The Diving Pool: Three Novellas

From Akutagawa Award-winning author Yoko Ogawa comes a haunting trio of novellas about love, fertility, obsession, and how even the most innocent gestures may contain a hairline crack of cruel intent. A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool—a peculiar infatuation that sends unexpected ripples through her life. A young woman records the daily moods of her pregnant sister in a diary, taking meticulous note of a pregnancy that may or may not e a hallucination—but whose hallucination is it, hers or her mothe 's? A woman nostalgically visits her old college dormitory on the outskirts of Tokyo, a boarding house run by a mysterious triple amputee with one leg.

Hauntingly spare, beautiful, and twisted, The Diving Pool is a disquieting and at times darkly humorous collection of storie about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
(ダイヴィング・プール / Daivingu pūru) — (妊娠カレンダー / Ninshin karendā) — (ドミトリイ / Domitorii)
Publication Date
Published January 22nd 2008 by Picador (first published 1990

Public Commentary

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The tories are told in deceptively simple prose that put you thinking for a shor time afterward.There are thematic and symbolic strains: of memory ( a ort of nostalgia?), the outward crumbling of buildings ( reflecting what is within the narrators?) and the unease associated with the roles of females ( including, in thi next two novel, the relationship of unmarried young women to babies not their own; and, in the ast, an almost passive-aggressive rebellion of a wife toward her husband).

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This main characters coul be collectively described as female outsiders: two women and one girl, all of them lonely, detached, and concerned with observing rather than participating.In 'The Diving Pool', teenage Aya focuses her obsessive energies on her foster brother Jun, whose body she covets, and little bo named Rie, whom she torments.

These stories feature deeply uncomfortable details – Aya 's characterisation of her cruelty to Rie as 'erotic', the sister 's repulsive descriptions of food: 'Does n't the sauce on the macaroni remind you of digestive juices? 'The weirdest – and best – of the stories is the firs, 'Dormitory'.

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I 'm hoping I enjoy it more now! Re-read: May 2019The Diving Pool- 2.5/5 starsPregnancy Diary- 4/5 stars Dormitory- 4.5/5 stars I really loved the second and third novel in his collection, which I read for the second time.

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Despite the fact I find Asian literature a bit unconventional, the ore I read it, the ore I like it.

You 're no sure whether the story will turn into tragedy or resolve safely.

Another is a twisted love story, which is expressed through various acts of cruelty towards a toddler.

Anothe story begins with a bit of a twist.

When the narrator ’ s sister recovers from several months of early pregnancy nausea, the narrator sadistically begins feeding her with grapefruit jam made from imported fruits which are potentially harmful to the fetus.

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Nex wee, I read Yoko Ogawa ’ s newest collection, Revenge – spare and unsettling tales of emotionally damaged individuals that contrast elegant prose with often bizarre situations.The Diving Pool, written nearly a quarter century earlier, provides a context for Ms. Ogawa ’ s trajectory as a poet.

Rather, he exposed my secret as if offering himself to me. ” Pregnancy Diary, the second of the three, also presents an emotionally detached narrator ( as do many of the stories in Revenge).

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© Nicole Waggonner