"Kei's intense and impressive debut is the story of two women who bond in their adopted country of Australia . . . An immigrant tale that readers won't forget" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).Winner of the Kenzaburo Oe PrizeFar from her native country of Nigeria and now living as a single mother of two, Salimah works the night shift at a supermarket in a small Australia town. She is shy and barely speaks English, but pushes herself to sign up for an ESL class offered at the local university.At the group's first meeting, Salimah meets Sayuri, who has come to Australia from Japan with her husband, a resident research associate at the local college. Sayuri has put her own education on hold to take care of her infant daughter, and she is plagued by worries about financial instability and her general precariousness.
When Sayuri faces a devastating loss, and one of Salimah's boys leaves to live with his father, the two women look to one another for comfort and sustenance, as they slowly master their new language, in this "unexpectedly riveting" debut novel (Financial Times).
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About the Author
Iwaki Kei was born in Osaka. After graduating from college, she went to Australia to study English and ended up staying on, working as a Japanese tutor, an office clerk, and a translator. The country has now been her home for 20 years. Farewell, My Orange, her debut novel, won both the Dazai Osamu Prize and the Kenzaburō Ōe Prize.
Meredith McKinney is an award-winning translator of classical and modern Japanese literature, whose translations include Sei Shônagon's eleventh-century classic The Pillow Book, and Kokoro and Kusamakura by the early modern novelist Natsume Sôseki. McKinney's mother was poet and activist Judith Wright, and her father was philosopher and novelist J.P. McKinney. She is currently a visiting fellow at the Japan Centre, Australian National University, where she teaches Japanese-English translation.
Praise for Farewell, My Orange
"In this unexpectedly riveting work, as spare as it is detailed, with its emphasis on learning at differing levels, Iwaki proves how the most important lesson concerns empathy."--Financial Times
"Kei adroitly intertwines these remarkable characters' dreams and determination, making for an immigrant tale that readers won't forget." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)