"Fear and Trembling", by Amélie Nothomb

Fiction, 1999

The story of a Belgian woman’s rapid descent through the ranks of a Japanese corporation, which is funny, thought provoking and, in places, moving. All quite an achievement in such a slim volume which sees the protagonist struggle and opine on the differences between cultures and touching on the role of women in Japanese society. A brisk read running a few jokes, some splendid and bizarre passages on work and, at the end, after all the humiliation and ritual, some kind of circularity.

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