Wednesday 9 January 2008
65. Kinshu: Autumn Brocade
I found this lovely little tome during one of my endless nights browsing in Book City on the Danforth - likely because it was so close to where all the David Mitchell books are stashed.
I hadn't heard of Miyamoto so picked Kinshu up on a whim and then, of course, let it sit abandoned in what I will henceforth refer to as "my collection" for months before I finally picked it up this week. (I feel that I can now refer to my books as "my collection" not because I have a 106-year old set of Balzac's novels, but because said olde bookes are now in a bookcase instead of a box on the floor. Yes, we finally crumbled and bought our 6th gigantic bookcase over the weekend and it is already 3/4 full. *Sigh*)
Anyway, about Kinshu: it's an epistolary novel in which a divorced couple begin exchanging letters after running into each other for the first time in 10 years. At first the letters are filled with bitter recriminations but ultimately the letters serve as mutual consolation of sorts. It's a pretty basic idea which is made into a beautiful read by Miyamoto's (and his translator's) unusually naturalistic (for Japanese literature, in my limited experience) and smooth writing style. I'm really pleased to have happened upon this book and hope more of Miyamoto's works will be translated into English soon.