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The Floating World

Author: Gralla, Cynthia Set In . . .
 Asia, Japan, Tokyo
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: 2000s
Published: 2003
Description: I see you changing before my eyes, becoming something so marvelously new that I am enthralled beyond measure. . . . Forgive me for even trying to probe the most deeply scented corners of your soul.

A beautiful young American travels across the world, only to surrender to another culture’s macabre nightmares. The Floating World transports us to present-day Tokyo, where avant-garde dancers twist their lives together with renegade geisha, and reality bleeds into fantasy like desire into flesh.

Liza leaves her Ivy-league life behind and escapes to Tokyo, a place where art, politics, and sex seep into each other, and the irradiated ghosts of World War II pulse beneath the neon nightlife. She intends to study butoh, otherwise known as the dance of utter darkness, with master teacher Oshima Kenzo. While working in one of Tokyo’s infamous hostess bars, Liza meets the mysterious Maboroshi, leader of the maiko, a group of neophyte geisha whose expression is as violent as the dance of utter darkness itself. Liza’s journey culminates in the discovery of the most exclusive restaurant in Japan, where men eat intricate delicacies directly off a naked human body. Descending into this midnight underworld, Liza becomes fragmented, delicate, lost: a stranger in her own skin.

From an exciting new voice in fiction comes a sexy, dark literary debut steeped in the rich customs and rituals of Japan. As tempting and tactile as folds of silk, The Floating World is an evocative novel of the flesh that will seduce readers with its sensuous prose. Like the dance that runs through it, the story is a hypnotic exchange: a movement of back and forth, open and shut, secret and revealed.
  
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