Strange Weather in Tokyo | Granta

Strange Weather in Tokyo

Hiromi Kawakami

Translated by Allison Markin Powell

Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms – Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love.

Perfectly constructed, funny, and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.

  • Published: 01/08/2013
  • Ebook
  • ISBN: 9781846275098
  • 224 pages

A dream-like spell of a novel, full of humour, sadness, warmth and tremendous subtlety. I read this in one sitting and I think it will haunt me for a long time

Amy Sackville

Enchanting, moving and funny in equal measure, this compelling love story is expertly crafted against a backdrop of modern Japanese culture... I [was] captivated... Stylish and unsentimental, a perfect love story

Stylist ****

I'm hooked... It's interesting enough to read about an aging woman drawn to an older man; when this attraction comes wrapped up in Japanese nostalgia for old fashioned inns, mushroom hunting, refined manners, and Basho, how can a person resist? I can only imagine what wizardry must have gone into Allison Markin Powell's translation

Lorin Stein, Paris Review

The Author

Born in 1958 in Tokyo, HIROMI KAWAKAMI is one of Japan’s most popular contemporary novelists. She is the recipient of the Pascal Short Story Prize for New Writers and the Akutagawa Prize. Her novel Drowning won both the Ito Sei Literature Award and Joryu Bungaku Sho (Women Writers’ Prize) in 2000. Her novel Manazuru won the 2011 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize. Strange Weather in Tokyo (Sensei no kaban) won the Tanizaki prize in 2001 and was shortlisted for both the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

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The Translator

Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator and editor in New York City. Her translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Fuminori Nakamura, and Kanako Nishi, and she was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders. She maintains the database, Japanese Literature in English, at http://www.japaneseliteratureinenglish.com.

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