Two multi-layered stories from Toshiki Okada, winner of the Kenzaburo Oe Prize. On the eve of the Iraq War, a man and a woman meet in a nightclub in Tokyo. They go to a love hotel, and spend the next five days in a torrid affair. Written in a stream of consciousness, with the reader’s perceptions shifting and melting into one another, what is remarkable in this story is not what happens, but the ability of the writer to enter the minds and memories of the protagonists. In the second story, a woman living in a damp flat obsesses on the filthy state of her dwelling. She remains in bed for the duration of the narrative, but the drama and tension of her inner life – spiralling further and further into her memories and anxieties – keep the reader engrossed to the very end.