Thursday, May 20, 2021

Seven books about misfits trying to escape societal pressure

Ailsa McFarlane was born in 1997 in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in Snowdonia in the United Kingdom. After leaving school, she studied veterinary science before dropping out to travel the United States and Europe by road.

Highway Blue is her first novel.

At Electric Lit McFarlane tagged seven novels about running away from the past, including:
The Frolic of the Beasts by Yukio Mishima

In the opening pages of Mishima’s novel, Koji looks back from the deck of a moving ship as it leaves the town of Numazu behind him on the shore. The ship is a prison boat, and Koji has just been discharged from the penitentiary where he has served out his sentence for attacking his lover’s husband with a metal wrench. Waiting for him on the other side of his journey are Yuko, his lover, and Ippei, her husband and Koji’s victim, whose life has been irrevocably changed by his injuries.

The narrative is punctuated regularly by Mishima’s often-startling, bad-dream imagery that sometimes borders on the surrealistic—pale fetuses, wilting lilies, the shadow of a rat thrown across a face. In many places, this imagery is linked to regression or stilted growth, as ideas of the traditional loving, respectful man-woman dynamic—so important to the Japanese society of the time—are twisted out of shape, refracted through the panel of dark glass that Mishima holds against them.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue