Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Hardboiled & Hard Luck

by Banana Yoshimoto

“Banana Yoshimoto is doing her part to keep the novella tradition alive. . . . Exciting . . . Despite the somber nature of the subject matter, these are not depressing stories; Yoshimoto manages to find hope amid her characters’ sadness. Taken together, these two novellas form a sparkling book.” –Andrew Ervin, Washington Post

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 160
  • Publication Date October 24, 2006
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4262-7
  • Dimensions 5" x 7.25"
  • US List Price $12.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date September 15, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9100-7
  • US List Price $12.00

About The Book

Banana Yoshimoto’s warm, witty, and heartfelt depictions of the lives of young Japanese have earned her international acclaim and best-seller status. In Hardboiled, the unnamed narrator is hiking in the mountains on an anniversary she has forgotten about, the anniversary of her ex-lover’s death. As she nears her hotel–stopping on the way at a hillside shrine and a strange soba shop–a sense of haunting falls over her. Perhaps these eerie events will help her make peace with her loss. Hard Luck is about another young woman, whose sister is dying and lies in a coma. Kuni’s fianc” left her after the accident, but his brother Sakai continues to visit, and the two of them gradually grow closer as they make peace with the impending loss of their loved one. Yoshimoto’s voice is clear, assured, and deeply moving, displaying again why she is one of Japan’s, and the world’s, most beloved writers.

Tags Literary

Praise

“A pair of lean, lambent novellas . . . The first . . . reads like a new-fashioned ghost story, tingling the spine while offering shimmering, stop-time glimpses into a strange, seductive world straddling dream like and reality.” –Lisa Shea, Elle

“Banana Yoshimoto is doing her part to keep the novella tradition alive. . . . Exciting . . . Despite the somber nature of the subject matter, these are not depressing stories; Yoshimoto manages to find hope amid her characters’ sadness. Taken together, these two novellas form a sparkling book.” –Andrew Ervin, Washington Post

“Ghostly visitations cause the novellas to linger on the mental palate, an effect made all the more striking by the fact that Yoshimoto is not an especially complex stylist. Michael Emmerich has transformed her Japanese into a noirlike English composed of short sentences and broad brush strokes. . . . In Yoshimoto’s world, regret becomes a fugue state with its own circadian rhythms. It casts such a nightmarish spell that Grove should sell it with a pocket packet of Valium.” –John Freeman, Time Out New York 

“Seemingly complicated choices are made easy by going with what feels right and organic. That’s how her characters interact with each other, in an urban but fresh world where life and death are handled with simple and earthy grace.” –Shazna Nessa, Associated Press

“Gentle . . . mesmerizing . . . gemlike . . . Yoshimoto takes a subtle, graceful look at the relationship between the sisters and the fault lines in this grieving family, elevating her little book from fine to downright moving.” –Publishers Weekly

“Spare, piercing fiction . . . Yoshimoto is tenderly ironic and keenly attuned to nature’s beauty and the mystic dimension of life, and her characters’ ability to tough their way through painful predicaments infuses her elegantly insightful stories with hope. . . . Yoshimoto writes of profoundly complex matters of love, life, decorum, guilt, and death with the precision and grace of a traditional calligrapher.” –Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Fans will recognize the author’s trademark blend of traditional Japanese philosophical concerns and plain contemporary prose in both stories, and her descriptions of the natural world are as lovely as ever. . . . Yoshimoto makes every word count. . . . Warmed by the simple expressions of human emotion that make this author’s work special.” –Kirkus Reviews