I really enjoyed these spooky fairy tales with mercurial fairy kings, a woman whose soul was a tree, nefarious floating ghost heads, and more. Apparently Hearn collected these tales over his decades settling into a Japanese life, translating and selecting ones he’d thought would be interesting to a Western audience.
I was fascinated by the life of Lafcadio Hearn as described in the introduction. His peripatetic biography was wild, from tiny Greek Island childhood to London pauper, to Midwestern reporter to chronicler of New Orleans backways, and then ultimately settling in Japan. I think I’ll be reading more about him based in this.