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Preview: Dendera

VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint opens 2015 with its first release of the New Year. Dendera is the stark and moving novel by award winning author Yuya Sato set to be published on February 17th 2015. An eBook edition also will debut on the same day for the Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks Store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Book Store, the Kobo eBooks Store, and the Google Play store.

Dendera focuses on an ancient Japanese practice of leading the elderly to die in the mountains during times of drought or famine in order to ensure enough resources are available for the next generation to survive. The book was inspired by the classic novel, The Ballad of Narayama by Shichiro Fukazawa, which was notably adapted into a feature film directed by Shohei Imamura and won the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival. Dendera was also turned into a feature film in 2011 that was directed by Daisuke Tengan, the son of director Shohei Imamura.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

hen Kayu Saitoh wakes up, she is in an unfamiliar place. Taken to a snowy mountainside, she was left there by her family and her village according to the tradition of sacrificing the lives of the elderly for the benefit of the young. Kayu was supposed to have passed quickly into the afterlife. Instead, she finds herself in Dendera, a utopian community built over decades by old women who, like her, were abandoned. Together, they must now face a new threat: a hungry mother bear.

Dendera is a captivating work that presents a strong female lead character and evocative story based around ubasute, the custom of leaving the elderly to die via exposure, a recurring theme in Japanese literature,” says Nick Mamatas, Editor. “This fabulist tale will be of interest to both fans of fantasy and literary fiction.”

Author Yuya Sato was born 1980 and is a writer of “strange fiction,” which features fantastic or horrific concepts treated in a refined literary style. Some of his short works of fiction have appeared in English in the mixed manga/prose anthology series Faust. His novel 1000 Novels and Backbeard won the Yukio Mishima Prize, one of Japan’s highest literary awards.

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