(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. Click here for the full list.)
Kitchen (book; 1993)
By Banana Yoshimoto
Oh, let's face it; I love everything Banana Yoshimoto's ever written! But that said, she's not for everyone; she's a minimalist storyteller, at least in my opinion, able to turn the emotional state of the right reader with the flick of just one beautiful perfect phrase, but only if you're ready to catch that beautiful perfect phrase and appreciate it for what it is. Give up on this review yet? Then you shouldn't be reading Yoshimoto! Actually consisting of two novellas, Kitchen (named after the better of the two) is the story of 1990s urban life in Japan, full of quirky postmodern characters right at the beginning of an age where the Web let everyone on the planet understand that. If you liked the movie "Amelie," you'll love the sparse, haunting story of a hurt woman being told here, who slowly learns to trust the world again through the relative warmth of urban kitchens; like I said, the finale can be heartbreaking if you let it. Oh, just read any of Yoshimoto's books, seriously!
Out of 10: 9.3