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Moshi Moshi: A Novel by Banana Yoshimoto

Moshi Moshi: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2017)

by Banana Yoshimoto (Author), Asa Yoneda (Translator)

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1154159,531 (3.55)4
Title:Moshi Moshi: A Novel
Authors:Banana Yoshimoto (Author)
Other authors:Asa Yoneda (Translator)
Info:Counterpoint (2017), Edition: Reprint, Translation, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Japan, death

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Moshi-Moshi: A Novel by Banana Yoshimoto (2010)



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An exploration of grief: the narrator loses her father in a murder-suicide with another woman, and she and her mother come to terms with it over the next couple of years in their own ways. The prose is incredibly transparent: in the first paragraphs I wasn't 100% sure if the story had started or if this was an author's foreward, and it continues throughout both beautifully and naturally. ( )
  zeborah | May 3, 2019 |
When Yoshie’s father dies with a strange woman — lover’s pact or murder/suicide, it’s never fully determined — Yoshi and her mother are plunged into a muddled grief. Of course they mourn for their father and husband, but the manner of his death means they are also filled with resentment and anger. Yoshie decides that a change of scene is all that she can do to redirect this bad energy, so she moves to the Shimokitazawa district of Tokyo where she takes an apartment that overlooks the bistro, Les Liens, where she later finds employment. Is she moving on or just running away? And just how far can she run when, much to her surprise, her mother decides to move in with her? What follows is a lengthy period of growth and adjustment as both of these women reconcile themselves to their grief and discover new resources for strength within themselves.

As much a love letter to the Shimokitazawa district as an exploration of grief, Banana Yoshimoto follows her characters to bistros, noodle bars, cafés, tea houses and more. It seems as though the principals are either eating or drinking in every scene, which is a bit disconcerting. Or is it misdirection? Is there something else we should be noticing instead? It’s hard to get a clear picture since the emotions here are so muffled. There are momentary bursts of joy or tears, but the overall impression is a subdued pallor.

Written originally as a newspaper serial, that may have some impact on how the story develops. Certainly it calls for a great deal of repetition. Events arise and conclude quickly, no doubt to be contained within one issue of the newspaper. And other than the nods to seasonal change, time seems to nearly stand still. So when you discover that more than two years have passed since the opening of the novel, it may be a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, there is a lot here to like — tender relations between a mother and a grown daughter, burgeoning love, the indecisiveness that accompanies the decision to be decisive, and, of course, the atmosphere of Shimokitazawa itself. But perhaps it doesn’t entirely work in this rendition. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Sep 2, 2018 |
Brezze leggere

Un solo evento, duro, forte, scioccante nella vita di Yocchan e sua madre. Il padre muore in un incidente in auto con un'altra donna. Chi era? Che cosa inquietava il padre di Yocchan tanto da essere coinvolto in una cosa simile? Non si può raccontare altro. Banana Yoshimoto è capace di costruire atmosfere emotive, rarefatte, quotidiane, stati d'animo, cadute e risalite attorno a un microcosmo di esseri che, a ben guardare, sono il riflesso di milioni di storie. Ma lei riesce a non essere mai melodrammatica, mai sdolcinata. I suoi personaggi hanno un profilo semplice eppur complesso. Possiamo essere tutti Yocchan in un periodo della nostra vita come potremmo non esserlo mai, ma ognuno di noi, leggendo i suoi racconti non può non immedesimarsi ed essere conquistato da ciò che riesce a creare con le sole parole. Un romanzo di Banana entra sempre in sintonia con i tuoi stati d'animo. E' sempre il momento giusto per leggerla. Anche "Moshi Moshi" è una bellissima conferma.
  Magrathea | Dec 30, 2017 |
  sakurajhs2012 | May 17, 2011 |
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"In Moshi-Moshi, Yoshie's much-loved musician father has died in a suicide pact with an unknown woman. It is only when Yoshie and her mother move to Shimo-kitazawa, a traditional Tokyo neighborhood of narrow streets, quirky shops, and friendly residents that they can finally start to put their painful past behind them. However, despite their attempts to move forward, Yoshie is haunted by nightmares in which her father is looking for the phone he left behind on the day he died, or on which she is trying-unsuccessfully-to call him. Is her dead father trying to communicate a message to her through these dreams? With the lightness of touch and surreal detachment that are the hallmarks of her writing, Banana Yoshimoto turns a potential tragedy into a poignant coming-of-age ghost story and a life-affirming homage to the healing powers of community, food, and family. Published in 2010 in Japanese in Tokyo, it has sold over 29,000 copies there so far."--

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