Picture of author.
65+ Works 8,249 Members 453 Reviews 25 Favorited

About the Author

Works by Yoko Ogawa

The Memory Police (1994) 2,157 copies
Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales (1998) 858 copies
Hotel Iris (1996) 564 copies
L'annulaire (1994) 94 copies
Le musée du silence (2000) 86 copies
Parfum de glace (1997) 73 copies
La Marche de Mina (2006) 47 copies
Love in the Margin (1993) 39 copies
Les tendres plaintes (2004) 38 copies
Les Paupières (2001) 35 copies
La petite pièce hexagonale (2004) 32 copies
La grossesse (1900) 32 copies
La mer (2009) 30 copies
Les Lectures des otages (2012) 23 copies
Petits Oiseaux (2012) 19 copies
La Bénédiction inattendue (2004) 17 copies
Instantanés d'ambre (2018) 10 copies
Jeune fille à l'ouvrage (2016) 10 copies
Les abeilles (1991) 8 copies
Manuscrit zéro (2010) 8 copies
Ice perfume (2000) 8 copies
ボタンちゃん (2015) 3 copies
Venganza (2023) 2 copies
De tabte minders ø (2021) 2 copies
Petites boîtes (2022) 2 copies
Yoko Ogawa - Oeuvres T2 (2014) 2 copies
Kustunud mälestuste saar (2021) 2 copies
妄想気分 (2011) 1 copy
Prstenjak (2014) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories (2018) — Contributor — 356 copies
The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows (2015) — Contributor — 69 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 01 (2011) — Contributor — 12 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 07 (2017) — Contributor — 8 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 06 (2016) — Contributor — 5 copies
すばる 2010年 04月号 [雑誌] (2010) — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Ogawa, Yoko
Okayama, Japan
Places of residence
Ashiya, Hyogo, Japan
Waseda University
Awards and honors
Prix Kaien (1988)
Prix Akutagawa (1990)
Prix Yomiuri (2004)
Prix Izumi (2004)
Prix Tanizaki (2006)
Short biography
Yoko Ogawa's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Zoetrope. Since 1988 she has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, and has won every major Japanese literary award. [retrieved 6/28/2016 from Amazon.com Author Page]



This is a quiet book. Little happens. Things are set up - the valuable stack of old baseball cards, the possibility of an accident - but nothing happens with these possibilities. The housekeeper and her son come across as real characters, but there is something unbelievable about the professor - he is too much the poet to convince.
soylentgreen23 | 217 other reviews | Apr 16, 2024 |
I'm not normally a fan of dystopian fiction, but I found this a powerful and unsettling read. Simply yet lyrically written , the writer - this is told in the first person - lives on an island in thrall to the Memory Police. Things comprehensively disappear: in the early days, simple things like roses, and the inhabitants soon lose any memories of the things that have vanished. Those unfortunate people who find they do not forget - and the writer's parents seem to have been among them - simply are removed by the Memory Police and never seen again. The 'writer' of this book is herself a novelist, and we are privy to her latest effort, involving a young typist whose story in some ways moves in parallel to the story the author is living through. She hides her editor in her house, because his memories do not fade, and he is therefore in danger... We never find out more about the Memory Police, or know to whom they are answerable. But we are left with a lot to think about - totalitarian regimes, life, death and the process of letting go and of dying. I'll go on thinking about his book.… (more)
Margaret09 | 92 other reviews | Apr 15, 2024 |
2.5 at best. Normally I love surrealism in literature and art, and the first half of this book was no exception, but by the end I was left with the same unanswered questions as the beginning, and ended up strongly disliking the narrator to boot. Though I understand there's supposed to be a deeper meaning symbolized by the surreal events happening on the island, I would've appreciated some hints on how the Memory Police came about, how the "disappearances" happen and are chosen... something! Instead, we just get a bunch of idle speculation. The time and setting are unclear, though the characters live similarly to how we do today, which gave me the impression that more details/worldbuilding were to follow. Grounding the story further might have driven its message home a little better, instead of the nebulous way it's delivered here.

Also, I was absolutely done with the main character when she risked everything for no reason by walking into the Memory Police headquarters (apparently without suffering any consequences though, so it's all excused I guess?) and somehow managed to ignore the repeated signs of an oncoming stroke in her friend the old man until the day he died of one (for context/contrast, she took the dog to the vet at the first sign of illness). I can understand unlikeable characters, but I cannot abide inconsistent or stupid ones, and the unnamed narrator of this book unfortunately happens to be both. In fact, she hardly qualifies as a main character for me because she takes a backseat in almost all the events that matter - she tells us what happens to her, what other people are doing (the old man does pretty much everything, for instance, when it comes to their rescue operation) carries on an icky affair with a married man she's hiding (contributing nothing whatsoever to the plot), and then just kind of fades away at the end. Good riddance, honestly.
… (more)
Myridia | 92 other reviews | Jan 19, 2024 |
Another beyond weird translated book with an interesting concept! Though I feel this book holds the reader at a distance, for example, none of the characters have names. A novelist lives in a place where occasionally things disappear from the island. One day it's birds. One day it's roses... Interspersed with a bit of a novel that the character was writing makes it a bit more interesting. I don't regret reading it, but wish I had liked the execution better.
booklove2 | 92 other reviews | Jan 12, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs