This book emerged to me from the mists in the downtown public library. I grabbed it, ran out, and haven’t looked back since (no, seriously, the book is about three months overdue at this point, but it’s still on my nightstand). Apparently it was a cult favorite in 90’s lesbian Taiwan as well, where it circulated from hand to hand as a sheath of photocopies for years before being published.
LAST WORDS is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Organized as a series of letters, all vaguely autobiographical, it charts the genderqueer main character’s last few months of travel, love, and heartbreak before suicide. Each letter is a gut-wrenching gem. Don’t forget to get a pack of tissues on your way home.
THE ROAD meets FIGHT CLUB in this post-apocalyptic Minotaur myth-turned-road novel. After the electricity goes out in his town, a car mechanic begins a seemingly endless journey to reach his ailing father. However, as miles travelled and his exhaustion both mount, the story winds in and out of reality and time. The narrator’s parallel quests for his father, love, and a destination, along with the strange company he finds along the way, pull together to form a marvelous, thoughtful mindbender of a novel.
Yoshie’s father has just died in a suicide pact and left Yoshie and her mother to deal with their grief by moving into a new neighborhood. However, Yoshie’s father keeps haunting her nightmares with a message. Banana Yoshimoto, as always, manages to merge potentially isolating introspection with a beautiful cast of characters and regular intervals of unexplained surrealist occurrences.