By conventional Japanese standards, Koko Mizuno is an abysmal failure as woman, wife, and mother--and she couldn't care less. She has succeeded in remaining true to herself in a stubborn struggle against powerful conformist pressures. Yet her ...
resistance is largely passive. Self-absorbed, indecisive, she makes her own uncharted way through life, letting her husband, lovers, even her only daughter, gradually slip away. Signs that she is pregnant after a casual affair rouse her to make decisions. Then a deeply ironic turn of events thrusts her into the cold light of a reluctant self-knowledge. Through layer upon layer of dreams, memories, defenses, and delusions, she emerges finally to take a conscious step toward the independence she cannot yet define, certain only that she herself has changed.
In Child of Fortune, Yuko Tsushima has brought to life a woman whose psychological complexity reflects the meeting of Japanese fiction and women's changing consciousness. The depths of inner conflict are illuminated here by radiant imagery, wry humor, and a sharp clarity of vision.
While drawing on the "I-novel" tradition that has dominated modern Japanese literature, the author integrates the autobiographical elements into a fully realized fictional work of penetrating social insight.
The novel received the 1978 Women's Literature Prize, one of many awards that have spotlighted Yuko Tsushima as a writer of exceptional gifts.