The Hole | Granta

  • Published: 04/04/2024
  • ISBN: 9781803510606
  • Granta Books
  • 96 pages

The Hole

Hiroko Oyamada

When Asa’s husband is offered a new job away from the city, the couple end up relocating. And since his new office is very close to his family’s home, it makes sense to move in next door to his parents.

Through the long hot summer, Asa does her best to adjust to their new rural lives, to the constant presence of her in-laws, to the emptiness of her existence and the incessant buzz of cicadas. And then one day, while running an errand for her mother-in-law, she comes across a strange creature, follows it to the embankment of a river, and ends up falling into a hole – a hole that seems to have been made specifically for her.

Thus begins a series of bizarre experiences that drive Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape and the family she has married in to, leading her to question her role in this world and, eventually, who she even is.

A great book

Patti Smith

Surreal and mesmerizing

New York Times

A haunting and transformative work of fiction

Laura van den Berg

The Author

Born in Hiroshima in 1983, HIROKO OYAMADA a is the author of two novellas: The Factory, which won the Shincho Prize for New Writers, and The Hole, which won Japan’s prestigious Akutagawa Prize. Oyamada has also written numerous short stories and essays.

More about the author →

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‘The hole felt as though it was exactly my size – a trap made just for me.’

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‘As I lay on the mattress, the white toe pads of the gecko floated up before me, against the vastness of the blue-black night. Rather than a presence, it seemed to me more like a trace, a barely discernible odour that flooded in on the air.’

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Spider Lilies

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‘The breeze smelled of many things: autumn and earth, the green of the countryside, face powder and old age.’