Saturday, 1 February 2020


Finished January 31
Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto, translated by Michael Emmerich

This small book contains three novellas: Night and Night's Travelers; Love Songs; and Asleep.
All are told from the point of view of single women, relatively young,
Night and Night's Travelers is a story told by the sister of a man who has died quite young. She is the younger sister, and she remembers his influence on her, his relationship with a visiting American girl, and his relationship with another girl she is close to. As she reflects on the brother she has lost, she also looks at his influence on these other women, and the secrets she has about him.
Love Songs is told from the viewpoint of a young woman who is temporarily out of work, and finds herself thinking about a past relationship and the woman she competed with for the love and attention of a man that wasn't worth it in the long run. She finds herself wondering about what has happened to this woman, and also spending too much of her time drinking alcohol. As she reconnects with this figure from her past, she also is able to close a chapter of her life.
Asleep is told by another young woman out of work. She has a lover who is a married man, one with a senior position at the offices she worked at briefly. It is not a typical affair, but it is one that she thinks about. She spends a lot of her time sleeping, more and more as the days pass, but she also thinks about a woman she was close friends with, who has now passed away, and it is this friend's influence that enables her to deal with her situation before she loses herself completely.
All three stories have a woman who focuses on a person who has died, which is interesting. All of them seem to have something to learn from this past relationship that helps them to deal with their lives in the present.

No comments:

Post a Comment