978-0-8021-1590-4 / 080211590X


by Banana Yoshimoto

Publisher:Grove Press



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About the book:

"Blood ties seemed unrelated to how we were living," Sakumi, the young narrator of Amrita, begins portentously. The "we" of the family comprises a strange blend--Sakumi's mother, twice married (widowed and divorced); a telepathic younger brother; a cousin; and her mother's childhood friend. Grief over the tragic death of Mayu, Sakumi's flamboyant younger sister, binds them together. But grief is not the only obstacle to happiness and wholeness for Sakumi, who loses her memory in a fall. Grief shocked into awareness by memories retrieved--such is the thread that allows Sakumi to piece together her own identity and press toward acceptance of her sister's death.

Banana Yoshimoto's first novel, Kitchen (1991), traversed the territory of love and loss. Its fabulous success in Japan and the U.S. had to do with her distinct sensibility, a contemporary voice arising from a tradition-conscious culture. Amrita also ventures through the minefield of familial loss, but with a style less driven by the bizarre interface of tradition and pop culture.

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