The Naked Eye (Paperback)

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By Yoko Tawada, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

The Naked Eye is a captivating read from start to finish. It's told from the perspective of a young Vietnamese woman who is kidnapped while visiting East Germany for a communist party conference. In trying to escape, she ends up on a train headed to Paris instead of Moscow. Lost, adrift, she begins obsessively watching movies starring Catherine Deneuve and spends the next ten years doing everything she can to be able to go to the movies every night. The whole narrative is surreal and winding. The novel also functions as cinema criticism as Anh tries to understand the connections between Catherine, her many roles on film, and the role of the viewer. 

— From Cody M. Staff Picks


Dreamy, meditative, and filled with the gritty everyday perils of a person living somewhere without papers (at one point Anh is subjected to some vampire-like skin experiments), The Naked Eye is a novel that is as surprising as it is delightful--each of the thirteen chapters titled after and framed by one of Deneuve's films. "As far as I was concerned," the narrator says while watching Deneuve on the screen, "the only woman in the world was you, and so I did not exist." By the time 1989 comes along and the Iron Curtain falls, story and viewer have morphed into the dislocating beauty of both dancer and dance.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780811217392
ISBN-10: 0811217396
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: May 26th, 2009
Pages: 228
Language: English