The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
Translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich
Melville House, Brooklyn, 2011
Borrowed from my library.
This is another beautiful book from Banana Yoshimoto. I now want to read all of her work.
The Lake starts out slowly. I found I had to slow down, quiet down, before I could be comfortable with these pages.
Chihiro, a young mural artist, is trying to understand the relationship that is developing with her neighbor, Nakajima. After caring for her mother through a long illness, Chihiro has just returned from her funeral. She feels disconnected from her father and can’t figure out her emotional attachment to the strange young man who has started sleeping over.
Yoshimoto’s writing is simple and subtle, her characters are lovable and a bit odd. The mystery pulls you in like quicksand, before you know it you are caught. This story feels old-fashioned but Yoshimoto breaths life into language and plot in a way I find extraordinary. There are little gems hidden in places that surprise.
That’s how it goes. Things look different depending on your perspective.
As I see it, fighting to bridge those gaps isn’t really what matters. The most important thing is to know them inside and out, as differences, and to understand why certain people are the way they are. From page 127.
You don’t necessarily have to want to become an adult; it happens as a matter of course, as you go, making choices. The important thing, I think, is to choose for yourself. From page 136.
I read this novel as part of the Japanese Literature Challenge 5. Why don’t you join in?