Reading Banana Yoshimoto is like taking a bracing, cleansing bath. These gentle yet formidable stories in Dead-End Memories rinse away the unimportant minutiae of life, leaving behind only the essential. — Ling Ma, author of Severance
Banana Yoshimoto is one of our greatest writers; in Dead-End Memories, she is absolutely at her best. Written with tenderness, complexity, generosity, and warmth, Yoshimoto’s characters are entirely singular, and also a finely wrought reflection of ourselves. This book is masterful––a portrait of the absurdity, brilliance, horror, and love encompassing daily life––and, in her delivery, Yoshimoto is a master. — Bryan Washington, author of Memorial
Japan’s internationally celebrated master storyteller is back with an exciting collection—never before available in the United States—that vividly portrays the blissful moments surrounding us in everyday life.
First published in Japan in 2003, Dead-End Memories collects the stories of five women who, following sudden and painful events, quietly discover their ways back to recovery.
In the title story, which Banana Yoshimoto calls her best work, a woman who has been betrayed by her fiancé finds a perfect refuge in an apartment above her uncle’s bar while seeking the real meaning of happiness. In “House of Ghosts,” a daughter of a yōshoku restaurant owner encounters the ghosts of a sweet elderly couple who haven’t yet realized that they have been dead for years. In “Tomo-chan’s Happiness,” an office worker who is a victim of sexual assault finally catches sight of the hope of romance. Yoshimoto’s gentle, effortless prose reminds us that one true miracle can be as simple as having someone to share a meal with. Discover this collection of what Yoshimoto herself calls the “most precious work of my writing career.”
- English sample manuscript available