With the publication of Kitchen, the dazzling English-language debut that is still her best-loved book, the literary world realized that Yoshimoto was a young writer of enduring talent whose work has quickly earned a place among the best of contemporary Japanese literature. Kitchen is an enchantingly original book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, Mikage is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who is really his cross-dressing father) Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale with the kitchen and the comforts of home at its heart.
In a whimsical style that recalls the early Marguerite Duras, "Kitchen" and its companion story, "Moonlight Shadow," are elegant tales whose seeming simplicity is the ruse of a very special writer whose voice echoes in the mind and the soul.
Wonderful! The young woman narrator works her way up from the realization that she is totally alone in the world, and discovers the wonderfully redemptive power of food. Read the first four paragraphs to see if this is your book. ~ John
About the AuthorView
Banana Yoshimoto was born in 1964. She has won numerous prizes in her native Japan, and her first book, "Kitchen, " has sold millions of copies worldwide. She lives in Tokyo. "Kitchen" and her highly praised novel, "N.P., " are both available from Washington Square Press.