BANANA YOSHIMOTO TSUGUMI PDF

However, I am still planning to read and review some J-Lit, with posts on Japanese books scheduled for each TranslationThurs in January and possibly February too…. The story is narrated by Maria, a young woman whose early life was full of uncertainty due to her unusual home circumstances. The divorce finally comes through, and Maria and her parents begin a life as a real family in Tokyo, but part of her remains back on the coast. Even though her new life is happy, she misses the time spent with her cousins Yoko and Tsugumi in her hometown. The announcement that the inn is to be sold, then, comes as a shock, and Maria heads off for one last golden summer before the ties with her childhood disappear forever.

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At the ripe old age of 24, Banana Yoshimoto became the literary critics' darling and an overnight publishing sensation in Japan with the release of her lyrical novella Kitchen.

Today, a dozen-odd years down the road, Banana-mania continues unabated. Conservative Japanese critics kvetch, complaining that Yoshimoto's novels are not steeped in Japanese culture and tradition, but her legions of admirers know better.

Few contemporary writers are more adept at capturing the urban angst and exhaustion of Japan's unfocused young people. Yoshimoto's latest, Goodbye Tsugumi , is the story of three teenaged cousins who live in a traditional Japanese inn on the coast. It will likely be the last summer they spend together: Maria is moving to Tokyo with her parents; Yoko will be moving with her parents when they complete plans for a new hotel; and Tsugumi is dying.

In her public persona, Tsugumi is frail and waifish, pale and beautiful, soft-spoken and sweet. Among her family and close confidantes, though, Tsugumi is nothing short of a raving harridan, Japanese-style. Thoroughly spoiled and frequently malicious, Tsugumi provokes fights, lies constantly and generally makes life miserable for those around her.

Then, enigmatically, she will do or say something so transcendently kind and beautiful, it's hard to imagine that both halves exist in one person. Now, for one final summer, the three girls will hang out together, walk along the deserted beach, reminisce and indulge in summer romances. Goodbye Tsugumi is told in the first person by Maria, who shares a particularly complex relationship with her charismatic cousin.

As Tsugumi's health wavers, Maria confronts for the first time the possibility that the girl might die, and possibly soon. It is an unsettling realization for Maria, as it threatens all of her notions of home, love, family and belonging.

Fans of Haruki Murakami will find a kindred spirit in Yoshimoto, but it is too easy, and more than a bit unfair, to compare her writing just to other Japanese authors. Yoshimoto credits Stephen King as one of her major influences, but it would be equally reasonable to compare her to such diverse talents as Anne Tyler and Douglas Coupland.

On the one hand, Yoshimoto crafts the sort of rich dialogues and relationships that Tyler is famous for; on the other hand, she captures the elusive voice of alienated youth, Japanese Gen-X. As is the case with several of Yoshimoto's previous novels, Goodbye Tsugumi doesn't really have a beginning, middle and end. It is rather a snapshot of a life, or lives, out of balance, sometimes visibly, sometimes just beneath the surface.

Yoshimoto brings to the table compelling characters, a spare and ethereal manner of writing and an eye for the way in which terrible experiences shape one's life. By Banana Yoshimoto. Sign up for our newsletters! Again Again By E.

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'Goodbye Tsugumi': Banana Yoshimoto's portrait of a feisty young woman in '80s Japan

At the ripe old age of 24, Banana Yoshimoto became the literary critics' darling and an overnight publishing sensation in Japan with the release of her lyrical novella Kitchen. Today, a dozen-odd years down the road, Banana-mania continues unabated. Conservative Japanese critics kvetch, complaining that Yoshimoto's novels are not steeped in Japanese culture and tradition, but her legions of admirers know better. Few contemporary writers are more adept at capturing the urban angst and exhaustion of Japan's unfocused young people. Yoshimoto's latest, Goodbye Tsugumi , is the story of three teenaged cousins who live in a traditional Japanese inn on the coast. It will likely be the last summer they spend together: Maria is moving to Tokyo with her parents; Yoko will be moving with her parents when they complete plans for a new hotel; and Tsugumi is dying.

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‘Goodbye Tsugumi’ by Banana Yoshimoto (Review)

Yoshimoto favors short novels that gradually reveal thin, almost translucent layers of her characters' personalities. Her latest, following in the style of earlier books such as Kitchen and Asleep , is a careful examination of the relationship between two teenage cousins in a seaside Japanese town. Maria Shirakawa is a thoughtful young woman thrown by family circumstance her parents never married; with her mother, she is waiting for her father's divorce from his current wife into growing up with her cousin, Tsugumi Yamamoto, in her aunt and uncle's small inn. Tsugumi, who is chronically ill, possesses a mischievous charm that both maddens and amuses her family. As Maria describes Tsugumi: "She was malicious, she was rude, she had a foul mouth, she was selfish, she was horribly spoiled, and to top it all off she was brilliantly sneaky.

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Goodbye Tsugumi

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.

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