Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Hard Luck" by Banana Yoshimoto

Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto (1999, translated from Japanese by Michael Emmerich, 2005) is published in the same book as Hardboiled.   I have already posted on Hardboiled.

Hard luck centers on a young woman waiting for her hospitalized sister to pass away.   Her parents, the fiance of the sister and his brother keep rotating vigil at her bedside.   The finance is not faithful in his attendance in the bed side and is dispised by the ill girls parents and sister.   His brother actually shows much more concern for the young woman than her fiance does.   The sister begins to feel an attraction to him but she does not know if it is just based on her growing feeling of  loneliness and  her admiration for the good character of the brother.  In her mind, she knows once the sister is lost the brother of the boyfriend will leave her life also.   The feelings in this work are below the surface.    Anger at the boyfriend is displaced anger over the young death of the sister and daughter. 

A feeling of sadness, of course, permeates this work.   We sense everyone will go on after the woman in the hospital is gone but no one will be quite the same.   

The sky is high and lonely and makes me feel alone.

Death is present in every aspect of life.

This is also a book about families, the ones we are born with and the ones we create.    

Mel u


JoAnn said...

I'm so glad you introduced me to Banana Yoshimoto! I'll be reading this one soon.

Eva said...

Thanks for the link love. ;) So true that this story is all about families-I enjoyed reading your analysis.

Suko said...

This author captures the essence of loneliness and isolation in her work.

Another story I must read!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This is one author that I must try. I've read several great reviews; thanks

Mel u said...

Joann-Banana Yoshimoto is just such a good all round writer-I am glad you like her work


Suko-you are very right

Diane-I hope you like her when you do read her-I would start with Goodbye Tsugumi or Kitchen-

tanabata said...

I haven't been by lately so I've been catching up on your reviews. You've read some fantastic books lately, many of them ones that I want to read myself in the next year or so.
These two stories by Banana Yoshimoto sound good. I've read Kitchen and a couple others but I really must read more by her.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if most of her work is about sorrow within one's heart of family. I read Kitchen, and it about broke my heart. But, it was a beautiful work. I'd like to read more of hers.