Born in , BANANA YOSHIMOTO is the author of Kitchen, N.P., Lizard, and Amrita. Her writing has won numerous prizes around the world. Aug 15, Banana Yoshimoto's novels have made her a sensation in Japan and all over the world, and Kitchen, the dazzling English-language debut that. When Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen was first published in Japan in , " Banana-mania" seized the country. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.

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Read "Kitchen" by Banana Yoshimoto available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. The acclaimed debut of Japan's “master . Top tags on Zqkb Library ― epub review of kitchen by banana yoshimoto, kitchen epub download, kitchen ebook reader, kitchen ebook textbooks, the. Read “Kitchen”, by Banana Yoshimoto online on Bookmate – With the publication of Kitchen, the To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Read more. The Kitchen Garden Cookbook. A Kitchen Education. Die Galeere des Sultans.

Turkish Delights. Turkish Gambit. Turkish Grammar. Colloquial Turkish. Elementary Turkish. Das Zombie-Schwert des Sultans. The Peppers Cookbook: For the first time, these days, I was touching it with these hands, these eyes. I've been looking at the world half-blind, I thought. Shouldn't you be moving? Although the landlord's been nice enough to give me extra time.

He struck just the right note, neither cold nor oppressively kind. It made me warm to him; my heart welled up to the point of tears. Just then, with the scratch of a key in the door, an incredibly beautiful woman came running in, all out of breath. I was so stunned, I gaped. Though she didn't seem young, she was truly beautiful. From her outfit and dramatic makeup, which really wouldn't do for daytime, I understood that hers was night work.

Yuichi introduced me: "This is Mikage Sakurai. My name is Eriko. Dumbfounded, I couldn't take my eyes off her. Hair that rustled like silk to her shoulders; the deep sparkle of her long, narrow eyes; well-formed lips, a nose with a high, straight bridge—the whole of her gave off a marvelous light that seemed to vibrate with life force. She didn't look human. I had never seen anyone like her. I was staring to the point of rudeness. I just can't get away tonight.

I dashed out for a second saying that I was off to the bathroom. But I'll have plenty of time in the morning. I hope Mikage will agree to spend the night. Who ever would have thought the club would be so busy tonight?

It's me who should apologize. See you in the morning! Watch TV or something! I felt certain that if you looked really closely you would see a few normal signs of age—crow's feet, less-than-perfect teeth—some part of her that looked like a real human being.

Still, she was stunning. She made me want to be with her again. There was a warm light, like her afterimage, softly glowing in my heart. That must be what they mean by "charm. It's no exaggeration; the encounter was that overwhelming. I stayed where I was on the sofa and answered "Mmm," noncommittally. Guess what else—she's a man. This was too much. I just stared at him in wide-eyed silence.

I expected any second he would say, "Just kidding. I held my breath remembering that beautiful face; he, on the other hand, was enjoying this. Could you call someone who looked like that 'Dad'? He has a point, I thought. An extremely good answer. When I was finally ready to hear the story, I said, "So, who gave birth to you?

He married very young. The person he married was my mother. I wonder what she was like. She died when I was litde. I have a picture, though. Want to see it? Without getting up, he dragged his bag across the floor, then took an old photograph out of his wallet and handed it to me. Short hair, small eyes and nose. The impression was of a very odd woman of indeterminate age. When I didn't say anything, Yuichi said, "She looks strange, doesn't she?

I don't know why. They grew up together. Even as a man he was good-looking, and apparently he was very popular with women. Why he would marry such a strange. So much so he turned his back on the debt of gratitude he owed his foster parents and eloped with her. She says that before she became a woman she was very shy.

Because she hates to do things halfway, she had everything 'done,' from her face to her whatever, and with the money she had left over she bought that nightclub. She raised me a woman alone, as it were. Whether I could trust him or whether he still had something up his sleeve. But I trusted their kitchen. Their faces shone like buddhas when they smiled.

I like that, I thought. Unable to think of much of anything after hearing such a fantastic! We had chatted about things like the flower shop and my grandmother, and time passed quickly. Now it was one in the morning. That sofa was delectable. It was so big, so soft, so deep, I felt that once I surrendered to it I'd never get up again. I just stand back in amazement at her way of making things happen.

Banana Yoshimoto

It's your bed. It's great for us to be able to put it to good use. I was sleepy, too. Showering at someone else's house, I thought about what was happening to me, and my exhaustions washed away under the hot water. I put on the borrowed pajamas and, barefoot, went into the silent living room.

I just had to go back for one more look at the kitchen. It was really a good kitchen. Then I stumbled over to the sofa that was to be my bed for the night and turned out the lamp.

Suspended in the dim light before the window overlooking the magnificent tenthfloor view, the plants breathed softly, resting.

