This year, I’m taking part in the Japanese Literature Challenge which is hosted by Meredith over at Dolce Bellezza. The idea of this challenge is to read and review Japanese literature from January 2020 to March 2020 and to join you only have to read one book that was originally written in Japanese. Here are the books I’ll be reading for this challenge:
Summary: Written by the court gentlewoman Sei Shōnagon, ostensibly for her own amusement, The Pillow Book offers a fascinating exploration of life among the nobility at the height of the Heian period, describing the exquisite pleasures of a confined world in which poetry, love, fashion, and whim dominated, while harsh reality was kept firmly at a distance. Moving elegantly across a wide range of themes including nature, society, and her own flirtations, Sei Shonagon provides a witty and intimate window on a woman’s life at court in classical Japan.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)
Summary: Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father’s dark prophesy. The ageing Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.
As their parallel odysseys unravel, cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle – one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (2016)
Summary: Meet Keiko.
Keiko is 36 years old. She’s never had a boyfriend, and she’s been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years.
Keiko’s family wishes she’d get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won’t get married.
But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she’s not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store…
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