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Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
Grotesque revolves around the murder of two Tokyo prostitutes, Yuriko and Kazue. The novel is narrated by Yuriko's unnamed older sister who suffers no grief at her sister's death. Her sister had been so beautiful to have once lived a privileged life and be their father's obvious favorite. Her beauty allowed her entry in a prestigious girl's school despite failing the entrance exam. The sisters and Kazue were all treated as outsiders by the rest of the girls, although Kazue manages to land a career as an adult. Yuriko and Kazue both struggled in a society where their skills, besides offering sex, are discounted. Their downfall was reaching for dreams that exceeded those allowed by them by societal limits. Natsuo Kirino's novel has received positive reviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer saying, "Grotesque is a powerful study of people humbled at the altar of superficial values."