Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kitchen - BananaYoshimoto

Kitchen - by Banana Yoshimoto
This is my first book for the Japanese Literature Challenge 4 (JLC) being hosted by Dolce Bellezza. In past JLC's I discovered Murakami as one of my favourite Japanese Authors. This year I have set the challenge to find others - and now Banana Yoshimoto joins the ranks. Besides the fact I think her name is just gorgeous, this little book was a winner for me.

Firstly, it's short. Secondly, she cleverly fits all sorts of stuff into two short stories. The back cover reads:
Kitchen juxtaposes two tales about mothers, transsexuality, bereavement, kitchens, love and tradgegy in contemporary Japan. It is a startlingly original first work by Japan's brightest young literary star and is now a cult film.

For me - I enjoyed the strong and the flimsy threads through the lives of the two main characters. I don't really want to say alot about the book, but that I was engaged with the characters, learnt more about Japanese society, and was reminded that not all things turn out for everyone, and sometimes there is no 'ending'..

For JLC 4 - I'm currently reading Murakami's 'A Wild Sheep Chase', and then I'm reading Yoshimoto's 'Goodbye Tsugumi'.


Iliana said...

What a great name right?

I read this one for the JCL challenge last year and thought it was such a moving book. The way she described the grief the characters experienece was really touching. Glad you enjoyed this one. I really want to read Goodbye Tsugumi. I'll be looking forward to your review.

Bellezza said...

This was the first novel I read of Banana's, for the very first Japanese Literature Challenge four years ago. It's been awhile since I read it, but I remember being amazed that an author so young could write of such sadness with such beauty. I remember loving it.

Mel u said...

nice review-I prefered Goodbye Tsugumi over Kitchen though I am in the minority in that opinion