Stephanie Scott is a Singaporean-British writer who was born and raised in South East Asia. She joins Carol to discuss her debut novel, What’s Left of Me is Yours.
Set in modern-day Tokyo, the novel follows the story of an agent who is hired to seduce Sato’s wife and give him advantage in his divorce; this tradition is called “wakaresaseya” (literally “breaker-upper”). Sato’s wife, Rina, and this agent, Kaitaro, end up in a relationship that is much deeper than the one he was hired for. Kaitaro makes choices that will destroy Rina’s family and which sow seeds of uncertainty that will impact Rina’s daughter, Sumiko. As a young woman, Sumiko, is left to unravel the mysteries that ruined her mother’s life. Stephanie Scott portrays this family dilemma with brilliance and grace, opening up questions of possession, divorce, love, and lawmaking that causes ripples over generations.
Carol and Stephanie discuss Stephanie’s intense research into the cultural nuances and legal system of Japan, and Stephanie opens up about how her education in literature evolved into her desire to tell this story, which had its roots in a real-life crime. With an exploration of a culture many Americans may be unfamiliar with and a deeper look at her character’s lives, this is an interview — and a book — that you don’t want to miss.
Books discussed in this episode:
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