Book review: 『蹴りたい背中』 by Risa Wataya

This is Risa Wataya's second and best known novel who won her the Akutagawa Prize at the age of 19. My previous experience with Risa Wataya's books has not been exciting. I read 『勝手にふるえてろ』in translation but remember not being impressed by it. More recently, I read 『私をくいとめて』 in Japanese and, similarly, did not find it very..

Book review: 『愛がなんだ』by Mitsuyo Kakuta

Introduction Mitsuyo Kakuta has written an impressive amount of books, including novels, essays, translations and children's books. She won the Naoki Prize in 2004 for her novel 『対岸の彼女』, translated into English by Wayne P. Lammers under the title Woman on the Other Shore. 『愛がなんだ』was first published in 2003 and adapted into a film in 2019..

Book review: 『錦繡』by Teru Miyamoto

First published in 1982, 『錦繡』is certainly one of Teru Miyamoto's most popular novels. It was translated into English by Roger K. Thomas under the title Kinshu: Autumn Brocade, and into French, Le Brocart, by Maria Grey. Review 『錦繡』 is an epistolary novel (only composed of letters). Aki and Yasuaki were once a married couple. They..

Book Review: 『コンビニ人間』by Sayaka Murata

"人間はさー、仕事か、家族か、どちらかで社会に所属するのが義務なんだよ。" (p66) In a society that constantly throws this kind of reminder to your face, how are you supposed to find your place when, at 36, you have neither one nor the other? Through the story of its protagonist Keiko FURUKURA,『コンビニ人間』describes the struggles of those who are "not normal" and won't fit in the society..