The Nakano Thrift Shop | Granta

The Nakano Thrift Shop

Hiromi Kawakami

Translated by Allison Markin Powell

Among the jumble of paperweights, plates, typewriters and general bric-a-brac in Mr Nakano’s thrift store, there are treasures to be found. Each piece carries its own story of love and loss – or so it seems to Hitomi, when she takes a job there working behind the till. Nor are her fellow employees any less curious or weatherworn than the items they sell. There’s the store’s owner, Mr Nakano, an enigmatic ladies’ man with several ex-wives; Sakiko, his sensuous, unreadable lover; his sister, Masayo, an artist whose free-spirited creations mask hidden sorrows. And finally there’s Hitomi’s fellow employee, Takeo, whose abrupt and taciturn manner Hitomi finds, to her consternation, increasingly disarming.

A beguiling story of love found amid odds and ends, The Nakano Thrift Shop is a heart-warming and utterly charming novel from one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary novelists.

  • Published: 01/06/2017
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781846276026
  • 129x20mm, 256 pages

Subtle, graceful, wise and threaded on a quirky humour, this exploration of the connections and disconnections between people kept me smiling long after the last page

Julia Rochester, author, The House at the Edge of the World

One for the holiday suitcase

Vogue.co.uk

Charming

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Stylist.co.uk

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.

More about the translator →

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