Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mini Review: Kitchen

Author: Banana Yoshimoto

Format: 160 pages, paperback
Characters:Mikage, Yuichi, Eriko
Subject: grief, mourning, healing
Setting: Tokyo Japan

Genre: fiction-novella
Source: Alibris used books

This is an exquisite little book written in prose that is elegant and eloquent. In the first novella, Kitchen,  Mikage, a young girl living in Tokyo, is suddenly orphaned when her grandmother dies. She is living alone, mourning, emotionally lost, when she is invited to stay with a school mate Yuichi and his transgendered mother/father(?) Eriko in their larger, more modern apartment.  There, the availability of a modern (for Japanese households) kitchen gives her a way to work out her grief and solidify her yearnings to make food and its preparation a life's work. While there, her relationship with them speaks of losing, dying, recovering, and living again. When Eriko dies, she is cast again into mourning, and must climb back out, while helping Yuichi with his emotions.

The second short story Moonlight Shadow tells another story of love lost and is equalling touching.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for over a year. I had started it last fall while we were 'on the road' since it's so small and packs easily, but unintentionally left it in Virginia at a friend's house. She mailed it back last week, and I was so thrilled to be able to finish it. It is sparse, short, and beautiful. Well worth finding.

Challenge: Reading from My Shelves

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a good one! And today is the last day for the Japanese Literature challenge 3 which requires ONLY ONE book that's Japanese! The lit challenge, if you're interested is run by dolce bellezza.


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