Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Book Review: The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino by Kawakami Hiromi (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: The Ten Loves of Nishino
Author: Kawakami Hiromi
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: 2019 (2003)
Pages: 172
Format:
Paperback
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Each woman in this book has succumbed, even if only for an hour, to that seductive, imprudent, and furtively feline man who managed to glide so naturally into their lives. But who really was Mr. Nishino?

Still clinging to the vivid memory of his warm breath, his indecipherable silences, and his nonchalance, ten women who have loved him tell their stories as they attempt to recreate the image of the unfathomable and seemingly unattainable Mr. Nishino. Through accounts that are full of humor, intelligence, and the bittersweet joys of love, these women evoke Nishino's image but reveal themselves. Each perspective is both captivating and sensual, droll but important, and each is a variation on themes of love and identity.

 

The Ten Loves of Nishino was an entertaining and thoughtful read. This book is not a story with a set beginning, middle and end. Rather, it is a series of vignettes depicting the different relationships Nishino had with the ten woman--a snapshot of each from beginning to end. It is a contemplative piece that looks at different ideas of love and our expectations regarding it, and I think this is my second favourite Kawakami Hiromi book so far, after Strange Weather in Tokyo. If you are already a fan of Kawakami's writing, you will love this. If you are new to her works, this would certainly be a good place to start.

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