By now the rain had stopped, and the atmosphere, sparkling, replete with moisture, refracted the glittering night splendidly. Wrapped in blankets, I thought how funny it was that tonight, too, here I was sleeping next to the kitchen. I smiled to myself. But this time I wasn't lonely. Maybe I had been waiting for this. Maybe all I had been hoping for was a bed in which to be able to stop thinking, just for a little while, about what happened before and what would happen in the future.

I was too sad to be able to sleep in the same bed with anyone; that would only make the sadness worse. But here was a kitchen, some plants, someone sleeping in the next room, perfect quiet. This place was. At peace, I slept. Morning had come, dazzling. I arose drowsily and went into the kitchen. There was "Eriko-san," her back turned to me. Her clothing was subdued compared to last night's, but as she turned to me with a cheery "Good morning!

She opened the refrigerator, glanced inside, and looked at me with a troubled air. But there's nothing to eat in this house.

Let's call for takeout. What would you like? I looked out at the sweet, endless blue of the sky; it was glorious.

In the joy of being in a kitchen I liked so well, my head cleared, and suddenly I remembered she was a man. I turned to look at her. Deja vu overwhelmed me like a flash flood. The house smelled of wood. It was midday. From the building's garden we could hear the shouts of children playing in the springlike weather.

The plants near the window, enveloped in the gende sunlight, sparkled bright green; far off in the pale sky, thin clouds gently flowed, suspended. It was a warm, lazy afternoon. I couldn't have dreamed of this yesterday morning, this scene of having breakfast at the house of someone I had just met, and it felt very strange. There we were, eating breakfast, all sorts of things set out directly on the floor there was no table. The sunlight shone through pur cups, and our cold green tea reflected prettily against the floor.

Suddenly Eriko looked me full in the face. And you know—it's really true. When I saw you for the first time yesterday, I had to force myself not to laugh. You really do look like him. I can't guarantee it's romantic, though! You know, I haven't been able to devote myself full-time to raising him, and I'm afraid there are some things that slipped through the cracks. I know I haven't done everything right. But I wanted above all to make a good kid out of him and I focused everything on raising him that way.

And you know, he is. A good kid. Her power was the brilliance of her charm and it had brought her to where she was now. I had the feeling that neither her wife nor her son could diminish it. That quality must have condemned her to an ice-cold loneliness. She said, munching cucumbers, "You know, a lot of people say things they don't mean. But I'm serious: I want you to stay here as long as you like. You're a good kid, and having you here makes me truly happy.

I understand what it's like to be hurt and to have nowhere to go. Please, stay with us and don't worry about anything.

Kitchen (novel) - Wikipedia

My chest was full to bursting. But instead of rent, just make us soupy rice once in a while. Yours is so much better than Yuichi's," she said, smiling. To live alone with an old person is terribly nerve-racking, and the healthier he or she is, the more one worries. Actually, when I lived with my grandmother this didn't occur to me; I enjoyed it. But looking back, I can't help thinking that deep down I was always, at all times, afraid: "Grandma's going to die.

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She was a pretty relaxed grandmother and never gave me a hard time if I told her I was going to sleep over somewhere or whatever. We would spend a little time together before bed, sometimes drinking coffee, sometimes green tea, eating cake and watching TV. In my grandmother's room, which hadn't changed since I was little, we would tell each other silly gossip, talk about TV stars or what had happened that day; we talked about whatever.

I think she even told me about Yuichi during those times. No matter how dreamlike a love I have found myself in, no matter how delightfully drunk I have been, in my heart KITCHEN I was always aware that my family consisted of only one other person.

The space that cannot be filled, no matter how cheerfully a child and an old person are living together—the deathly silence that, panting in a corner of the room, pushes its way in like a shudder. I felt it very early, although no one told me about it. I think Yuichi did, too. When was it I realized that, on this truly dark and solitary path we all walk, the only way we can light is our own?

Although I was raised with love, I was always lonely. Someday, without fail, everyone will disappear, scattered into the blackness of time. I've always lived with that knowledge rooted in my being: perhaps that's why Yuichi's way of reacting to things seemed natural to me.

And that's why I rushed into living with them. I gave myself permission to be lazy until May. I was in paradise. I still went to my part-time job, but after that I would clean house, watch TV, bake cakes: I lived like a housewife. Little by little, light and air came into my heart. I was thrilled. What with Yuichi's school and job, and Eriko's working at night, the three of us were almost never home at the same time.

At first I would get tired. I loved the Tanabes' sofa as much as I loved their kitchen. I came to crave sleeping on it.

