Books News: So, You Say You Want to Do the Splits?

Asked why she chose to highlight professional shame and embarrassment in the short story, Eiko responded, “Whether or not you can do the splits is a battle with your own insecurities. Many of the people who buy the book have an inferiority complex because they’ve been inflexible ever since they were children. Many Japanese people have inferiority complexes about not being able to speak English or about being overweight, and lots of people feel the same way about being inflexible. For people like that, being able to do the splits means changing their ‘no-good self’ into something good.”

Whether such psychological abjection will speak to an American audience remains to be seen. However, a recent study out of Northwestern University showed that the estimated age of a…

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