‘The Factory’ by Hiroko Oyamada

Sophie Haigney at The Baffler:

IT’S NOT QUITE CLEAR if the washer lizards are real. Washer lizards, in Hiroko Oyamada’s novel The Factory, appear only once, in a report written by a child. They are, supposedly, a species that have built a habitat in the cleaning facilities of the sprawling factory the novel describes, adapting entirely to life-near-washing-machines. The conditions of a washer lizard’s life are quite bleak; it’s constantly threatened by other washer lizards—adults hoard food from children—and by its environment. To drink water, it must climb down into a washing machine, but if a cycle begins, it might become tangled in clothes and drown. They live on lint, but young lizards often mistakenly eat dust in lint traps and die. Their lives have very small and specific perimeters. According to the report, “It will breathe its last without ever straying far from its birthplace, probably dying behind the machine where it nested or maybe inside the lint trap.”

more here.