Ryūnosuke Akutagawa was one of Japan’s great writers – author of the stories ‘Rashōmon’ and ‘In a Bamboo Grove’, most famously – who lived through Japan’s turbulent Taishō period, including the devastating 1923 Earthquake, only to take his own life at the age of just thirty-five in 1927.
Described as “one of the most original and intriguing books you’ll read this year,” and “the most illuminating commentary possible that Anglophone readers could find on this compelling figure,” Patient X is a novel of twelve tales inspired and informed by the life and works of Akutagawa. David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, declared Patient X to be “the best work to date” by David Peace. In this talk, David will be reading from Patient X and discussing the life and work of Akutagawa with Damian Flanagan.
David Peace – named in 2003 as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists – was born and brought up in Yorkshire. He is the author of the Red Riding Quartet (Nineteen Seventy-Four, Nineteen Seventy-Seven, Nineteen Eighty, and Nineteen Eighty-Three); GB84, which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; The Damned Utd, and Red or Dead, which was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. The final part of his Tokyo Trilogy – to follow Tokyo Year Zero and Occupied City – will be published after Patient X, his tenth novel. He lives in Tokyo and lectures in the Department of Contemporary Literature at the University of Tokyo.
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