The Forest of Wool and Steel

Translation: Philip Gabriel


The Forest of Wool and Steel is a novel that will act as a balm for all those who feel too busy with the modern world. It is like a deep breath, like a long piano sound and silence in a dense forest.

We meet the main character, Tomura, when as a teenager he witnesses the work of a piano tuner. Piano tuning becomes his fascination and calling – after graduating from vocational school he goes to a small company operating in Hokkaido. And we are witnessing his long path to independence in the profession.

It’s hard to imagine a less exciting job – there is no chance for a dazzling career in this industry, as pianists are standing in the spotlight. There are few orders for piano tuners, and most of them concern neglected, home pianos, the owners of which do not hear if the instrument plays out of tune. But the novel describes the meetings of Tomura and his older colleagues with each instrument (and their owners) in such an engaging way that we read on with a smile and flushed face. And we wander into the world of wooden soundboxes, metal strings and felt hammers.

The author, Natsu Miyashita, wrote The Forest of Wool and Steel, her greatest literary hit up till now, when she and her family moved for a year near Mount Tomuraushi in Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido. It was such close contact with nature in the reserve that inspired her to write the book – she also published her memoirs from this period in the form of essays in the volume Kamisama-tachi no Asobu Niwa (The Playground of the Gods). Without the majestic nature of Hokkaido, The Forest of Wool and Steel would never be created.

Prepare a blanket and a cup of warm tea and feel invited to the Japanese countryside – away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, dark climates and spine-chilling stories. Perfect reading for winter!

The novel is also available in Polish and Japanese.

On backorder





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The lowest price ( May 2, 2023 ): 49,00  Categories: ,

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