The Lake…Coming Soon by Banana Yoshimoto

Look what I found! While hunting around my favorite bookstores, I discovered that Banana Yoshimoto is back with a new novel: The Lake. Random House describes it as thus:

While The Lake shows off many of the features that have made Banana Yoshimoto famous—a cast of vivid and quirky characters, simple yet nuanced prose, a tight plot with an upbeat pace—it’s also one of the most darkly mysterious books she’s ever written.
It tells the tale of a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to get over her grief and start a career as a graphic artist. She finds herself spending too much time staring out her window, though … until she realizes she’s gotten used to seeing a young man across the street staring out his window, too.

They eventually embark on a hesitant romance, until she learns that he has been the victim of some form of childhood trauma. Visiting two of his friends who live a monastic life beside a beautiful lake, she begins to piece together a series of clues that lead her to suspect his experience may have had something to do with a bizarre religious cult. . . .

With its echoes of the infamous, real-life Aum Shinrikyo cult (the group that released poison gas in the Tokyo subway system), The Lake unfolds as the most powerful novel Banana Yoshimoto has written. And as the two young lovers overcome their troubled past to discover hope in the beautiful solitude of the lake in the country- side, it’s also one of her most moving.

It’s on pre-order now, available May 3, 2011. Ahhh, I can hardly wait. The only release I’m lusting after with more ardor is Huruki Murakami’s 1Q84 on October 25, 2011.

They make me think I’ll host the Japanese Literature Challenge 5 come July.

21 thoughts on “The Lake…Coming Soon by Banana Yoshimoto”

  1. Bellezza: You are one of the winners of a copy of Little Princes in my book giveaway, but you didn't leave an email address. Please send me your mailing address by Sunday so I can mail it to you. Email me at harvee44 at yahoo dot com. Congrats.


  2. Book Dilettante, I'm so thrilled to have won a copy of Little Princes. It looks outstanding! Thank you so much.RippleEffects, I've so many books on my TBR as well, but I definitely want to read more Kawabata for the JLC5 to come. I'm already awaiting your thoughts on The Sound of The Mountain.Diane, I don't know what Amazon Vine is (guess I'll have to look that up!), but I'm glad you've preordered it. I should do the same.Chasing Bawa, I love Endo! I've only read Wonderful Fool and Silence, but I'm looking forward to what you'll read and review. Won't it be great to read 1Q84 and The Lake, as well?!


  3. You wouldn't think of not hosting J-Lit 5 would you? You have to, otherwise I would be so disappointed! LOL :)Ahhh.. Death again. I wish Yoshimoto would write something more joyful. But I would like to read her new book anyway. Thanks for introducing it Bellezza.


  4. JoV, I'm so glad you're feeling enthusiastic about the JLC5. I don't want to host it without willing participants. 🙂 Banana's not one for an overabundance of joy, but I surely love her writing. I also have Asleep to read for the JLC5.Parrish, I've not heard of Akutagawa, so you'll have to tell me more.


  5. Winstonsdad, I love Kitchen, too. The only other books of hers I've read are Good-bye, Tsugumi and NP. But, I'm really looking forward to this one; the little blurb is so interesting!


  6. You are the person that introduced me Yoshimoto's beautiful writing Kitchen was one of my favorite books of 2010. I am so excited about this book. What about a readalong as part of JLC5?


  7. A read-along, hmmm. I've never considered that, Col. I hosted a read-along for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov last Winter, and it was quite fun. For me, anyway, others would not define that book as "fun". The only thing I don't like about read-alongs are that with a long book, I tend to lose the momentum if I'm reading it interespersed with others. I like to read a book all in one go for the whole experience. If the book was a shorter one, such as Yoshimoto writes, or Kawabata, of even one of Murakami's short story collections, I think a read-along would work out nicely. Thanks for the suggestion!


  8. I'm looking forward to this one too; Ogawa has such a long backlist, I wish they were coming through in English faster.And I hadn't heard the English release date for 1Q84 yet. October is far away but at least now I have a date. Soooo psyched for that one.


  9. Concerning Akutagawa, try Rashomon &17 other tales, even has an intro by H.Murakami. As for JLC5, have an Ogawa, an Ishiguro, a Tanizaki & have just mooched Kitchen, also found a myths book by Kirino, that I want to check out. So if you looking for eager participants, show me the dotted line as this was my first & favourite challenge.


  10. I haven't read any Yoshimoto before, so I clearly am missing out. I wonder how this would be in an audio version? I'm currently listening to Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, read by British actress Emilia Fox and I am absolutely loving it. I've been trying to listen more to audio books and it's been hit or miss for me, since I love the printed versions so much. Yet, at the same time, there can be just such a lyrical sound to the words that listening to it can be an experience. Either way, I'm going to have to incorporate more Japanese literature into my life.


  11. Audio versions can be tricky things; in my opinion, they're either wonderful or horrible. For one thing, it's harder for me to receive a book auditorally as I'm such a visual person, but when the narrator's voice is good it's wonderful. I remember listening to Cleave's Little Bee read by a young Black girl (don't remember the name) and it was so piercing. I also love British books read by British voices.Please think about joining the Japanese Literature Challenge 5 which I'll host again in June. It's such fun to discover more Japanese authors. I love them!


  12. Bellezza, I wanted to swing on by as I meant to follow up to your response on the audio discussion and let you know that if you haven't had a chance to listen to The Help on audio, you must! Quite a treat and it has swayed me to give more audiobooks a chance!Also, I'm excited to join the Japanese Literature Challenge – I may not be able to commit with many books, but I'd love to get more engaged and read outside of what I have been into lately.


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