I just found out about this book today and am bursting with excitement! I discovered Banana Yoshimoto during college at Cody's Books (RIP) and was drawn to her name, colorful covers and colorful characters. I haven't read her in years, though I should go back and reread her work. I'm thrilled that Thought Catalog has a new books column which some great recommendations (Jezebel blogger Anna North's America Pacifica was already on my to-read list) and that it told me about The Lake. Here's what reviewer Kevin Nguyen says about Yoshimoto's latest:
The book’s narrator and her love interest, Nakajima, (which may stretch the definitions of “love” for some) engage in long discussions about their feelings, explaining exactly how they feel. The result is a series of awkward exchanges that are sterile and devoid of emotion. Initially, I chalked it up to sloppy translating, but it becomes apparent that Yoshimoto’s simplicity — both in prose and narrative — speaks to a mastery of form. She is methodical in her pacing, delicate with her dialogue. The horrors from Nakajima’s past, which reveal themselves late in the book, feel inevitable but unpredictable.
Though it may come across as shallow at first, the depth of Yoshimoto’s minimalism reveals itself days after you finish reading. When I got to the last page of The Lake, I felt largely unsatisfied, but a month later, I find myself returning to the book with some regularity. Even at fewer than 150 pages, The Lake will haunt you.
Also, hi beautiful book cover: