Yoko (winner of the Akutagawa Prize in 1971) is the story of a sensitive young man's relationship with the title character, a beautiful young woman who is suffering from an apparently hereditary mental illness. Through Y ko's vivid but distorted perceptions of the world, Furui highlights the process by which reality and identity are created. Above all, however, Yoko is a touching, if somewhat unusual, tale of a young couple's deepening love. The other two short stories in this collection, "The Plain of Sorrows" and "The Doll," deal with the subject of coming to terms with aging and death, thus shifting the focus from the crises of young adulthood to those of middle age. "This important author's work has been hard to find in the West, and one is grateful for the translations and accompanying commentaries by Donna George Storey."--William Ferguson, New York Times Book Review Furui Yoshikichi has won the Akutagawa Prize (1971), the Nihon Bungaku Taisho (1980), the Tanizaki Prize (1983), the Kawabata Yasunari Prize (1988), and the Yomiuri Prize (1989).Donna George Storey is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Japanese Literature, University of California, Berkeley.