Book Review Lizard by Banana Yoshimoto
This book is a collection of six short stories including Newlywed, Lizard, Helix, Dreaming of Kimchee, Blood and Water, A strange tale from down by the river.
Although they are all separate stories one gets the impression from reading that they relate to the same characters even though this is not clearly stated that is the feeling you get. Like the writer was in the same mood and all the stories are somehow linked. Translated from the Japanese by Ann Sherif we are lucky to get deep glimpses into the psyche of characters, people, places and events.
"She told me that she didn't have an aversion to people per se, but simply didn't want to see anyone else after hours. I knew how she felt"p33
"She seemed like a creature of a different species, one who lives quietly in the dark" p35
"the more she gave to others, the more she struggles. Her burden grew heavy by the day. This type of guilt is so fundamental" p41
"Like plants in a greenhouse, we depended on each other, but neither of us enjoyed the feelings of release or openness that one would wish from such a relationship" p43
"Akira didn't like dealing with people at all, so I did it for him" p102
"I am the only one in the world who knows what's best for me. I'm just here, deciding things I need to decide for myself" p113
"I might have been intimidated by his fastidiousness and fled" p130
"I feel like I need to shake you and tell you about the realities of marriage. It's not just some pretty dream, you know" p135
"But I sometimes got a craving for the weak coffee they served at the cafe in Aoyama" p147
A good read with quirky stories, characters and events. Banana Yoshimoto is a great writer who really captures the psyche of Japanese culture with her deep insights, reflections and detailed introspection of what makes people tick.