Tag: Michael Emmerich

The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto

Posted December 8, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Contemporary / 0 Comments

The Lake by Banana YoshimotoTitle: The Lake (Goodreads)
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
Translator: Michael Emmerich
Published: Melville House, 2005
Pages: 188
Genres: Contemporary
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

After the death of her mother, Chihiro moved to Tokyo in an attempt to run away from her grief and start a new life. Tokyo also offered the opportunity to try and kick start her dream career as a graphic artist. It was here, she met and befriended Nakajima, and their friendship quickly blossomed into a relationship. The Lake is a beautiful and mysterious novel about a blossoming relationship and the baggage that comes with it.

I have often heard great things about the writing of Banana Yoshimoto and one day I just thought it was time to find out for myself. I checked my local library and eventually decided to start with The Lake. I decided to read this one for multiple reasons and I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. The best way to describe reading this book is like floating on a lake. It was relaxing and I felt myself drifting through the book. Soon I realised I drifted so far out and into a dangerous situation.

I will not go into the plot in detail; experiencing this novel without any knowledge is highly recommended. Yoshimoto knows how to write a wonderful story that sweeps you away, but not only that, her characters have so much depth to them. The baggage brought into the relationship becomes a prime focus of the psychological elements within The Lake.

While Chihiro was dealing with grief, Nakajima was dealing with something more complex and damaging. What I liked about this novel is the way Nakajima sometimes wanted to try to rise above his issues and other times it was leading him into depression. I think Banana Yoshimoto created a very real depiction of depression, exploring the ups and downs flawlessly.

After one Banana Yoshimoto novel, I can say I am a fan and want to read everything she has written. Well, everything translated from Japanese into English (The Lake being translated by Michael Emmerich).  I have heard many people rave about Kitchen and it might be the next Yoshimoto novel I pick up; it will depend on my library. Do yourself a favour; pick up a Banana Yoshimoto novel, and experience her writing for yourself.