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Reading Yoko Ogawa is akin to watching a film by David Lynch; the experience is an admixture of vertiginous revelation and dark defamiliarization… her stories seem to exist in a timeless, fluid medium all its own.” — The Huffington Post Kaien literary Prize ( Benesse) for her debut The Breaking of the Butterfly (Agehacho ga kowareru toki, 揚羽蝶が壊れる時)
The Housekeeper and the Professor - Penguin Books UK
The Diving Pool (Daibingu puru, ダイヴィング・プール, 1990; Ninshin karendā, 妊娠カレンダー, 1991; Dormitory, ドミトリイ, 1991); translated by Stephen Snyder, New York: Picador, 2008. ISBN 0-312-42683-6; published on The New York Times in 2006 Every story is told from the first person point-of-view, though each narrator is a different person. At times you're not even sure right away whether the speaker is male or female, adding to the unsettling feelings. Although it can get frustrating for people to have just the minimal amount of information in any tale, the author spun her own magic within her book, making the storytelling so rich and so detailed that you find yourself constantly mesmerized.As in Ogawa’s other writing, such as The Diving Pool, food becomes a focus for displaced love, but holds within it not a substitute for human affection and closeness, but excess without the possibility of satiety. In “Fruit Juice,” the narrator is invited by a classmate to have dinner in a French restaurant with her and her father, whom she has never met before. After the dinner, the two classmates come across an abandoned post office. They break in to find it filled with kiwis:
Revenge by Yōko Ogawa | Goodreads Revenge by Yōko Ogawa | Goodreads
Six. He’ll always be six. He’s dead.” This book is a first of its kind for me. It has no character names, no locations, no dates, no times, and no specifics of any kind. It’s one of THE MOST pure forms of storytelling I have ever read. I can sum up my review in just one quote from this very book itself. “The prose was unremarkable, as were the plot and characters, but there was an icy current running under her words, and I found myself wanting to plunge into it again and again.” There is a coldness in this book. A feeling of detachment towards life that comes with life being a bitch to you, taking away something from you that you couldn’t ever bear to lose. A loss that makes you indifferent to many things that should matter and curious about things that should be morbid. Translator Stephen Snyder has compared Ogawa’s work to that of Murakami, going so far as to call her “the next Haruki Murakami,” (perhaps in part because of the dream-logic of her plots and the diffidence of her protagonists); some reviewers have cited the influence of Borges and Poe as well. These comparisons are tempting, but there’s something facile about them too. Though there are dark, supernatural elements underfoot in these stories, it does not take long to notice that Ogawa works in a register entirely of her own—and is much more interested in experimenting with form than with paying tribute to any particular style. As she put it one interview: Ogawa is masterful at depicting a seemingly normal scene with a tinge of fear that all may not be as bland and routine as it first appears. She establishes this atmosphere in the opening paragraphs of the first story, “Afternoon at the Bakery”: You could gaze at this perfect picture all day—an afternoon bathed in light and comfort—and perhaps never notice a single detail out of place, or missing. This collection of stories about darkness and tragedy, each of which is connected with the others in an increasingly brilliant web, is probably the most amusing and exciting way to remember that.An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband. Elsewhere, an accomplished surgeon is approached by a cabaret singer, whose beautiful appearance belies the grotesque condition of her heart. And while the surgeon's jealous lover vows to kill him, a violent envy also stirs in the soul of a lonely craftsman. Desire meets with impulse and erupts, attracting the attention of the surgeon's neighbor - who is drawn to a decaying residence that is now home to instruments of human torture. Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders - their fates converge in an ominous and darkly beautiful web. Ogawa was born in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, and attended Waseda University, Tokyo.  When she married her husband, a steel company engineer, she quit her job as a medical university secretary and wrote while her husband was at work.  Initially, she wrote only as a hobby, and her husband didn't realise she was a writer until her debut novel, The Breaking of the Butterfly, received a literary prize.  Her novella Pregnancy Diary, written in brief intervals when her son was a toddler, won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for literature, thus cementing her reputation in Japan.  These stories are likely related but irrelevant. Some of the scenes are repeated but the stories were fresh. A bit confused here... hahaha Eleven carefully calibrated creepy stories… This deliciously dark new collection should bring new fans to the prolific Japanese author Yoko Ogawa.” —Jane Ciabattari, The Daily Beast
Revenge - Penguin Books UK
I don’t really know how to review this book bcz this is so different from anything I have ever read. This is a whole new style. Here is my feeble attempt at reviewing it. “I’m buying them for my son. Today is his birthday.” Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio wrote that "this collection may linger in your mind — it does in mine — as a delicious, perplexing, absorbing and somehow singular experience."  The Memory Police (Hisoyaka na kesshō, 密やかな結晶, 1994), translated by Stephen Snyder, Pantheon Books, 2019.Yōko Ogawa's prose is concise, intriguing, and beautiful. I know from her other works that she's a talented storyteller, perfectly capable of capturing the reader from the very first sentence she spins. And yet this collection fell a bit flat for me. The Man Who Sold Braces" (Gibusu o uru hito, ギブスを売る人, 1998); translated by Motoyuki Shibata, Manoa, 13.1, 2001. Ogawa is original, elegant, very disturbing.” —Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies I was happy to see they have strawberry shortcake," I said, pointing at the case. "They're the real thing. None of that jelly, or too much fruit piled on top, or those little figurines they use for decoration. Just strawberries and cream."