The Ten Loves of Nishino
WINNER 2020 PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE
Best-selling and beloved Japanese author Hiromi Kawakami (The Nakano Thrift Shop) tells the story of an enigmatic man through the voices of ten remarkable women who have loved him.
"If you like Haruki Murakami and Yoko Ogawa, it's a safe bet that you'll love The Ten Loves of Nishino."--DozoDomo (France)
Each woman has succumbed, even if only for an hour, to that seductive, imprudent, and furtively feline man who drifted so naturally into their lives. Still clinging to the vivid memory of his warm breath and his indecipherable sentences, ten women tell their stories as they attempt to recreate the image of the unfathomable Nishino.
Like a modern Decameron, this humorous, sensual, and touching novel by one of Japan's best-selling and most beloved writers is a powerful and embracing portrait of the human comedy in ten voices. Driven by desires that are at once unique and common, the women in this book are modern, familiar to us, and still mysterious. A little like Nishino himself.
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About the Author
Hiromi Kawakami is one of Japan's most acclaimed and successful authors. Winner of numerous prizes for her fiction, including the Akutagawa, Ito Sei, Women Writers (Joryu Bungako Sho), and Izumi Kyoka prizes, she is the author of The Nakano Thrift Shop, a Wall Street Journal Best New Fiction pick, Strange Weather in Tokyo, Manazuru, and many many others. Her fiction has appeared in English in The Paris Review and Granta. She lives in Japan.
Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator and editor based in New York City. Her translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Fuminori Nakamura, and Kanako Nishi, and she was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders. She maintains the database Japanese Literature in English at www.japaneseliteratureinenglish.com.
Praise for The Ten Loves of Nishino
"[Nishino is] the Don Draper of Japanese fiction, the sort of person everyone knows without ever really knowing."--Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"The women in this collection are vibrant, lusty, and clearly the agents of their own love lives."--Kirkus Reviews
"A short, subtle, and funny book that quietly upends notions of the demure Japanese woman searching for a salaryman husband."--Quartzy
"These are wonderfully entertaining stories with an electricity enlivening the narrative of an astonishingly broad set of male-female encounters. There is a certain melancholy about the ephemeral quality of the affairs, felt on both sides, but seemingly woven into their fabric."--Eric Boss, Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (MPIBA)
"If you like Haruki Murakami and Yōko Ogawa, it's a safe bet that you'll love The Ten Loves of Nishino."--DozoDomo (France)
"Kawakami's writing is so carnal, beautiful, and stimulating for the reader that it does not need to be any more explicit. The mysterious quality of Kawakami's work lies in its extraordinary allusive power, something that only the greatest artists have." --Robert Saladrigas, La Vanguardia (Spain)
"Subtle and delicate, in its details Kawkami's prose traces the signs that the soul leaves on one's consciousness." --Pere Guixà, El País
"Reading Kawakami is like taking a warm bath. Her work is an homage to melancholy, to impossibility or, perhaps even more accurately, to the constant state of indeterminateness that we humans unwittingly inhabit." --Pablo D'Ors, ABC (Spain)
"You never know where Nishino's affections lay, but the lack of a sentimental compass and of certainties does not destroy the women he loves, but rather makes them stronger. This is the novel's power; it is full of love and devoid of victims." --Télérama (France)
"A bewitching song." --L'Express (France)
"Kawakami's prose is constructed with the beautiful and reticular precision of a crystal." --El Norte de Castilla (Spain)
"An evocative, subtle and passionate dissection of relationships and human behavior." --Flavia Company, El País (Spain)
"The mysterious quality of Kawakami's work lies in its extraordinary allusive power, something that only the greatest artists have."--Robert Saladrigas, La Vanguardia (Spain)
"The Ten Loves of Nishino is a delightful and strange love story about Nishino, an alluring and mysterious ladies' man."--Danny Caine, The Raven Bookstore, Lawrence, KS
"Lovely."--Ksenia Firsova, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Praise for Hiromi Kawakami's The Nakano Thrift Shop
"A gentle, humorous novel." --The Wall Street Journal
"Kawakami lavishes attention on quotidian minutiae and exquisitely awkward pauses, ending scenes on maddeningly unresolved but vibrant images. [...] It feels a lot like daily life in Tokyo, but odder." --The New York Times
"The pleasures of The Nakano Thrift Shop are not of the propulsive narrative variety but revolve more around the granular details of the everyday." --Los Angeles Review of Books
"[Kawakami] knows she doesn't need fireworks to keep the reader entertained, and is pushing her exploration of form and style." --The Japan Times
"A window into another world is opened by this pleasant but sprightly look at daily life in a small thrift shop in a Japanese city. Love and disappointment, professional rivalry, filial conflict and longings for another life illuminate these characters who became friends to the reader by the finish. Great summer read." --Eric Boss, Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA)
"Charming, quirky, and wise, this is a warmhearted character study of the undervalued, the obsolete, and the hidden gems among us all." --Monique Truong, author of Bitter in the Mouth
"Subtle, graceful, wise and threaded on a quirky humour, this exploration of the connections and disconnections between people kept me smiling long after the last page." --Julia Rochester, author of The House at the End of the World
"The Nakano Thrift Shop is really a love story, albeit a very offbeat one... A gentle book, full of charm [and] radiating leftfield charisma." --Emerald Street
"Hiromi Kawakami's charming novel illuminates moments of kindness, love and friendship that pop up like the unexpected treasures amid the shop's dusty collection of pretty mismatched bowls and plates, castoff eyeglasses, task lamps and old electric fans." --The Minneapolis Star Tribune
". . .[A] modern Japanese slice-of-life drama." --Booklist
"Readers will grow to care about these quirky characters [...] making "Nakano" an utterly charming little book." --Philippine Daily Inquirer