The Maids (Paperback)

By Junichiro Tanizaki, Michael P. Cronin (Translator)

New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811228749, 176pp.

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/25/2017)

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The Maids, Tanizaki's final novel, sparkles like a jewel. Over the years--before, during, and after WWII--many women work in the pampered, elegant household of the famous author Chikura Raikichi, his wife, and her younger sister. Though the family's quite well-to-do, the house is small; the proximity of the maids helps perhaps to explain Raikichi's extremely close, and somewhat eroticized, observation of all their little ways. In the sensualist patrician Raikichi, Tanizaki offers a richly ironic self-portrait, but he presents as well an exquisitely nuanced chronicle of change and loss: centuries' old values and manners are vanishing, and here--in the evanescent beauty of all the small gestures and intricacies of private life--we find a whole world passing away.