by Michael Gardiner

These gently humorous short stories show modern Japan through the eyes not only of the Japanese but also of incomers; including, memorably, a drinks dispenser. All the protagonists are to some extent outsiders, completely believable, and described with such sympathetic affection that I feel I know them and will, therefore, continue to worry about the Kenyan exchange student. A must read collection.


'This is the point. I'm forty-four later this year and all I do is keep house in Nerima, as if Nerima's not part of the world. I watch disasters on TV, I shop for dinner, I ask other wives of Nerima where to look for the bargains, and then come back and watch more disasters on TV. I sometimes feel I've decided to waste my life. Making dinner every day for a man who thinks he's washed the smell of his girlfriend off him with hotel soaps and covers the walls in pasta.'


The Box Man by Kobe Abe

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