The Sin-Eaters

Jami is currently working on The Sin-Eaters, a novel based on Japanese mythology and folklore, which she began in early 2014.

Of her work, the Chicago Reader writes:

Lin’s larger ongoing project, a parabolic novel populated with Japanese folklore, responds to what happened to her family during World War II. “People wonder why I’m so obsessed with mythology, since they’re just made-up stories from long ago,” Lin said. “But myths are a reflection of a society’s fears, and myths are prevalent today. Look at our ‘postfactual’ society, filled with all this fake news. What is fake news? Myths! We’re doing the exact same thing: creating stories to demonize people who are different, to prey on fear.”

Brief summary (in progress!):

On the islands of the Five Crescents, seventeen-year-old Kaira is as feared as the cannibalistic oni demons or the tricky shape-shifting foxes. The birthmark on her collarbone identifies her as a Sin-Eater: a scapegoat, fated to atone for her community’s sins until her 21st birthday, when she will be burned alive. Her death, the gods claim, is necessary to stave off the calamity.

Excluded from society, forbidden to touch anyone, Kaira is quietly resigned to her short, solitary life, because she knows she is chosen by the gods. Her sacrifice is for the good of all.

After a series of oni attacks, however, the empress orders all the Sin-Eaters to die in a communal ceremony on the next New Year’s festival– an unprecedented change, and one that makes Kaira question just who, exactly, is determining her so-called destiny.
While the novel is fantasy, the world of the Five Crescents is  heavily influenced by Japanese mythology and folklore.
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