Mrs. Fujiwara's Reviews > Amrita

Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto
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May 04, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: japanese-literature
Read in December, 2007

** spoiler alert ** After more than a year I finally had the opportunity to read another lovely novel from my very favorite author. Thanks to dear k_chan79, who gave me this most adored gift last time she came to visit me, I could dive into Yoshimoto-san’s familiar reality in a perfect time to fully understand its depths. What I like the most in her writing is the simplicity, the way she describes life as this succession of happenings, related or not to one another, something that does not necessarily makes sense, but that is part of the whole nevertheless. With Amrita was not different. Life is as strange as a dream, and also as charming as one, no matter if a beautiful vision or the worst nightmare. It’s a very long book; the longer she has ever written, I believe, and thus extremely tiresome to those not familiar with her style. As Jane Austen, she describes the quotidian of her characters, but unlike her, what really matter is the way these things leave marks upon their very soul. Most of them live more in thoughts than in reality, or so she describes them; they consider every single thing, from the rays of sun washing with a bright golden light the luminous black hair of a young lady, to the pierce cold of an autumn lonely night wandering through desert streets. And this is precise what I like about Japanese literature: the focus is never on such things as relationships - although this is also an essential part of life -, but on the way our heart reacts to the feelings they bring. I could have written down many, many special quotes from this lovely story. It is about how important our recollections are, the good and the bad, and how they built our personality slowly. Unfortunately, though, few of us seem to give them the importance they deserve before something like a loss of memory happens. The interesting thing is, Yoshimoto’s main character are never my favorite. This time was no different and her hero, Saku-chan, was totally overshadowed by the cuteness of her little brother. Perhaps because when I was young I would always wish for one. Besides, he is one of those strange characters she seems to be very fond of - with special psycho powers - but that in the end are just as normal as everyone of us (if you consider yourself normal, anyway, because I don’t). As always, I finished the book, closed it on my lap and with a satisfied smile felt a tear running down my cheek. Books like this make me feel even more grateful for being able to see and read; books like this are the reason why I chose a profession like mine: they are as important to me as the everyday events of my simple but adored life.
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