Emi Bevacqua's Reviews > Silk

Silk by Alessandro Baricco
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's review
Jun 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, asia
Read from June 06 to 09, 2010 — I own a copy

I don't really understand how such a small and simple story can have such impact. Alessandro Baricco wrote Silk in Italian and it was translated to English by Guido Waldman. The story is about Herve Joncour, a happily married French silkworm trader who first travels to Japan 7 years before foreigners are allowed to enter, and encounters a mysterious, beguiling young woman with western eyes who speaks no English and belongs to a nobleman. Herve Joncour travels back to Japan again and again, more in search of her than anything else he uses to explain his trips to his wife, business associates and friends.

The language is spare, yet resonant. The repetition is hypnotic, and the story enigmatic. I don't feel sure I even got it, but I still enjoyed it. This is one I'll keep and re-read.

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