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The Little House is set in the early years of the Showa era (1926-89), when Japan's situation is becoming increasingly tense but has not yet fully immersed in a wartime footing. On the outskirts of Tokyo, near a station on a private train line, stands a modest European style house with a red, triangular shaped roof. There a woman named Taki has worked as a maidservant in the house and lived with its owners, the Hirai family. Now, near the end of her life, Taki is writing down in a notebook her nostalgic memories of the time spent living in the house. Her journal captures the refined middle-class life of the time from her gentle perspective. At the end of the novel, however, a startling final chapter is added. The chapter brings to light, after Taki's death, a fact not described in her notebook. This suddenly transforms the world that had been viewed through the lens of a nostalgic memoir, so that a dramatic, flesh-and-blood story takes shape. Nakajima manages to combine skillful dialogue with a dazzling ending. The result is a polished, masterful work fully deserving of the Naoki Prize.
Rodolphe El-Khoury translates and introduces this first English edition of The Little House, a forgotten masterpiece of 18th-century literature. The book is an important but overlooked architectural document, and has become an underground classic among architects and architectural historians. The Little House narrates a plot of seduction as it gradually unfolds in a visit to an architectural and artistic gem—a maison de plaisance in suburban Paris—enacting a tale of seduction, affect, and desire. Princeton Architectural Press's The Little House is the first English edition of La petite maison to be published since the original French edition was released in 1879.
The little house first stood in the country, but gradually the city moved closer and closer.
Writing from a feminist perspective, the author examines what is it about the Little House Series that accounts for its enduring commercial success. It examines both the content of the novels, the process of their creation, and what it demonstrates about the current trends of American culture.

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