Lizard

Banana Yoshimoto, Author Grove/Atlantic $18 (180p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1564-5
Japan's Yoshimoto (N.P.) delivers an engaging, rather lightweight collection of six stories chronicling the romantic adventures, spiritual yearnings and familial troubles of a hip set of young, Japanese professionals. Each story is told in a spare, quizzical, highly conversational style, through the eyes of characters who encounter odd coincidences and spiritual epiphanies while attempting to negotiate life's turning points. In the title piece, a man salvages his relationship with his lover, an antisocial acupuncturist with mysterious healing powers whom he calls Lizard, by making a pilgrimage to an ancient temple and sharing disturbing childhood secrets. In ``Blood and Water,'' a woman flees her parents' Buddhist sect in a provincial village, falls in love with a man in Tokyo who makes amulets and gradually comes to terms with her own religious aspirations. ``A Strange Tale from Down by the River'' is an allegory about a woman who abandons a life of shallow sexual exploits, recognizes her own spiritual affinities with the natural world and gets married. A lesser effort from Yoshimoto, yet there's a fleeting pathos to these offbeat tales of a contemporary Tokyo interpenetrated by the routines of modern office life and the animistic forces of the ancient world. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-671-53276-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 251 pages - 978-0-671-53650-3
Paperback - 180 pages - 978-0-571-17553-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1827-3
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-8021-2439-5
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