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Palm-Of-The-Hand Stories Hardcover – Aug 1988


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Pr (Aug 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865473250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865473256
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Kawabata does for the short story what Paul Klee did for painting and Webern for music, showing how to get the profoundest experience and the surest sense of artistic form into an extremely small work. These stories inspire and go on inspiring. They make writing a story seem-and it may be-as natural a result of deep excited feeling as writing a poem."--Kenneth Koch "These stories are jewels, indeed, each one has a soul, a life, or a whole work distilled to palm-sized proportions."--"Chicago Tribune""There are few other writers who could invoke such a lasting memory of a single image with so few words."--"San Francisco Chronicle" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Mar 1999
Format: Paperback
I adored this book. It was very disturbing, yet really made you think. Kawabata is an incredible writer. This book is unlike his others, yet it was very good! To this day, some of the stories still haunt my mind. I strongly suggest you get this!
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of very short stories. They were written during various stages of the authors life (20s-70s). While I didn't understand some of them, most were quite pretty. I recommend it for those who enjoy unusual literature (from a typical American view at least).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
No Generic Syrup 10 May 2004
By Boz Hubris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you like Sudden Fiction as a genre but not the usual silliness which accompanies it, this is the perfect union of very short fiction, craftsmanship and seriousness. Not always serious in tone but in effort. For the most part they are tender stories of rememberance, loss and the betterments of life. They are brief and dream-worthy, almost as if they were prose acting as poetry:
"Startled by a sharp pain, as if her hair were being pulled out, she woke up three or four times. But when she realized that a skein of her black hair was wound around the neck of her lover, she smiled to herself. In the morning, she would say, "My hair is this long now. When we sleep together, it truly grows longer."
Quietly she closed her eyes.
"I don't want to sleep. Why do we have to sleep? Even though we are lovers, to have to go to sleep, of all things!" On nights when it was all right for her to stay with him, she would say this, as if it were a mystery to her." from Sleeping Habit
Even when the stories are harsh they aren't beleagured with excess, but consequential life and its misgivings with some ironic humor interjected amongst the living ghosts. The same can be said for the norm: lush stories that are kindly felt but never over-sentimentalizations and mush. A great bed-side companion to make you dream better and wake a little more human.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Haiku as a short story 15 Nov 2001
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is filled with over 100 short stories, most between 1 and 3 pages long. Each story is somewhat plotless, but is more of a brief character study. A quick sketch, at the most, that captures the essence of the character rather than the details. Each character and situation is a glimpse into the past, of Japan at that time. The stories have the quiet patience of a haiku, and the miniature perfection of a well-tended bonsai tree.
Like a haiku, the limitation of form requires that each sentence be important. There are no throw-away lines in any of the "Palm-of-the-Hand Stories." The sparse loveliness of the English language as used is interesting because the book is translated from Japanese. The book was translated by two translators, and each story is signed so you know who translated what. This allows for subtle variance in the stories.
Kawabata is Japan's first Nobel prize winner. This is the first book by Kawabata that I have read, and I will be sure to seek other's out. A final recommendation, because of the length of the stories, I have found this to be one of the best bedside books I own. I can read a quick story before going to sleep.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
sad and touching, very modern and ultimately cinematographic 18 Jun 2001
By Boris Aleksandrovsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Palm-Of-The-Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata is a collection of over 100 stories written over 40 years time period starting in early 1920s. This collection includes the 6 page compressed version of novel a "Snow Country"; "Thank you", a masterpiece of minimalist expression (made into a movie); other stories where themes familiar to Kawabata readers are told. Kawabata pen has a sharpness of the journalist; immediacy of the witness and wisdom of a contemplator. Frankly, most of those stories are so sad, that I could not read more then a few a setting. However, I always returned for more. I do not think your Kawabata collection will be complete without it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful collection of short stories! 8 Feb 2003
By CoffeeGurl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
House of the Sleeping Beauties is one of my favorite anthologies, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on another book from this brilliant author. The stories in Palm of the Hand are full of poetic and philosophical undertones and magical realism. My favorite one is "Bamboo-Leaf Boats," a poignant tale about a woman who grieves the loss of her fiance. The pain the protagonist goes through moved me. The other stories are beautiful as well. I suggest you read this wonderful book...
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The ideal coffee table book 23 Dec 2001
By Nathan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I read my first of Kawabata's palm of the hand stories I can't admit that I was hooked, but I was definately intrigued. On the edition I own there is an entire story on the back cover, and after reading it I could pull NO MEANING from it what so ever. I thought, like one of the other reviewers put it, that the story was pointless. I have come to learn a harsh lession however. If there is one thing that Kawabata's works are not it is pointless. Every part of every word is overflowing with meaning. The truly pitiful part about his work is that to someone ignorant of Japan and Japanese culture it is sometimes hard to grasp what the meaning is. The simple enjoyment I received from reading the stories helped to inspire me to learn more about the country. I am by no means saying that you can't realish every word of this collection without knowing Japan, but I am saying to attempt to fully UNDERSTAND some of them it is truely a desireable asset.
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