A companion novel to Kij Johnson's The Fox WomanM, FUDOKI (4.5), is a novel woven from the strands of Japanese history and myth. Fudoki is "self and home and shrine, all in one to a cat"; the story starts as a tortoiseshell cat loses her fudoki after an earthquake and fire strikes the Imperial City. Homeless, the cat travels, until one day she awakens changed into a woman. How the cat becomes Kagaya-hime is told in flowing prose that often reads like poetry. The little cat's transformation and journey of self-discovery are interwoven with the story of an old woman setting down the tale of Kagaya-hime, her reminiscences of her long life in the Imperial court reflecting the journey of which she writes. Johnson has written a story about the nature of home, freedom and the power of redemption. (Oct., 320 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum