now finished: Lizard by Banana Yashimoto
(this blog post backdated to the day I finished the book)
I've had Banana Yashimoto on my radar since I first ever started working at Borders that holiday season long ago. I mean, one doesn't easily forget a (pen) name like "Banana." But, I never got around to buying or checking out anything or even for several years figuring out if the author was male or female. Turns out, female. Someone brought a book of short stories, Lizard, to an Andong book swap this summer, and I took it home mostly out of "Why not?" curiosity.
File under: not bad. It was a fast read, and some of the stories were better than others. Bonus: the stories got better as the book went along, so stick it out through the first two or three. All of the tales seemed to be about alienated or searching people wandering (and riding trains) through their days, and all were about relationships and self in some way. I would read another Banana.
It also helps, maybe, that this year I have fallen in love with Japan. I was set to be even more appreciative of people hurtling on a subway through the Tokyo night to their suburban enclaves. I was totally tapped in to the mix of emotion, history, practicality, modernity, efficiency, and beauty that infuses everything there.
I've read a lot of comments that her novels are even better than her stories, so I will check one out. Someday.