Where The Wild Ladies Are by  Aoko Matsuda

Where The Wild Ladies Are

Aoko Matsuda

I had to read these stories very attentively in order to detect the subtle connexions in the seemingly unrelated narratives. Inspired by traditional Japanese ghost tales they are written in an observant style, and give us glimpses into the lives of (mostly) ordinary women who mingle with creatures from the world of the dead as if that is the most natural thing to do. Best savoured in small quantities for even better appreciation.


One of my earliest memories is feeling a sense of incredulity at how many people there were in the world. As a small child, I was genuinely concerned that a world so swarming with people was liable to explode or something. It was a needless fear, though. Half the people I was seeing were no longer of this world.

I don’t know why, but the living and the dead have always looked exactly the same to me. I spent my childhood in a state of profound confusion and then, as a teenager, I discovered the film The Sixth Sense. Aha! I remember thinking: This is me! (Obviously I don’t mean Bruce Willis.) From that point on, I began to come to terms with my talent.

When you see both the living and the dead, you realise there is little difference. There are those with talent and those without it, among the living and the dead alike. They’re really just the same. So, I took the decision to assemble the talented ones from each – the best of both worlds, you could say.

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