Born in 1959 in Tokyo, HIROMI KAWAKAMI is one of Japan's most popular contemporary novelists. Her novel Drowning won both the Ito Sei Literature Award and Joryu Bungaku Sho (Woman Writers' Prize) in 2000. Her novel Manazuru won the 2011 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize. ALLISON MARKIN POWELL is a literary translator and editor in New York City. She has translated works by Osamu Dazai, Kaho Nakayama, and Motoyuki Shibata, and she was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders.
Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, 'Sensei', in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass - from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms - Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love. Perfectly constructed, funny, and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.
Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a story of loneliness and love that defies age.Tsukiko, thirty-eight, works in an office and lives alone. One night, she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, "e;Sensei,"e; in a local bar. Tsukiko had only ever called him "e;Sensei"e; ("e;Teacher"e;). He is thirty years her senior, retired, and presumably a widower. Their relationship develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time's passing is marked by Kawakami's gentle hints at the changing seasons: from warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Strange Weather in Tokyo is a moving, funny, and immersive tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.
Both startlingly restless and immaculately compact, Manazuru paints the portrait of a woman on the brink of her own memories and future.Twelve years have passed since Kei's husband, Rei, disappeared and she was left alone with her three-year-old daughter. Her new relationship with a married man-the antithesis of Rei-has brought her life to a numbing stasis, and her relationships with her mother and daughter have spilled into routine, day after day. Kei begins making repeated trips to the seaside town of Manazuru, a place that jogs her memory to a moment in time she can never quite locate. Her time there by the water encompasses years of unsteady footing and a developing urgency to find something.Through a poetic style embracing the surreal and grotesque, a quiet tenderness emerges from these dark moments. Manazuru is a meditation on memorya profound, precisely delineated exploration of the relationships between lovers and family members.
The Akutagawa Prize-winning stories from the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo In these three haunting and lyrical stories, three young women experience unsettling loss and romance. In a dreamlike adventure, one woman travels through an apparently unending night with a porcelain girlfriend, mist-monsters and villainous monkeys; a sister mourns her invisible brother whom only she can still see, while the rest of her family welcome his would-be wife into their home; and an accident with a snake leads a shop girl to discover the snake-families everyone else seems to be concealing. Sensual, yearning, and filled with the tricks of memory and grief, Record of a Night Too Brief is an atmospheric trio of unforgettable tales.
Intr-un cartier marginas din Tokyo, pe o strada comerciala, se afla un magazin de maruntisuri aparent banal. Insa aici, intr-un spatiu cu parfum nostalgic, se tes incetul cu incetul, cu rafinament si subtilitate, povesti de iubire tradata sau neimplinita. Varstnicul domn Nakano, patronul pravaliei, tanjeste dupa ceva nedefinit si isi imparte viata intre magazin si iubitele sale vremelnice. Sora lui, Masayo, isi cauta si ea iubirea, in vreme ce tanara Hitomi, angajata lui Nakano si, in acelasi timp, naratoarea din roman, are o relatie ciudata, marcata de avansuri si retrageri, cu Takeo, celalalt angajat al pravaliei. Iar pe parcursul cartii apar mereu, odata cu diverse obiecte ajunse in pravalie, alte personaje si alte povesti. Toate aceste istorii de viata contemporana japoneza construiesc o lume care pentru cititorul european e in acelasi timp stranie si familiara, caci, dincolo de culoarea locala, ele vorbesc despre ceea ce e profund uman in fiecare dintre noi.
Cartea lui Hiromi Kawakami cuprinde marturisirile a zece femei si tot atâtea povestiri din care, pornind de la frânturi de amintiri, cititorii pot recompune personalitatea fascinanta, greu de prins, magnetica a unui barbat. Fie ca este vorba despre legaturi adolescentine sau din amiaza vietii, eroul dovedeste un sarm fara gres. Intriga donjuanismul nelinistit, nepasarea pe care Nishino o afiseaza, desi e chinuit uneori de angoase morbide, de dragostea pe care si-o declara, fara sa fie crezut. Însa rând pe rând, desi întruchipeaza barbatul ideal, femeile îl parasesc, mai puternice dupa apropierea de el...