Listening to the quiet breathing of the plants, sensing the night view through the curtains, I slept like a baby. There wasn't anything more I wanted. I was happy. I've always been like that—if I'm not pushed to the brink, I won't move. This time it was the same. For having been granted such a warm bed after finding myself in the direst straits, I thanked the gods—whether they existed or not—with all my heart. One day I went back to the old apartment to take care of the last of my things.

When I opened the door, I shuddered. It was like coming back to a stranger's house. Cold and dark, not a sigh to be heard. Everything there, which should have been so familiar, seemed to be turning away from me.

I entered gingerly, on tiptoe, feeling as though I should ask permission. When my grandmother died, time died, too, in this apartment. The reality of that fact was immediate. There was nothing I could do to change it. Other than turning around and leaving, there was only one thing to do— humming a tune, I began to scrub the refrigerator. Just then the telephone rang. I picked up the receiver, knowing who it would be.

It was Sotaro. He was my old. We broke up about the time my grandmother's illness got bad. We were beyond displays of shyness. They told me your grandmother had died. I was shocked. That's really rough. So I've been pretty busy. The sky outside was a dull gray. Waves of clouds were being pushed around by the wind with amazing force. In this world there is no place for sadness.

No place; not one. Sotaro loved parks. Green places, open spaces, the outdoors—he loved all of that, and at school he was often to be found in the middle of a garden or sitting on a bench beside a playground.

The fact that if you wanted to find Sotaro you'd find him amid greenery had entered into university lore. He was planning to do some kind of work with plants. For some reason I keep getting connected to men who have something to do with plants. We were the very picture of a student couple in my happier days Sotaro is always cheerful. We hit on a ridiculously large coffee shop on the edge of the park. So this day, too, there was Sotaro, sitting in the seat nearest the park in that large coffee shop, looking out the window.

Outside, against the backdrop of the entirely overcast sky, the trees trembled in the wind, rustling. I made my way over to him, snaking around the comings and goings of the waitresses. He smiled when he saw me. I sat down across from him and said, "I wonder if it's going to rain. It's so great, I thought, having tea in the afternoon with someone you really feel at home with. I knew how wildly he tosses in his sleep, how much milk and sugar he takes in his coffee. I knew his face in front of the mirror, insanely serious, as he tries to tame his mop of unruly hair with the hair dryer.

Then I thought, if we were still together I would be worrying about how I've just chipped the nail polish on my right hand scrubbing the refrigerator. In the middle of gossipy chitchat, as if suddenly remembering something, he changed the subject. I was so surprised I let my cup tilt sideways and spilled my tea into the saucer. Don't tell me you hadn't heard? What happened? In the cafeteria. Because of me?

But you two must be pretty cozy. That's what I hear, anyway. It's the first I've heard of it," I said. Don't He to me! In the old days I loved him for his lively frankness, but right now it struck me as obnoxious, and I was only mortified.

They just took me in like they would a dog. It's not that he especially likes me or anything. So I don't know anything about him. And I had no idea about that stupid incident.

How long are you going to stay there? On the way home we walked through the park.


There was a good view of the Tanabes' building through the trees. If I lived there I'd get up every morning at five and take a walk. He was very tall, and I was always looking up at him. Glancing at his profile, I thought, if I were with him, he would. I loved his hearty robustness, I thirsted after it, but in spite of that I couldn't keep pace with it, and it made me hate myself.

In the old days. He was the eldest son of a large family; without being aware of it he got his sunny outlook from them, and I had been drawn to it. But what I needed now was the Tanabes' strange cheerfulness, their tranquility, and I didn't even consider trying to explain that to him. It wasn't especially necessary, and I knew it would be impossible anyway.

When I got together with Sotaro, it was always like that. Just being myself made me terribly sad. The feeling traveled to some infinitely distant place and disappeared. That evening, as I was watching a video, the door opened and there was Yuichi, a large box in his arms. And I mean big downloads. Mainly electronic stuff. Shouldn't you be sending out change-ofaddress cards? Doesn't it cause problems for you?

Had he been my boyfriend, I would have wanted to slap him.

My own dependent position aside, for a moment I hated him. How dense could he be? I have recently moved. Please reach me at the following address and telephone number: Mikage Sakurai tel. Yuichi helped me; he seemed to have some spare time tonight. Something else I realized was that he hated spare time. The scratching of our pens mingled with the sound of raindrops beginning to fall in the transparent stillness of the evening. Outside, a warm wind came roaring up, a spring storm.

It seemed to shake the very night view out the terrace window. I continued down the list of my friends' names, quietly nostalgic. I accidentally skipped Sotaro. The wind was We could hear the trees and telephone lines rattling. I closed my eyes, my elbows resting on the small folding table, and my thoughts skittered out to the row of shops along the now-silent street below.

