ISBN: 2743608625
ISBN 13: 9782743608620
By: Banana Yoshimoto

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Contemporary Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Japan Japanese Japanese Lit Japanese Literature Short Stories To Read

About this book

In these six stories, the author of Tugumi and NP explores themes of time, healing and fate, and how her urban, sophisticated, independent young men and women come to terms with them. The stories are a blend of traditional Japanese and contemporary popular culture.

Reader's Thoughts

Keely Hyslop

In these stories Yamamoto explores the relationship of hope, expectation, and ritual to love relationships. There's always a mystical element added to the stories to keep them from feeling stale or melodramatic. Her writing style is witty and engaging though there's always an undertone of wistfulness and longing in the undertone.One story about a newly wed young man who meets an ancient mystical creature when he stays on the subway past his stop because for the first time ever he isn't looking forward to going home was apparently serialized in a series of advertisements on the Tokyo subway. Wish American advertising was that awesome.


A collection of short stories about love and noticing beauty in everyday things and moments. The prose is very "matter of fact", but that might be a translation issue. It reminded me of Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice which I read recently and also enjoyed. There's a touch of magic (especially in the first story, Newlywed, which takes place on a train -- fitting that I read it on the bus.) They are more about mood than plot, which is okay with me, but I can see how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. The stories do blur together in my mind a bit.


I'm beginning to think I have a weakness for short fiction...This book covers so many bases at once. It tells a handful of different kinds of love stories: the woman who heals because she can also kill, and the man who loves her despite her strangeness; the woman who used to be addicted to sex, and is now ready to leave it all behind for a man who gave up the business life to spend with her; the woman who had an affair, and who's lover DID leave his wife for her, despite statistics. Each one is unique and has its own way of showing people drawn together.


This is one of those books that, even if you don't like it, it's not going to hurt you to give it a shot. A good book to read while traveling, maybe. On a road trip or whatever.Several short stories. Sometimes I wonder about how well her stories are translated, because her characters are all remarkably straightforward and unaffected. Most of these are about relationships and how people learn and grow as a result of them.From the author: "I believe that we are not born with hope, but rather that it comes to us as a transforming force. The people in my stories are encountering hope for the first time."


I read this book yesterday. I thought it would be a light read, since it was a six short stories compilation from Banana. Well, I was wrong. the book got me thinking a lot, and i think the stories fit the 'karma' and 'spiritual' themes Banana inspires very well.My best bet is the last short story: A Strange River from Down the River. I find it relaxing, deep but also complicated. However, I still prefer her novels to her short stories.


- I was reminded of her separateness, a being with different organs, bundled in a different sheath of skin, who has dreams at night that are nothing like my own. -glass, asphalt, mailboxes, guardrails, fingernails, the display windows of department stores, sunlight reflected off the windows of tall buildings. Those days, everything looked beautiful to me, and good. The things around me appeared distinct, their outlines graced by a fragrant presence. I could feel the excitement, that exhiliration deep inside. When I closed my eyes, I saw waves of energy swirling about, like patterns in a marble block.


Спочатку книжка не викликає жодного враження. Банана Йосімото — майстриня «іншого» письма в сенсі якоїсь тотальної неістероїдності і нетравматичності. Оповіді ведуться, як правило, від першої особи, рівним тоном, чого б не стосувалися. Вражаючих метафор, напружених колізій у ній нема. Мимоволі починаєш замислюватися — а що є?Оповідання «Ящірки» об'єднує впевненість. Вона повна і водночас невиразна. Це впевненість у поточному моменті. У точці на лінії долі. Але загалом, хіба точка прикладення важливіша за силу, яку можна прикласти?Герої оповідань — умовно молоді люди. Всі вони — учасники парних стосунків. Хтось нещодавно одружився, хтось збирається, хтось робить пропозицію. Тому, певною мірою, всі ці оповідання — про те, що оточує любов. Бо це не любовні оповідання. Перипетії чуттєвого досвіду не цікавлять оповідача. Любов часто оточує самотність, але оповідь і не про неї. Вона про самість — про те, що робить нас унікальними. Про незвичайний талант, уміння, яке веде вперед, і про таємницю, заховану в минулому, колись болісну, але давно прожиту. Тому болі тут немає. А є умиротворення.Це таке, необов'язкове письмо і читання. Справді легка література. Прочитав, і як водою вмився.Однак я не думаю, що під обкладинкою «Ящірки» зібрано найкращі оповідання письменниці, як пишуть в анотації. Заодно і те, що прозі Банани Йосімото властиві легкість складу і надзвичайна психологічна глибина — порожня рекламна фраза. Варто лише чогось очікувати від неї, щоби вона обманула сподівання. Це просто книга, гарний компаньйон для подорожі чи пляжу.


Yes and no and yes and no... I was concerned about the apparent trendiness of this author, and not without reason. I was attracted to Yoshimoto by critics' comparisons to Murakami and others. She has very little indeed to do with Murakami, though there is a certain, unusual coexistence of distance and involvement, bearing a resemblance to Murakami's narrators, that I sensed in Yoshimoto's as well. I was very disappointed in nearly all the stories in this volume; I found them "lite." However, after finishing the book (which only took about two hours, if that), I began to notice that my thinking patterns had changed somewhat. Maybe "lite" was just what I needed yesterday evening. The stories certainly do have their merits. I just can't quite articulate what they are.


