific career as an author in 1949 with Bullfight. He went on to publish 50 novels and 150 short stories, both historical and contemporary, his work making him one of Japan’s major literary figures. In 1976 Inoue was presented with the Order of Culture, the highest honour granted for artistic merit in Japan. He died in 1991.