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The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya
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The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Stories

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Translator Asa Yoneda
Length 5 hours 9 minutes
Language English
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A housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique―which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking businessmen struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon―until an old man shows him that they hold the secret to flying. A woman working in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won’t come out of the fitting room―and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices that her husband’s features are beginning to slide around his face―to match her own.

In these eleven stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien―and, through it, find a way to liberation. The Lonesome Bodybuilder is the English-language debut of one of Japan’s most fearlessly inventive young writers.

Yukiko Motoya was born in Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan in 1979. After moving to Tokyo to study drama, she started the Motoya Yukiko Theater Company, whose plays she wrote and directed. Her first story, “Eriko to zettai,” appeared in the literary magazine Gunzo in 2002. Motoya won the Noma Prize for New Writers for Warm Poison in 2011; the Kenzaburo Oe Prize for Picnic in the Storm in 2013; the Mishima Yukio Prize for How She Learned to Love Herself in 2014; and Japan’s most prestigious literary prize, the Akutagawa Prize, for An Exotic Marriage in 2016.

Natalie Naudus is a Taiwanese American actor who started out as an opera singer, with a master of music from the University of North Texas. She has a passion for stories and characters, and her language training has allowed her to develop a skill for accents and convincing foreign language dialogue. She excels at unique character voices and passionate storytelling. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Brian Nishii is a voice talent and award-winning audiobook narrator.

Erin Bennett is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a stage actress who played Carlie Roberts in the BBC radio drama Torchwood: Submission. She can be heard on several video games. Regional theater appearances include the Intiman, Pasadena Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, A Noise Within, Laguna Playhouse, and the Getty Villa. She trained at Boston University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Richard Powers has published thirteen novels. He is a MacArthur Fellow and received the National Book Award. His book, The Overstory, won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.

Tanya Eby is a novelist and an audiobook narrator who has earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards and been nominated for the Audie Award. She has a BA degree in English language and literature and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

Kate Mulligan has acted with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for more than ten seasons in productions including Hairspray, Alice in Wonderland, and Sense and Sensibility. Her film and television work includes Being John Malkovich and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Asa Yoneda was born in Osaka, Japan, and lives in Bristol, United Kingdom. In addition to Yukiko Motoya, she has translated works by Banana Yoshimoto, Aoko Matsuda, and Natsuko Kuroda.

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Reviews

“A blissfully surreal collection…Reality blurs with the fantastic, offering a welcome escape hatch out of a seemingly impossibly bleak world.”

“Eleven stories that fuse the banality of the everyday with dreamlike elements of fantasy.”

“At face value, the stories are fun and funny to read, but weightier questions lurk below the surface.”

“A diverse set of narrators skillfully delivers eleven stories about individuality, relationships, and liberation. Each narrator succeeds in portraying different characters in the collection…Flawlessly produced and narrated, this is an outstanding listen. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

“Changing narrators from one story to the next gives the listener an even more tangible sense of delineation than they get in print…Motoya’s unsettling stories deliver a combination of internal revelation and external malaise, and the longest story, ‘An Exotic Marriage,’ is a particular standout with Natalie Naudus’s breathless delivery.”

“Six narrators…take turns evenly voicing eleven unpredictable tales…With aural amplification, the mundane morphs into the bizarre, while the fantastic settles into the seemingly normal.”

“In eleven short stories, Yukiko Motoya pulls back the curtain from everyday lives, to reveal that beneath the most mundane lies a world bizarre and alien.”

“An often surreal, at times disturbing, and reliably twisted look at the hidden sides of our everyday lives.”

“The twelve hilarious fables in Yukiko Motoya’s The Lonesome Bodybuilder look at everyday life so closely they turn it inside out…Yet the way she tilts reality always interrogates something bigger…This is thrilling work.”

“An unusual but ingenious collection…Funny without collapsing into wackiness, these eccentric, beguiling stories are reminiscent of Haruki Murakami and Kafka.”

“A whimsical story collection from a gifted writer with a keen eye and a playful sense of humor.”

“I wish I could live inside a Yukiko Motoya book. Her perception and wisdom make the everyday experience feel magical and weird and the strangest experience seem strangely familiar.”

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