Animating Animal Affect in Post-3/11 Fiction for Young People: Kibō no bokujō (The Farm of Hope)
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This paper examines how affect operates cognitively in the reading of fiction to generate care and concern for non-human species. The focus is on an exceptional post-3/11 book for young people, Kibō no Bokujō (Farm of Hope, 2014, henceforth Kibō). Written by novelist, Mori Etō, and illustrated by Yoshida Hisanori,1 Kibō is notable in its consideration of beef cattle left behind in the wake of the evacuation after Japan's triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown) of March 11, 2011 (3/11). Although based on actual events, the narrative is a fictional exploration of an unnamed farmer's internal dilemmas as he keeps his cows alive after they have been rendered commercially worthless through radiation fallout from the nuclear power plant. Affective reading comes into operation under mental processing of the narrative's ironies and metaphors, and is particularly poignant under cognisance of the irony that the farmer is now tending cows which he had originally bred for slaughter.