Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

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Synopsis

Twelve years have passed since Kei’s husband, Rei, disappeared and she was left alone with her three-year-old daughter. Her new relationship with a married man—the antithesis of Rei—has brought her life to a numbing stasis, and her relationships with her mother and daughter have spilled into routine, day after day. Kei begins making repeated trips to the seaside town of Manazuru, a place that jogs her memory to a moment in time she can never quite locate. Her time there by the water encompasses years of unsteady footing and a developing urgency to find something.

Through a poetic style embracing the surreal and grotesque, a quiet tenderness emerges from these dark moments. Manazuru is a meditation on memory—a profound, precisely delineated exploration of the relationships between lovers and family members. Both startlingly restless and immaculately compact, Manazuru paints the portrait of a woman on the brink of her own memories and future.
 

About Hiromi Kawakami

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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 August 10, 2010 by Counterpoint. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kei, the 40-something narrator of this dreamlike novel, has made a life for herself that appears solid, even as her thoughts show it is anything but.

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Publishers Weekly

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In Kawakami's first novel to be translated into English, a woman fades in and out of the present as she visits the beach town of Manazuru, in the shadow of Mt.

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