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  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409076186
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

The Diving Pool

The first major English translation of one of contemporary Japan's most celebrated, award-winning authors.

Beautiful, twisted and brilliant - discover Yoko Ogawa.

A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster-brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool - sparking an unspoken infatuation that draws out darker possibilities.

A young woman records the daily moods of her pregnant sister in a diary, but rather than a story of growth the diary reveals a more sinister tale of greed and repulsion.

Driven by nostalgia, a woman visits her old college dormitory on the outskirts of Tokyo. There she finds an isolated world shadowed by decay, haunted by absent students and the disturbing figure of the crippled caretaker.

  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409076186
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

About the author

Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa has won every major Japanese literary award. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space and Zoetrope. Her works include The Diving Pool, a collection of three novellas, The Housekeeper and the Professor,Hotel Iris and Revenge.

Also by Yoko Ogawa

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Praise for The Diving Pool

A fine collection of three queasily unsettling novellas... She invests the most seemingly banal domestic situations with a chilling and malevolent sense of perversity, marking her out as a master of subtle psychological horror

Daily Telegraph

A welcome introduction to an author whose suggestive, unsettling storytelling speaks volumes by leaving things unsaid


An intriguing trilogy of exquisitely sketched stories... Elegant, intelligent, quietly disturbing

Financial Times

Each well narrated and haunting novella, about love, obsession and dark humour, has an unpredictable twist of viciousness coupled with compassion

The Hindu

Hard not to finish in one go, Yoko Ogawa's stories are perfect for spooky bedtime reading - and not-so-sweet dreams

Big Issue

Her combination of the strange with the visceral elegantly conveys silent inner worlds of misery and pain


Ogawa is original, elegant, very disturbing. I admire any writer who dares to work on this uneasy territory - we're on the edge of the unspeakable. The stories seem to penetrate right to the heart of the world, and find it a cold and eerie place. Her spare technique is very skilled. Every word is put to work. She sets up a small vibration, a disturbance, which begins quietly and generates wider and wider ripples of unease. There are no narrative tricks, but the stories generate a surprising amount of tension. You feel as if you've touched an icy hand

Hilary Mantel, author of Beyond Black

Ogawa's tales possess a gnawing, erotic edge

Publishers Weekly

Original, elegant, very disturbing... on the edge of the unspeakable

Hilary Mantel

Polished, original and strange. She reveals humour, menace, and humanity in a quietly explosive book

Irish Times

The three Japanese novellas in The Diving Pool are both creepy and disturbingly lovely...spine-tingling uncertainty surfaces throughout the haunting prose

Dazed & Confused

Written in haunting, spare, shimmering prose...punctuated by acts of casual violence and vindictive spite. Profoundly unsettling, magnificently written and instantly memorable, these stories vindicate [Ogawa's] status as one of Japan's greatest living writers


Yoko Ogawa is able to give expression to the most subtle workings of human psychology in prose that is gentle yet penetrating.

Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Prize Winning author of A Personal Matter

Yoko Ogawa's British debut is inexcusably belated....Ogawa is a conspicuously gifted writer... Not a word is wasted, yet each resonates with a blend of poetry and tension... mesmerising... To read Ogawa is to enter a dreamlike state tinged with a nightmare, and her stories continue to haunt. She possesses an effortless, glassy, eerie brilliance. She should be discovered in Britain, and this book must surely begin the process

Joanna Briscoe, Guardian

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