Mari quits school after her father’s death to help her demanding mother run the Hotel Iris. Behind the reception desk she witnesses a prostitute scream abuse and storm out of the hotel, then hears the voice of the man from the hotel room and is intrigued. She spots him in the street one day and follows.
There are rumours about this man — that he killed his wife, but Mari can’t quell her attraction. Will she be safe with a man so much older than her? Will the rumours prove true? Or will something darker occur?
Read the Guardian’s review on the book cover — this is absolutely true of this macabre tale that I couldn’t put down.
In the late 1940s the youngest pearl diver works on Shodo Island. But four years after diving off the waters of Japan, she’s rejected by her family and society when she contracts leprosy. Sent to a leper colony on Nagashina Island, her disease doesn’t spread once a new medicine is discovered, but can she regain her freedom to live a normal life again?
Over two decades ago I saw a haunting Japanese movie based on Kobo Abe’s book that has always stayed with me. It was time to read this strange story of a man who walks into the sand dunes in search of beetles that survive in this unique environment. When the day draws to a close, Niki seeks shelter in a strange village he encounters. He is billeted with a woman living alone and only when he wakes the next morning does he learn his fate. This unique story will have you spitting sand and brushing it off your shoulders with every page turn.