Reviews

Kitchen

Geist Staff

Grove Press has just brought out an English translation of Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto, an unclassifiable, magnificent little book that has won two literary awards and has had fifty-seven—yes, fifty-seven—printings in four years. As the dust jacket claims, Kitchen is about mothers, love, tragedy, transsexuality and food. One wishes to write a favourable review, even a rave, free of phrases like "quite accomplished for such a young writer" (Yoshimoto was twenty-four when the book first appeared in Japan). But on examining the work closely to discover how its magic is wrought, one finds sentences such as "While watching them I felt a strange, sweet sadness" and "I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off." Go figure.

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