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Banana Yoshimoto

"Life is a performance, I thought. Perthaps the word "illusion" would have meant more or less the same thing, but to me "performance" seemed closed to the truth. Standing there in the midst of the crowd that evening, I felt this realization swirl dizzily through my body in a dazzling splendor of light, if only for an instant. Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we've ever been, at every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten. And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live. We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves."

— Goodbye Tsugumi




I thought I would try some author recommendations as I've previously talked a little about books here on his blog.
I feel I don't express enough how much I love books. I love everything about them, the smell, the feel of the pages, the way they look, when you carry one or two or three at a time in your bag, old books, new books, vintage books, how you feel from reading something beautiful, sitting down somewhere and just reading in public, reading in bed, reading anywhere. It's something I couldn't live without. I would give up music and films and hell, I would even ration food but books is something I love. Now I feel a little bad as actually I rarely find time during term time to read but I usually read quite a few in a go when I get the chance. And let me tell you now, having read all of Yoshimoto's work, I can honestly say everything she writes is too magical to pass up on.
Literally, read A-N-Y of her works and I suggest leaving Goodbye Tsugumi or Amrita to read last as they are longer stories.
If you like Haruki Murakami but you feel like reading a book from a female perspective, Yoshimoto is the way to go (not that you should only read her if you feel like reading a female perspective, I'm just saying).
I wish I could discuss more about why she's fantastic but unfortunately I am not very eloquent with my words and no explanations could begin to give you an idea of what her work is like - just read it and you will understand.

If you want to read more on Japanese authors, I recommend taking a gander over at Keitii-chan's post. She gives much more detailed information and a good variety of authors to check out.

5 comments:

Katie ケイティ said...

I feel I don't express enough how much I love books. I love everything about them... I feel the same way about books! I'm always carrying a book with me, no matter where I may be going. I could give up almost every other form of "entertainment" except books (I'm not sure I could substitute food for books though). I've always thought it would be fun to collect rare books, although I really don't know much about them. I love exploring new genres that challenge my preconceptions and beliefs about the world. It is so much fun!

I wish I could discuss more about why she's fantastic but unfortunately I am not very eloquent with my words and no explanations could begin to give you an idea of what her work is like - just read it and you will understand. It is really hard to describe why I like Murakami and Yoshimoto so much too. I guess that's why I was never an English major. There's just something about the way they talk about the world, in such extraordinary and ordinary terms.

Lindsey said...

I love Banana! I've only read three of her books though (Tsugumi, Lizard, & Kitchen). I need to get around to reading Amrita. I agree 100% with her being like Murakami from a female perspective. That's the line I used trying to convince a fellow Murakami lover to give Yoshimoto a chance. I'm headed over to that keitii-chan post right now!

Hiroko said...

@Katie: I really want to collect rare books too and really really old falling apart ones but like you I know not enough!
It's so frustrating to not be able to explain in words, maybe that's the point though, that to understand you have to experience it and that's the magic of their writing.

@Lindsey: READ THEM ALL! :D
Let me know what you think of her other books, always love hearing others thoughts.

Marinka said...

I know what you mean, I love reading books, and the feel and touch of books..It's too bad we are entering the era of virtual books, its not as magic!Too bad I don't have enough time to actually sit and read a good book these days :(
But I am really looking forward to discovering those books

meghan said...

I love books too. I will never do the whole 'e book' thing

i like a real book