Beyond Detective Fiction: A Brief Study of Natsuo Kirino’s Gyokuran (Magnolia)

Abstract

Natsuno Kirino (b. 1951) is a female detective fiction writer from Japan. She has published more than 20 novels and several of them, including Out (2004), Grotesque (2007), Real World (2008), and What Remains (2008), have been translated into English. Due to her close attention to female psychology in a patriarchal society, Kirino is often considered as a feminist writer. J. Madison Davis comments on Kirino’s rich imagination in Out in an article published in a recent issue of World Literature Today, in which he points out that her fiction creates not only fascinating plots but also a rare sense of reality, especially reality that women face in contemporary Japan. Out centers on a murder-mystery case, which involves a housewife killing her abusive husband with the help of three female coworkers from a bento-box factory. Behind the murder mystery there is a shocking depiction of reality—although Japan is among the most industrialized nations in the world, women still suffer social and economic inequality and violence within the family.

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Shan, L., 2011. Beyond Detective Fiction: A Brief Study of Natsuo Kirino’s Gyokuran (Magnolia). ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 18(2), pp.94–99. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.188

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Lianying Shan (Gustavus Adolphus College)

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