& Hard Luck

Book - 2005 | 1st ed.
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Banana Youshimoto's depiction of the lives of Japanese youth has changed her country's literature and earned international acclaim. In "Hardboiled & Hard Luck, she delivers two tales of resonant grace, of young women coming to terms with change and heartbreak. In "Hardboiled." the narrator is hiking in the mountains on an anniversary she has forgotten about, the anniversary of the ex-lover's death. As she nears her hotel, a sense of haunting falls over her. That night she dreams of her ex-lover, and is visited by a woman who may not exist--perhaps these eerie events will help her make peace with her loss. "Hard Luck" is about a young woman whose sister is dying and lies in a coma. Her fiance left her after the accident, but his brother continues to visit, and as the two of them make peace with the impending loss of their loved one, they seem to find new hope for the future in their own new bond. "Hardboiled & Hard Luck is small jewel of a book, a work of resilient sweetness that will move readers deeply. "Book Page has compared Yoshimoto to "Haruki Murakami [and]. . . Anne Tyler [for her] spare and ethereal manner of wiriting and eye for the way to which terrible experiences shape one's life, "but Yoshimoto's voice, and deserved international stature, are most certainly her own.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780802117991
Branch Call Number: FIC YOSHIMO
Characteristics: 149 p. ; 20 cm.
Alternative Title: Hard luck.


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Aug 16, 2011

As always, Banana Yoshimoto conveys complex emotions within the framework of just slightly strange circumstance. I'm always surprised at how well her books translate into English from Japanese; there is never any awkwardness in her writing, which probably both is a testament to skillful writing and employing a talented translator. This short book is made up of what could be considered two novellas or even two short stories. It's a quick read, and an enjoyable one.

ksoles Jun 09, 2011

In her seventh book, Yoshimoto tells two stories of heartbreak, fatality, mysticism and grace. "Hardboiled" depicts a haunted narrator on the anniversary of her ex-lover's death; after a solitary mountain trek, she experiences otherworldly forces that help her make peace with her loss. "Hard Luck" features a woman whose sister lies in a coma and whose family struggles with letting go.

Though less profound than Kitchen, Hardboiled and Hard Luck displays Yoshimoto's precision, her refined insight and her ability to find hope within trauma. Her prose may be sparse yet her themes are anything but.


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