The Forest Brims Over: A Novel (Paperback)

The Forest Brims Over: A Novel By Maru Ayase, Haydn Trowell (Translated by) Cover Image

The Forest Brims Over: A Novel (Paperback)

By Maru Ayase, Haydn Trowell (Translated by)


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A woman turns herself into a forest after long being co-opted to serve as the subject of her husband’s novels—this surrealist fable challenges traditional gender attitudes and exploitation in the literary world

Nowatari Rui has long been the subject of her husband’s novels, depicted as a pure woman who takes great pleasure in sex. With her privacy and identity continually stripped away, she has come to be seen by society first and foremost as the inspiration for her husband’s art. When a decade’s worth of frustrations reaches its boiling point, Rui consumes a bowl of seeds, and buds and roots begin to sprout all over her body. Instead of taking her to a hospital, her husband keeps her in an aquaterrarium, set to compose a new novel based on this unsettling experience. But Rui breaks away from her husband by growing into a forest—and in time, she takes over the entire city.

As fantasy and reality bleed together, The Forest Brims Over challenges unconscious gender biases and explores the boundaries between art and exploitation—muse abuse—in the literary world.
MARU AYASE has published seventeen books, many of which have been finalists for major awards in Japan. The Forest Brims Over is her first title to be translated into English.

HAYDN TROWELL is an Australian literary translator of modern and contemporary Japanese fiction. His translations include Touring the Land of the Dead and Love at Six Thousand Degrees by Maki Kashimada, The Mud of a Century by Yuka Ishii, and The Rainbow by Yasunari Kawabata.
Product Details ISBN: 9781640095373
ISBN-10: 1640095373
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: July 25th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English
Tokyo Weekender, A Most Anticipated Title

"A sprightly, compelling tale with magical realist flair in which a novelist’s muse takes charge of her own story." —Kirkus Reviews

"Ayase’s inventive English-language debut offers a fantastical account of the gendered power dynamics between a writer and his muse . . . This smart and dreamy story will leave English-language readers wanting more from Ayase." —Publishers Weekly

"The Forest Brims Over fascinates with its surrealistic and yet all-too-familiar tale of female agency subsumed under male ambition. Again and again the prose shifts registers and morphs, a feat that Ayase and Trowell pull off beautifully." ––YZ Chin, author of Edge Case