Banana Yoshimoto: Kitchen

“The place I like best in the world is the kitchen,” declares a youthful Mikage Sakurai at the beginning of “Kitchen“. Written by Banana Yoshimoto*, Kitchen quickly become a bestseller when it was published in 1988. Yoshimoto also received some of Japan’s top literary prizes with her first book, further fanning the “Bananamania” in the country. Having recently read Kitchen –…

Read More

Primo Levi: If This is a Man

It’d be impossible to read Primo Levi’s “If This is a Man” and not be affected by it. The memoir, first published in Italian in 1947*, is about Levi’s time in Auschwitz, a place from which few** survived the Holocaust to tell the world their story. If This is a Man is one of the best books I’ve…

Read More

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen: Rabbit Back Literature Society

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Rabbit Back Literature Society. The whimsical cover had comments such as “unnerving, enigmatic”, “unexpected, thrilling and absurd” and “a lobster pot of a book”. Rabbit Back Literature Society was written by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and translated from Finnish by Lola Rogers. That it was published by one of my favourite publishers, Pushkin…

Read More

Stefan Zweig: The World of Yesterday

One of the things I like about blogging is the wealth of information that is being exchanged. Now and then, someone leaves a comment on my blog that leads me to discover something new or interesting. This was how I came to learn of Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday. Andrew – writing All Downhill from Here over in…

Read More