... elegantly translated ... Tsushima writes in prose so bare and vivid that even banal details acquire a visceral vibrancy ... What emerges is a story that searchingly inhabits the lives of women without sentimentality or self-pity ... In putting pen to the blank page, [Tsushima] has opened up a territory that feels, in some small way, like a bright room of her own.
... this short novel has a timelessness to it. The denial and dislocation are portrayed in a straightforward fashion, and the translation, by Geraldine Harcourt, is spare and unsentimental ... [Sexism's] blatant nature — and the fact that the young mother accepts it as normal — is jarring. Much more compelling are the internal conflicts that make up the bulk of this novel. There is a sense of inevitability as the year ends, and the woman takes a new apartment. Only walking distance from her light-filled sanctuary, the new space represents a new life, another understated step along the journey she has made.
... the brilliance of Territory is that Tsushima’s skilled attention to her narrator’s inner struggles ultimately asks the reader to feel empathy not just for one woman but also for a whole strata of women living with little societal support ... the episodes of the narrator’s life are, when read carefully, far from boring. There is something deeply seductive about being drawn into the intimate thoughts of a woman who otherwise would tell them to no one ... Tsushima’s gift is to provide insight into the mother’s difficulties without rendering her protagonist simply an oppressed victim.