What was this table doing in the apartment? I couldn't know. She about whom Yuichi had said, "As soon as she gets an idea in her head, she does it, you know? I really love doing this, writing change-ofaddress cards. Moving, writing postcards on trips, I really love it. Won't you get dapped in the school cafeteria? It gave me a start in its contrast to his usual smile. You've done plenty for me already. We laughed.

After that, somehow the conversation strayed off the subject. Even I, slow as I am, finally understood his excessive unnaturalness. When I took a good look in his eyes, I understood. He was terribly, terribly sad.

Sotaro had said that even though she'd been seeing him for a year, Yuichi's girlfriend didn't understand the slightest thing about him, and it made her angry. She said Yuichi was incapable of caring more for a girl than he did for a fountain pen.

Because I wasn't in love with Yuichi, I understood that very well. The quality and importance of a fountain pen meant to him something completely different from what it meant to her.

Perhaps there are people in this world who love their fountain pens with every fiber of their being— and that's very sad. If you're not in love with him, you can understand him. He seemed bothered by my silence.

I've touched him, I thought. In that case, I might end up falling in love with him. When I've fallen in love before, I've always tried to run it down and tackle it, but with him it would be different. The conversation we just had was like a glimpse of stars through a chink in a cloudy sky—perhaps, over time, talks like this would lead to love. But—I was thinking while I wrote—I must move out. It was patendy obvious that the trouble between Yuichi and his girlfriend was my living here.

As to how strong I was, or whether I would soon be ready to go back to living alone, I couldn't venture a guess. Still, I told myself, soon, of course, very soon—although telling myself this while writing my change-of-address cards could be considered a contradiction. I had to move out. Just then the door opened with a squeal of hinges, and in came Eriko holding a large paper bag. I looked at her in surprise. What's happening at the club? Listen, guess what I bought: a juicer," said Eriko happily, pulling a large box from the paper bag.

Unbelievable, these people, I thought. Go ahead, use it. The incredible ease and nonchalance of the conversation made my brain reel. It was like watching Bewitched. That they could be this cheerfully normal in the midst of such extreme abnormality. This is perfect. I have a moving-in gift for her. When I opened it, I saw that it was a pretty glass decorated with a banana motif.

I was thinking that but wasn't able to say it. What a special, special glass! The next day was when I had to clear out of the old apartment for good; at last I got it cleaned out completely. I was feeling very sluggish. By way of apology for taking so much time, I went to visit the landlord.

Like we often did when I was a child, we drank tea and chatted in his office. I felt very keenly how old he had become. Just as my grandmother had often sat here, now I was in the same little chair, drinking tea and talking about the weather and the state of the neighborhood. It was strange; it didn't seem right. An irresistible shift had put the past behind me. I had recoiled in a daze; all I could do was react weakly.

But it was not I who was doing the shifting—on the contrary. For me everything had been agony. Until only recently, the light that bathed the now-empty apartment had contained the smells of our life there.

The kitchen window. The smiling faces of friends, the fresh greenery of the university campus as a backdrop to Sotaro's profile, my grandmother's voice on the phone when I called her late at night, my warm bed on cold mornings, the sound of my grandmother's slippers in the hallway, the color of the curtains. All of it. Everything that was no longer there. When I left the apartment it was already evening.

Pale twilight was descending. I waited for the bus, the hem of my thin coat fluttering in the gusts. I watched the rows of windows in the tall building across the street from the bus stop, suspended, emitting a pretty blue light. The people moving behind those windows, the elevators going up and down, all of it, sparkling silently, seemed to melt into the half-darkness. I carried the last of my things in both hands.

When I thought, now at last I won't be torn between two places, I began to feel strangely shaky, close to tears.

The bus appeared around the corner. It seemed to float to a stop before my eyes, and the people lined up, got on, one by one. It was packed. I stood, with my hand on the crowded strap, watching the darkening sky disappear beyond the distant buildings.

When the bus took off my eye came to rest on the still-new moon making its gentle way across the sky. My angry, irritable reaction to the jarring each time the bus lurched to a stop told me how tired I was.

Again and again, with each angry stop, I would look outside and watch a dirigible drifting across the far-off sky. Propelled by the wind, it slowly moved along. Staring at it intendy, I felt happy. The dirigible traversed the sky like a pale moonbeam, its tiny lights blinking on and off. Then an old lady sitting beside her little granddaughter, who was direcdy in front of me, said in a low voice, "Look, Yuki, a dirigible.

Isn't it beautiful? She said angrily, fidgeting, "I don't care. And it's not a dirigible! Yuki continued her whiny pouting. I'm sleepy. I, too, had acted that way when I was tired. You'll regret it, I thought, talking to your grandmother that way. Madeleine Thien. The Nakano Thrift Shop. Hiromi Kawakami. Strange Weather in Tokyo. Allison Markin Powell. Men Without Women. Haruki Murakami.

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