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Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Two solitary people find companionship in each other, one a 30-plus girl, the other a retired teacher. The girl is our first-person narrator. I loved her voice. It carries you effortlessly through their slow, glowing relationship. He is a proper gent, always with a briefcase. There is a memorable passage where they hunt mushrooms and remember the past. Gentle, ponderous, engaging with lots of Japanese colour, it is utterly charming.

If you like Hiromi Kawakami you might also like to read books by Derek B. Miller, Yoko Ogawa and Haruki Murakami.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

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.

About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2014


Hiromi Kawakami

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Author 'Like for Like'


Portobello Books Ltd an imprint of Granta Books


192 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Fiction in translation



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