Over the past month I have been reading The Nakano Thrift Shop, the English translated novel by Japanese author Hiromi Kawakami (川上弘美). I had originally seen this book online in my recommended section when ordering a few Japanese textbooks, however it was only when I picked it up in a book shop, after its bright pink cover caught my eye, that I purchased it and I haven’t been able to put it down.

It’s written from the perspective of a young woman and is based around the interactions that she has with the people she works with and the events that run through their lives. It has all sorts of enticing story lines, creative segments and colourful imagery. I have almost finished this one and have already got another of the authors books, which was nominated or the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize; Strange Weather In Tokyo.

Her writing has been described as “off-beat fiction”, which is perfect for the witty and sometimes raw stories. It was also commented that her novels are a “highly realistic, eminently readable stories about the lives and loves of women in contemporary Japan”, which is an amazingly unwritten-about genre.

I think the majority of Japanese literature gets swallowed under the waves of success of the famous Haruki Murikami, due to the vast number of novels he has written, the volume that have been translated to various languages and because of his critical acclaim in his own right as an author. Finding Hiromi Kawakami has luckily opened another route into finding more amazing Japanese novelists.

I’d recommend The Nakano Thrift Shop highly to anyone who wishes to be entertained by a relatable by a novel that will suck you into the authors world. Sayounara for now, Jooosiekinsan XXX


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