The Maid

by Yasutaka Tsutsui

Nanase can read people's minds: a secret she will go to any lengths to protect. Privy to the thoughts of the families Nanase works for as a maid, unremarkable domestic scenes are merely a thin veil over a turmoil of lust, shame, jealously and hatred. Short but hard hitting, each chapter takes us deeper into the darkness of the human psyche. It's a disturbing journey.


Anger towards the unknown woman burned like a red flame in Kikuko's mind, and for a moment the hand holding her chopsticks shook violently. But she immediately put on a sweet smile, turned to her husband and asked sweetly if he wanted and more soup.
I'll kill him.
What's with that tone of voice?
'Nana, would you please reheat the soup?'
I really feel like killing him.
'Here you are.'
Translated by Adam Kabat


Some Prefer Nettles by Jun'ichirĊ Tanizaki.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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