Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press


by Banana Yoshimoto Translated from Japanese by Ann Sherif

“Banana Yoshimoto is a clear genius who revels in her own absurdity and whose strange thoughts are at once unbridled and perfectly crafted. Her stories spiral from melancholy to revelation with a voice that is ethereal yet utterly grounded to a reality that resonates deeply with the reader.”—San Francisco Chronicle

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 176
  • Publication Date September 18, 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2439-5
  • Dimensions 5" x 7.25"
  • US List Price $18.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date September 15, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9048-2
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

I shall refer to her as Lizard here, but not because of the small lizard tattoo that I discovered on her inner thigh.

The woman has round, black eyes that gaze at you with utter detachment, like the eyes of a reptile. Every bend and curve of her small body is cool to the touch, so cool that I want to scoop her up in my two hands.

This may bring to mind the image of a man holding a bunny or a chick, but that’s not what I mean. What I imagine is the strange, tickling sensation of sharp claws scampering around in my palms. And then, when I open up my hands to take a peek, a thin, red tongue lashes out. Reflected in those glassy eyes, I see my own lonely face, peering down, looking for something to love and cherish. That’s what Lizard feels like to me. . . .

Praise for Lizard:

“Once again, with a style that has sold millions of books . . . Yoshimoto writes spare but precise narratives . . . All are about the survivors of life . . . Included is a strain of magic that at times is overt, and at times delicately traced along the margins of the tales.” —Frank Ramirez, South Bend Tribune

“Banana Yoshimoto’s elegant, fey touch with such weighty themes as despair and fate, [and] her urban images distilled and shimmering as haiku . . . continue to make her a welcome and uniquely assured voice on the global Gen-X scene.” —Megan Harlan, Paper magazine

“The substance of the stories in Lizard . . . could be from any time concerned with the ambivalence of life and with the longing for humans for a spiritual connection.” —Amanda Langston, Edge magazine

“Earnest, deep, and unaffected. . . . These stories . . . [are] quick and delicate, building, one after another, in a gentle crescendo of understanding and intensity. A sure and lyrical writer . . . Yoshimoto transforms the trite into the essential. This is her odd and charming art.” —Cathleen Schine, New Yorker

“Yoshimoto revels in the transformative . . . Her delight in the everyday and things beyond translates easily and ultimately merges the two in a beautiful whole.” —Rickey Wright, Virginian Pilot & Ledger-Star

“Engaging . . . each story is told in a spare, quizzical, highly conversational style, through the eyes of characters who encounter odd coincidences and spiritual epiphanies while attempting to negotiate life’s turning points.” —Publishers Weekly

“Precise yet lyrical love stories . . . Yoshimoto’s frequently surreal, elegantly geometric yet richly hued, and gently spiritual stories celebrate the wonder of love at first sight, the rightness of certain relationships, and the gift of hope.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist