2009 collection of short stories by the author of Housekeeper and the Professor and Revenge (Polish: Ukochane równani profesora and Grobowa cisza… –Yōko Ogawa. This is the original Japanese language version. Umi is an example of an excellent writer who succeeds botha at novels and at short form.
The titlular story of Umi, which opens the collection, may be associated with Hiroko Oyamada’s Ogród. A couple comes to the seaside, to stay at her parents’ house. He feels awkward being the centre ot attention and find himself lost in the puzzling atmosphere of her family home. A few interconnected scenes, an unusual atmosphere and an aura of eerieness that penetrates the reader to the bone.
The short story Batafurai wabun taipu jimusho is also surprising: in the interview with the author at the end of the book, you learn that Ogawa wrote it when she received a commission for an erotic text. And indeed, the story of typists working on large typewriters with Japanese fonts, one of them fascinated by the repairman working in the upstairs room – is imbued with fascinating eroticism.
If you admire Yōko Ogawa’s style and can read Japanese, each of the seven stories in this book will go straight to your heart.