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Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Kitchen (original 1988; edition 2018)

by Banana Yoshimoto (Author), Megan Backus (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,591852,086 (3.72)182
Authors:Banana Yoshimoto (Author)
Other authors:Megan Backus (Translator)
Info:faber & faber (2018), Edition: Main
Collections:Standard Paperback
Tags:Novella, Japanese, Book Club, Japan, Mothers, Transexuality, Bereavement, Kitchens, Love, Tragedy, Death, Grief, Gender

Work details

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (Author) (1988)


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» See also 182 mentions

English (80)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
This book contains two novellas, but a lot of the themes are quite similar. Family, gender, love, grief, food. They are short, quirky stories and create an atmosphere which is odd but lovely. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 10, 2018 |
The story telling and structure seems so quirky compared to what I’m used to, and I’m still not sure how much is odd translation, but although it’s an odd little story to read, it’s stark, visceral, and real, and the way she looks at simple things, achingly beautiful at times.

My second Japanese in translation read this year, and I’ve enjoyed both. ( )
  RivetedReaderMelissa | Mar 22, 2018 |
Two short stories by Japanese author, translated from the Japanese by Megan Backus. This tale of grief, loss and being an adult orphan is rich with sparse detail. I like stories of grief and loss so of course this is another book that i like. I would think that the author had her own losses to be able to capture so accurately in so few pages that experience. The author won the Nixon University Dept of Arts Prize in 1986 for Mood Shadow and Karen magazine New Writer Prize in 1987 for Kitchen.

Quotes: “My family had steadily decreased one by one as the years went by, but when it suddenly dawned on me that I was alone, everything before my eyes seemed to false.” “I just drifted, listless.”
“But if a person hasn’t ever experienced true despair, she grows old never knowing how to evaluate where she is in life, never understanding what joy really is”.

I liked the use of kitchen as a place to feel comfort and the preparation of food and sharing of food as giving meaning to life. ( )
1 vote Kristelh | Feb 17, 2018 |
3.5 stars

This short book features 2 separate stories. Both deal with love, loss, and going on. Both feature a lot of food, though "Kitchen" features cooking as both a way to show love and a way to share and enjoy others' company. Tea features strongly in both stories.

The writing feels very unique--somehow to stuff for the subject matter, yet it works. The stiffness feels fairly typical of translated Japanese fiction to me--yet something is different about this book, which must come from her writing. ( )
  Dreesie | Feb 9, 2018 |
Quello che c'e' non e' male, la trama e' abbastanza interessante e lo stile e' adeguatamente semplice (probabilmente il principale punto di forza). Peccato che finisca subito senza che molti aspetti della trama che potrebbero essere colti possano essere sviluppati a dovere. Strappa a fatica la quarta stella (anche per il fatto che fosse il primo), ma sicuramente lascia ben sperare riguardo i romanzi successivi. ( )
  Mlvtrglvn | Jan 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
For English-language readers, the appeal of "Kitchen" lies in its portrayal of the lives of young Japanese.
Banana Yoshimoto won immediate fame in Japan with the publication of this pair of novellas about two bold and guileless women grappling with emotional loss.
Yoshimoto's oriental concision is sometimes idiosyncratic and haiku-like ..., but it's a quality of poignant, dignified resilience that makes this little work worthwhile...

» Add other authors (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yoshimoto, BananaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amitrano, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Backus, MeganTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaneshiro-Jager, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kraemerová, AliceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlecht, Wolfgang E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The place I like best in this world is the kitchen. (Kitchen)
Wherever he went, Hitoshi always had a little bell with him, attached to the case he kept his bus pass in. (Moonlight Shadow)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671880187, Paperback)

Two stories, "Kitchen" and "Moonlight Shadow," told through the eyes of a pair of contemporary young Japanese women, deal with the themes of mothers, love, transsexuality, kitchens, and tragedy. Reprint. NYT.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Two stories, "Kitchen" and "Moonlight Shadow," told through the eyes of a pair of contemporary young japanese women, deal with the themes of mothers, love, transsexuality, kitchens, and tragedy.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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