Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review : Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

(Original review posted on Goodreads:- Jan 18,2013)

There's something about Japanese writers. They have the unparalleled ability of transforming an extremely
ordinary scene from our everyday mundane lives into something magical and other-worldly. A man walking along a river-bank on a misty April morning may appear to our senses as an ethereal being, barely human, on the path to deliverance and self-discovery.
There's something profoundly melancholic yet powerfully meaningful about the beautiful vignettes they create. No one else does surrealistic imagery better than Japanese writers.

Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto, is no exception to this convention.
Revolving around the theme of dealing with loss, Kitchen focuses on two young women as protagonists and their perceptions of life and death.
It tells us about how recurring personal tragedies shape and reshape our views on life and death, the kind of catharsis we wish for and the mechanisms we often end up resorting to, in order to keep our personal grief from spilling over into our everyday reality.
Kitchen is definitely the not the most ingeniously narrated tale ever. Rather it suffers from the monotony of brief, simple sentences that may not sit well with some readers who love eloquence.
But this simplistic mode of narration, helps it stay true to its original intention, that of recounting the story of ordinary people doing ordinary things yet coming to unexpected realizations about the great quandary of life.

4 out of 5 stars.

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