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Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
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Earthlings

A Novel

$15.26 USD

Retail price (USD): $16.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Nancy Wu
Translator Ginny Tapley Takemori
Length 7 hours 6 minutes
Language English
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As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit into her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut who has explained to her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. Each summer, Natsuki counts down the days until her family drives into the mountains of Nagano to visit her grandparents in their wooden house in the forest, a place that couldn’t be more different from her grey commuter town. One summer, her cousin Yuu confides to Natsuki that he is an extraterrestrial and that every night he searches the sky for the spaceship that might take him back to his home planet. Natsuki wonders if she might be an alien too.

Back in her city home, Natsuki is scolded or ignored and even preyed upon by a young teacher at her cram school. As she grows up in a hostile, violent world, she consoles herself with memories of her time with Yuu and discovers a surprisingly potent inner power. Natsuki seems forced to fit into a society she deems a “baby factory,” but even as a married woman she wonders if there is more to this world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them.

Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful, Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world and cements Sayaka Murata’s status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe.

Sayaka Murata is the author of many books, including Convenience Store Woman, winner of the Akutagawa Prize. Murata has been named a Freeman’s “Future of New Writing” author and a Vogue Japan Woman of the Year.

Nancy Wu has narrated audiobooks since 2004, winning three AudioFile Earphones Awards. A New York theater, television, and film actor, she has recorded in studios all over the world—from Italy to Switzerland to Thailand. Her credits include Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Hope & Faith, All My Children, Made for Each Other, and the Oscar-nominated film Frozen River.

Ginny Tapley Takemori has translated works by more than a dozen Japanese writers, including Ryu Murakami. She lives at the foot of a mountain in Eastern Japan.

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Reviews

“Casts a fluorescent spell…A thrifty and offbeat exploration of what we must each leave behind to participate in the world.”

“A gem of a book…A gift to anyone who has ever felt at odds with the world.”

“This is one that should be on everyone’s wish list.”

“Immensely charming, strange, and heart-stomping…Earthlings should be one of the main fictional events of 2020.”

“I loved this book! It easily converted me to being an alien. Radical, hilarious, heartbreaking.”

“A celebration of nonconformity that is both joyous and unsettling.”

“As intoxicating as a sake mojito…A literary prize-winner that’s also a page turner.”

“A new statement by Murata that finding your own freedom is a struggle against family and society which takes sacrifice.”

“Exhilaratingly weird and funny…Unsettling and totally unpredictable.”

“This eye-opening, grotesque outing isn’t to be missed.”

“A critique of cultural expectations that limit what women can be and what they can do…[using] horror and science fiction to explore real-world problems.”

“Societally defiant, shockingly disconnected, and disturbingly satisfying.”

"[A] shocking story about the consequences of nonconformity in a society with rigid expectations.”

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