Silver Song
Author: Sayaka Murata
Specifications: ISBN  978-4103100713
217 pages
13.0 x 19.3 cm / 5.2 x 7.7 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Shinchosha Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2008
Awards: Noma Prize for New Writers, 2009
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One of a pair of novellas, the title story describes the sexual development of a girl from early childhood to puberty in the frankest terms. The "I" narrator is a naturally timid and clumsy child who tends to mess up anything she tries to do. This only provokes her mother and father, who abuse her psychologically, making her even more introverted. The narrator is a pathological masturbator from nursery-school age. Her tool is a silver pen (which extends into a pointer) bought at a nearby stationery shop. She dreams of becoming a voluptuous woman but her body refuses to cooperate and she remains underdeveloped. In her first year of middle school she deliberately sets herself up to be raped by an older boy, but the sex ends in failure, further convincing her that she is something less than a normal woman. In her third year of middle school, Akatsu, an officious, overbearing fellow, is appointed her homeroom teacher. Wanting to boost the self-assertiveness of his painfully shy pupil, he assigns her to make a speech in front of the class every day. Totally tongue-tied, the girl instead dreams of murdering Akatsu in revenge and writes a description of the act in her notebook. Managing to sublimate her murderous urges, she progresses to high school and starts working part-time at a convenience store. But as one thing after another goes wrong for her, she resumes work on her Akatsu murder scenario. When her former classmates tell her that Akatsu has died, she steals a knife from a store, deludedly thinking that if she doesn't kill someone, she herself will die . . .