Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto

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Synopsis

The New York Daily News has called Asleep "enchanting, surreal . . . Yoshimoto brings readers to another powerful, atmospheric place". Demonstrating again the artful simplicity and depth of her vision, Banana Yoshimoto reestablishes her place as a writer of international stature in a book that may be her most delightful since Kitchen.In Asleep, Yoshimoto spins the stories of three young women bewitched into a spiritual sleep. One, mourning for a lost lover, finds herself sleepwalking at night. Another, who has embarked on a relationship with a man whose wife is in a coma, finds herself suddenly unable to stay awake. A third finds her sleep haunted by a woman against whom she was once pitted in a love triangle.Sly and mystical as a ghost story, with a touch of Kafkaesque surrealism, Asleep is an enchanting new book from one of the best writers in contemporary international fiction.
 

About Banana Yoshimoto

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Banana Yoshimoto, 1964 - Novelist Banana Yoshimoto was born Mahoko Yoshimoto on July 24, 1964 in Tokyo, Japan. She is the daughter of poet and commentator Yoshimoto Ryumei, who had an impact on the radical student movement of the late 1960's. She attended Tokyo's Nihon University, where she studied creative writing and won a faculty award for her 1987 graduation novel "Moonlight Shadow." While working as a waitress, she took moments out of her day to write a novel and, at the age of 24, the result was "Kitchen" (1988), which is the story of a lonely woman who moves her bed into the kitchen, finding comfort in the humming of the refrigerator. She also wrote "Pineapple Pudding" and "Fruit Basket," which were both bestsellers. Her novel "Lizard" was dedicated to the memory of the late rocker Kurt Cobain and the novel "Long Night of Marika/Bali Dream Diary" (1996) was considered a flop. MICHAEL EMMERICH graduated from Princeton University. After completing research in Japanese literature studies at Ritsumeikan University in Tokyo, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Columbia University. He is the highly acclaimed translator of Nobel laureate Yasunari KawabatasFirst Snow on Fuji; Banana Yoshimotos Asleep, Goodbye Tsugumi and Hardboiled & Hard Luck; Genichiro Takahashis Sayonara Gangsters; Mari Akasakas Vibrator; and Taichi Yamadas In Search of a Distant Voice.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. 96 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Asleep

Kirkus Reviews

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Sure enough, a woman the drinker once knew as a rival for the affections of another man has died—drunk herself to death, in fact—and, with the help of her boyfriend and a midget medium, the two women make contact, if only to explain that although they treated each other abominably, they were also...

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Publishers Weekly

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Writing in her customary spare yet luminous style, Yoshimoto's latest work consists of three short novellas set in nameless contemporary Japanese cities, each one narrated by a young Japanese woman wh

Jul 31 2000 | Read Full Review of Asleep

Publishers Weekly

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Writing in her customary spare yet luminous style, Yoshimoto's latest work consists of three short novellas set in nameless contemporary Japanese cities, each one narrated by a young Japanese woman who has been frozen into a temporary literal or psychic sleep as a result of trauma.

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AV Club

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Both in love with "a man whom women love fleetingly but with explosive force," their mutual devotion led to numerous fights, but upon hearing the now-deceased woman's voice just before she sleeps, she's forced to reconsider her feelings.

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Asleep

Entertainment Weekly

Using sleep as a metaphor for death, psychic travel, and emotional deep freeze, this trio of novellas features young women waiting for life to resume after a tragedy.

Aug 16 2000 | Read Full Review of Asleep

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