Friday 12 January 2024

Book Review: Dandelions by Kawabata Yasunari (Modern Classics)

Title: Dandelions
Author: Kawabata Yasunari
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2019 (1964)
Pages: 132
Format: Paperback
Genre: Modern Classics
Source: Birthday Gift

Ineko has lost the ability to see things. At first it was a ping-pong ball, then it was her fiancé. The doctors call it 'body blindness', and she is placed in a psychiatric clinic to recover. As Ineko's mother and fiancé walk along the riverbank after visiting time, they wonder: is her condition a form of madness - or an expression of love? Exploring the distance between us, and what we say without words, Kawabata's transcendent final novel is the last word from a master of Japanese literature.


Dandelions was an atmospheric, lyrical read, beautifully descriptive with a sense of dreaminess about it. The story was interesting throughout, despite being only an exchange between two characters. I was immediately caught up in the action and the themes. I found the ending strange, but then I discovered this work was still unfinished at the time of Kawabata's death, so then the sudden cut off of the story made more sense. It's a shame we can't see where Kawabata would have taken the tale had he been able to finish it. Because it is incomplete, this is perhaps not the best book to start with if you are new to Kawabata's writing, but if you are already a fan it is definitely worth checking out. I am giving it 4.5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment