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The Last Children of Tokyo

by Yoko Tawada

I was amazed at the range of this surreal novella, set in a dystopian Japan, as it made me think about age, gender, civilisation, literature, power and responsibility. But above all to recognise the power of the love Yoshira, aged 104, feels for his 11 year old great grandson.

Extract

It was good that he'd picked ninety-nine rather than one hundred for the birthday dinner.... You could tell the younger relations by their rounded backs, thinning hair, pale faces and by how slowly their chopsticks moved. Realizing their descendants were in such a sad state because they'd been so feckless made the elderly feel guilty, dampening the festivities.
Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

Parallels

The Book of Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller
 

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