A compelling collection of five dreamlike, mysterious long stories all published in the years 1987-90, by a highly praised Japanese writer whose Kafkaesque fictions have won his country's prestigious Akutagawa Prize. Ikezawa's baffled, questing characters--a factory worker whose collusion with a criminal associate makes him a psychic ""fugitive"" (""Still Life""); a weather observer who infers from nature's unpredictability that ""the whole human race is powerless""; and a survivor of an ill-fated expedition unhinged by the changes survival has wrought in him (""Revenant""), among others, share a stunned awareness of the paradox silently mocking those who would transcend: that ""there's a way of life in which all existence becomes one. . . But the only way we can live is by being enclosed within ourselves."" Haunting fiction, not nearly as abstract as summary makes it sound, from a major new talent.