Friday Staff Pick: In Praise of Shadows

Recommended by Tân, City Lights Books

An essay on aesthetics by the Japanese novelist, this book explores architecture, jade, food, and even toilets, combining an acute sense of the use of space in buildings. The book also includes descriptions of laquerware under candlelight and women in the darkness of the house of pleasure.

“This eloquent, though sometimes perverse, essay on the Japanese sense of beauty by one of the most articulate of modern Japanese novelists is something everyone interested in Japan should read.” —Edward McClellan, Yale University

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