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Second Hand Love

Second Hand Love

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By Yamada Murasaki. Published by Drawn & Quarterly. 

Softcover, 228 pages, B&W and 2-Colour, 2024 (Originally published in Japanese between 1983-1987)

In the end, we’re all the same…we just want to be smothered like babies against another human’s beating heart

Through a cracked door, heartsick Emi hears a playful growl. Cautiously, she lets her lover in—a wolf of a man wielding a bouquet of roses. His shoulders must have been four inches wider than mine. As I stood behind him, I fantasized about the broadness of his chest and the thickness of his neck…and about becoming his mistress once again.

And so their story goes. For a young woman interested in love without the hassle of a traditional relationship, an affair with someone else’s spoiled husband is just what she ordered—until it’s time to move on.

Then there’s Yuko: with even less time for married men’s shenanigans, she turns her attention to her aging father and the guilt of adultery that has gnawed at his heart for years. Her mother is long dead, yet her memory is enshrined for eternity in their—both father’s and daughter’s—mirrored indiscretions.

Drawn soon after the critically-acclaimed Talk to My Back, the two stories in Second Hand Love mark the triumphant return of Yamada Murasaki, one of literary manga’s most respected feminist voices. Translated by noted historian Ryan Holmberg, this edition includes an interview with the artist from the height of her career in 1985, where her wit and wisdom are on shimmering display.

"Yamada’s insight into women’s roles, identities, and attachments remains relevantly evergreen across cultures and decades."—Booklist, Starred Review

Praise for Yamada Murasaki

"This early feminist manga follows a suburban Tokyo woman as she navigates her relationship with an emotionally distant husband, her two maturing daughters and the fear of having been 'thrown away inside that empty vessel called the household.'" — The New York Times

"[Murasaki] moves with a spare poetry through daily routines and moments of solitude as a woman wrangles her children, chafes at the limitations of the housewife’s role and wonders where half her life has gone." — Guardian Best Graphic Novels of 2022

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