About this title:
After losing her beautiful younger sister, a celebrated actress, to suicide, Sakumi falls down a flight of stairs and loses her memory to a head injury. Struggling to remember whom she loves and what she lost, she embarks on a unique emotional journey, accompanied at times by her dead sister's lover, at others by her clairvoyant kid brother. This is the story of Sakumi's remarkable expedition through grief, dreams, and shadows to a place of transformation and the discovery of a soul.
About the Author:
"Blood ties seemed unrelated to how we were living," Sakumi, the young narrator of Amrita
, begins portentously. The "we" of the family comprises a strange blend--Sakumi's mother, twice married (widowed and
divorced); a telepathic younger brother; a cousin; and her mother's childhood friend. Grief over the tragic death of Mayu, Sakumi's flamboyant younger sister, binds them together. But grief is not the only obstacle to happiness and wholeness for Sakumi, who loses her memory in a fall. Grief shocked into awareness by memories retrieved--such is the thread that allows Sakumi to piece together her own identity and press toward acceptance of her sister's death.
Banana Yoshimoto's first novel, Kitchen (1991), traversed the territory of love and loss. Its fabulous success in Japan and the U.S. had to do with her distinct sensibility, a contemporary voice arising from a tradition-conscious culture. Amrita also ventures through the minefield of familial loss, but with a style less driven by the bizarre interface of tradition and pop culture.
Banana Yoshimoto was born in 1964. Her bestselling first book, Kitchen, has sold millions of copies worldwide. It was followed by N.P., a novel, and Lizard, her first collection of short stories. Her books have won numerous prizes in her native Japan and abroad. Kitchen, N.P., and Lizard are all available from Washington Square Press. She lives in Tokyo.
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