When I was still a student in college oh so long ago, I briefly became a member of a book club... (you know the ones where you choose from a list of books and pay a certain price... although this was at the beginning of the internet days, it was actually done all through snail mail correspondence... wow!) Anyway, I have often purchased books simply because I liked either the cover, title, or author's name. In the case of Lizard, I was attracted to all three. Without knowing what I was getting myself into, I purchased this book.I can be quite lazy, and it took me awhile before I got around to reading this book. It's a wonderful collection of short stories, (Lizard being the title of one of them). I was immediately enchanted and could tell that I would become obsessed with getting my hands on anything this incredible Japanese writer has written. It's been years since I've read this book, so my memory is vague. I will say that it left such a strong impression on me. I was mesmerized and intrigued to learn that 20 something Japanese folks were so similar to myself. Banana Yoshimoto lovingly tells the stories of her part magical, part down to earth heroins and heroines. Her work is inspiring, modern... I think I'll reread this book and report back. :)


If I had to be stuck reading the fiction of just one country, it would, without a doubt, be Japan. Banana Yoshimoto's short story collection, Lizard was nothing short of adventurous, witty, and insightful. The stories ranged from a mystical encounter on the Tokyo subway, a woman with a lizard tattoo, and a former prostitute getting married.While it's very difficult to grasp the ability of an author's prose when reading a translated book, Yoshimoto must have worked hand in hand with her translator to achieve the level of description and poetry that she did. The content, however, did not disappoint. It may be argued that the eponymous story, Lizard, was the most masterful - a story about a woman with a Lizard tattoo and her lover, the first story, Newlywed, was my favourite. Newlywed is about an everyday encounter turned extraordinary - a homeless man sits down next to an unhappily married man on the subway and starts a conversation about why this married man deliberately missed his stop.The general drift of Japanese post modern literature is echoed throughout her stories. There is an unusual lack of plot and even the character development is kept to a minimum, but never in a bad way. The reader gets to echo the story in their mind almost the same way reality would play them out were they real. All this coupled with the Japanese culture about the power of nature, it is no wonder Banana Yoshimoto has reached the level of popularity in Japan that she has.


5 starsI loved every story in this collection. The audience is for mid-twenties adults who feel lost, incomplete, displaced, or sinful and, through the love and acceptance of a spouse, come to terms with their feelings and find peace. I could relate to some of these feelings and these made me me hopeful.There are hints of magical realism in some of the stories which added a charming element of uniqueness to some of the characters and stories. And I admit I'm a sucker for magical realism.The description wasn't too few or too many and were purposeful. Some stories were predictable but that's irrelevant. Each was well executed and absorbing.Overall a quick 2 - 3 hour read that was well worth it.


era da un po' che volevo leggere qualcosa della yoshimoto.. perchè ho iniziato con questo? lo ammetto.. mi piaceva la copertina *-*.Ok ora che ho dimostrato al mondo la mia idiozia (T.T) passiamo al libro.. sei racconti.. mi sono parsi tutti molto belli, molto delicati, ognuno dei protagonisti ha un segreto, un particolare accaduto che ha segnato la propria vita e che aspetta il momento giusto per riaffiorare; tutti n'isoddisfazione di fondo che li condiziona anche se inconsciamente e che poi prende forma in una scelta ben precisa che potrebbe cambiare la loro vita.Il libro prende il titolo dal secondo racconto presente, anche Lucertola ha un segreto come tutti gli altri, un segreto che la fa soffrire e che ha determinato tutte le scelte della sua vita e che aspetta la persona giusta per essere svelato.L'altro racconto che mi è piaciuto particolarmente è l'ultimo: strana storia sulla sponda del fiume.. e forse mi piace ancora di più perchè l'ultima parola che lo compone è 'speranza'.-Anche il rumore del fiume arrivava con una risonanza fantastica come se non fosse il rumore dell'acqua ma il suono stesso della notte. Avevo la sensazione di esserne così avviluppata da non capire nemmeno più da dove venisse il vento, se da un posto lontanissimo o a un passo da me. Era una presenza impressionante.-


Banana Yoshimoto always delivers something I cannot find in works by any other author. There's a dreamy yet profound atmosphere around the stories she tells. This collection of stories, especially, isn't so much about the story as it is about the human experience. She has a great gift for getting emotion on paper, most of all the emotions we can't really put our finger on. Also, she doesn't judge. And that is pretty rare too.I can't say I'll remember these stories very well. In fact, I've already forgotten the "plot" of most. But the overall experience was just phenomenal! Fleeting, but phenomenal.


Reading this small book takes about as long as watching a movie and is a bit more satisfying but also frustrating. You can tell the author was only in her 20s when she wrote these stories. Most of the real trauma happens to these characters’ parents so they’re less aware of the impact of their own thinking and actions. The characters are at the stage where they begin to see that there may be more to their lives than what’s on the surface but they can’t quite grasp what yet. In the title story, Lizard confesses a great traumatic event and her subsequent guilt. The confession provides some relief but, despite her powers as a physical healer, she doesn’t yet comprehend that compassion and forgiveness would heal her on a deeper level. Magic and sometimes improbable plot twists are what substitute for insight in these stories. These stories felt like they were headed someplace interesting but never reached their destination. Since this book was published in 1993, I’m curious if the author has become a more nuanced writer as she matured.


I think this may be the best entry point into Banana Yoshimoto's narrative. Not all the short stories are great, but they are at least good, and the format allows for breaks from the emotional and imaginative whirlwind that she puts characters (and readers that get themselves involved) through.She has the gift, or the extremely complex life, of making the tales believable, as if they were autobiographical rather than fiction, and at least for me that magnifies the emotional impact. I am thankful that her books are short, as it would be too demanding otherwise.The title story is quite uplifting, others are a bit of a downer, but it is generally a positive book, even if it deals mostly with her favorite subjects of loss and loneliness. It also breaks through most cultural barriers, presenting the basic humanity of people.

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