Strange Weather in Tokyo Paperback – 1 May 2014
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'With its flying-waitress cover and kooky title, this Japanese novel - shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize - hints at Murakami-style weirdness. ... Delicate marks of the passing seasons reveal Kawakami's frank debt to classical Japanese poetry, while the odd couple's shared meals will tickle foodie palates. An elegiac sense of speeding time, and yawning distance, drizzles the story - sensitively translated by Allison Markin Powell - with a sweet sadness.' --Boyd Tonkin, Independent<br \><br \>Beautifully written… Expertly translated by Allison Markin Powell, this is a beautifully understated love story, a novel of sadness, longing and gentle humour. The book is a thing of beauty that makes you want to pick it up and start reading. I hope lots of readers will. --A Life in Books blog<br \><br \>Strange Weather in Tokyo is a charming, understated story, played out against Japan's seasonal extremes. Acutely observed, it's a delicious read. --Gloucestershire Echo<br \><br \>Tender, enigmatic, oddly gripping... It's a portrait of an entire culture and a haunting, eccentric meditation on love and loneliness. --'Books of the Year' chosen by Rupert Thomson, The Big Issue<br \><br \>Strange Weather in Tokyo is a charming, understated story, played out against Japan's seasonal extremes. Acutely observed, it's a delicious read. --Gloucestershire Echo<br \><br \>'Kawakami transforms an affecting cross-generational romance into an exquisite poem of time and mutability. This is a delicate and haunting novel' --Boyd Tonkin on the IFFP shortlist, Independent<br \><br \>'Subtle and haunting... Kawakami's prose is warm and often humorous. Allison Markin Powell's masterful translation conveys a deceptively effortless, understated delicacy and dream-like tone. Often enchanting but ultimately heart-breaking, this is an unforgettable evocation of love and loneliness' --Alev Adil, judge of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize<br \><br \>'This short, quirky love story and some of the chapters read like extended haiku. Allison Markin Powell's translation is clear and graceful. In its love of the physical, sensual details of living, its emotional directness, and above all in the passion for food, this is reminiscent of Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen' ***** --Independent on Sunday<br \><br \>'As well as being a sweet love story and an exploration of loneliness, Strange Weather in Tokyo is packed with nostalgic Japanese atmosphere' --Bath Life
'True love is celebrated with humour, grace and pathos as the wary narrator recalls her unusual approach to dealing with an overwhelming passion' --'Book of the Year', Irish Times
'As well as being a sweet love story and an exploration of loneliness, Strange Weather in Tokyo is packed with nostalgic Japanese atmosphere' --Bath Life
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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Top customer reviews
First and foremost, it's important to understand very little happens in this book. The girl and her sensei eat and drink in a bar in Tokyo, talk, visit a forest, go shopping. If you're looking for thrills, look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for a book that creates an all encompassing, mood of the poignancy of everyday life, then definitely go for this.
This book is deceptively simple, but in it Kawakami manages to conjure up a pair of characters who we sympathise with and can understand, despite (or perhaps because of) their various little flaws. The characters internal worlds are artfully drawn and, although there are few detailed descriptions, the world through which they move seems vivid and real.
This is not a masterpiece, by any means, but it is a carefully and skilfully crafted little work which stays with you long after the final page.
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Most recent customer reviews
I didn't think it much different to a lot of other Japanese fiction, film...Read more