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The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto

The story here is how young people in difficulty start to communicate and look for ways to solve problems. It’s like a simple story, but how deeply and subtly the writer is able to convey it.

After her mother’s death, Chihiro, a young woman, settles in Tokyo, where she feels very lonely, although she enjoys her favorite activity – drawing on the walls. Feeling restless, Chihiro gazes out the window of her apartment, where he sees a young man, Nakajima, looking out the window of a  house in front every day.

Slowly, they start to greet, and later Nakajima settles in with Chihiro. But things are not that easy, because the guy is very distressed. Chihiro tries to figure it out and goes with him to the lake to his old friends.

I read the book with great pleasure. There is plenty of Japanese minimalist beauty so beautifully conveyed by the author. There are many strong and complex emotions, many old traditions and the interweaving of the modern world…

© Fortune, 2009

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