Mrs. Murakami's Garden
(El jardín de la señora murakami)
From the groundbreaking author of Beauty Salon, The Large Glass, Jacob the Mutant, Mario Bellatin delivers a rousing, allegorical novel following the widowed keeper of a mysterious garden. When art student Izu’s teacher asks her to visit the famous collection of Mr. Murakami, she publishes a firm rebuttal to his curation. Instead of responding with fury, the rich man pursues her hand in marriage.
When we meet her in the opening pages, Mrs. Murakami is watching the demolition of her now-dead husband’s most prized part of the estate: his garden. The novel that follows takes place in a strange, not-quite-real Japan of the author’s imagination. But who, in fact, holds the role of author? As Mr. Murakami’s garden is demolished, so too is the narrative’s authenticity, leaving the reader to wonder: did this book’s creator exist at all?
"Bellatin is a playful novelist who isn't trying to hold the mirror to reality, provide allegory or philosophy or life lessons, and reading this provocative novella makes one consider all sorts of assumptions about why read?' and 'why write?' (Mrs. Murakami's Garden is) fiction that explores not only what it means, but why it matters."
"One of the beauties of this book is that nothing is what it seems... A superb work."
––The Modern Novel
“As the line between truth and fiction, life and art, grows increasingly blurred, it comes as no surprise to find Mario Bellatin standing at this divide, dancing in the gray zone.”
―Jeffrey Zuckerman, Los Angeles Review of Books
“If literature aims to make us less alone, we need writers like Bellatin who reflect not just a different perspective on life, but can envision something separate and apart, a periscope rising above the self.”
―Matt Bucher, Electric Literature
• English (World): Deep Vellum
• French (World): Cambourakis