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The Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto
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The Kappa Child

by Hiromi Goto

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1295140,915 (3.78)25

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Showing 5 of 5
Again, I find that a three star is a compromise and thus I am prompted to write a review. I am a big fan of magical realism and thus was really looking forward to reading this book.

I really liked the writing style of the book, the way Hiromi Goto captured the spirit of Calgary, the intreplay between the quirky life of her main character, tough prairie existence of her childhood and Japanese folklore, as well as those little fleeting true to life moments that make the narrative real and touching. All these strong points made me enchanted with the book. Until the last couple of chapters...

I found the ending quite weak for such a great book (and my built-up expectations). It felt like the author got tired with writing and decided to quickly wrap up all remaining loose ends, while glaringly missing the main one. The happy ending was also a bit of a stretch and felt false.

Nevertheless, it was still a very enjoyable and original read and I am glad that I finally came around to this book. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Tiptree Winner 2001 ( )
  SChant | Aug 31, 2016 |
I enjoyed it for what it was, but it's not really quite my thing. ( )
  jen.e.moore | May 14, 2014 |
This is a most unusual book. The protagonist is a one of four sisters in a Japanese family who settle on the Canadian prairies where the father tries to grow rice (wrong climate!) and she tries to model her life after Little House on the Prairie. This is interspersed with the pajama-wearing protagonist as an adult, now living in the big city (Calgary) and trying to sort out herself and her place in her dysfunctional family. There are Japanese mythological creatures, alien abductions, lesbians and lots of cucumbers.

The book started out strong, but then got kinda confusing. There were parts I thought were great, but there were too many time periods and places, and I wasn't sure where and when I was. Also, the author was really fixated on bodily fluids--she covered all of them, including eye boogers (though I think she missed belly button lint, ear wax and toe jam). Talking about bodily fluids is not really my thing. But in the second half of the book, things came together, I stopped being annoyed by the protagonist and had more fun with her, and the weirdness grew on me. I've always been a fan of weird art, but this was almost too weird, and honestly, if I didn't have to read this for class, I might have given up. But I didn't, and I'm so glad. I finished it this morning, and I've thought about the book all day in a very warm, happy way. I have to write a paper on it, so I'll reread it, and I'm looking forward to revisiting it. I initially gave it 3.5 stars, but I've reconsidered and raised it to 4.

Recommended for: Readers who enjoy weird books. ( )
3 vote Nickelini | Nov 5, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hiromi Gotoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arsenault, PierreCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, DuncanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DennisText designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Kappa wa honto ni iruno kana? Wakaranai ne . . .

--Naoe Kiyokawa, February 13, 1996, 3:55 p.m.
Dedication
For my sisters, with love.
First words
I am a collector of abandoned shopping carts.

Skyscrapers made of mirrors glare brilliant orange, a trick of blindness, and I creep to a stop at every intersection.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0889952280, Paperback)


James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award for Science Fiction and Commonwealth Writers' Prize Winner, 2001

Sunburst Award Nomination for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, 2002

From the award-winning author of Chorus of Mushrooms, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book in the Caribbean and Canadian Region and was co-winner of the Canada Japan Book Award, The Kappa Child is the tale of four Japanese Canadian sisters struggling to escape the bonds of a family and landscape as inhospitable as the sweltering prairie heat.

In a family not at all reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, four Japanese-Canadian sisters struggle to escape the bonds of a family and landscape as inhospitable as the sweltering prairie heat. Their father, moved by an incredible dream of optimism, decides to migrate from the lush green fields of British Columbia to Alberta. There, he is determined to deny the hard-pan limitations of the prairie and to grow rice. Despite a dearth of both water and love, the family discovers, through sorrow and fear, the green kiss of the Kappa Child, a mythical creature who blesses those who can imagine its magic...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:08 -0400)

Their father, moved by an incredible dream of optimism, decides to migrate from the lush green fields of British Columbia to Alberta. There he is determined to deny the hard-pan limitations of the prairie and to grow rice.Despite a dearth of both water and love, the family discovers, through sorrow and fear, the green kiss of the Kappa Child, a mythical creature who blesses those who can imagine its magic -- back cover.In a house not at all reminiscent of "Little House on the Prairie", four Japanese-Canadian sisters struggle to escape the bonds of a family and landscape as inhospitable as the sweltering prairie heat.Tale of four Japanese Canadian sisters struggling to escape the bonds of a family and landscape as inhospitable as the sweltering prairie heat. In a family not at all reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie.… (more)

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