by Banana Yoshimoto
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 21 Sep 2023
Catapult, Counterpoint Press, and Soft Skull Press, Counterpoint
Yayoi, a 19-year-old woman from a seemingly loving middle-class family, has lately been haunted by the feeling that she has forgotten something important from her childhood. Her premonition grows stronger day by day and, as if led by it, she decides to move in with her mysterious aunt, Yukino.
No one understands her aunt’s unusual lifestyle. For as long as Yayoi can remember, Yukino has lived alone in an old gloomy single-family home, quietly, almost as though asleep. When she is not working, Yukino spends all day in her pajamas, clipping her nails and trimming her split ends. She eats only when she feels like it, and she often falls asleep lying on her side in the hallway. She sometimes wakes Yayoi at 2:00 a.m to be her drinking companion, sometimes serves flan in a huge mixing bowl for dinner, and watches Friday the 13th over and over to comfort herself. A child study desk, old stuffed animals—things Yukino wants to forget—are piled up in her backyard like a graveyard of her memories.
An instant bestseller in Japan when first published in 1988, The Premonition is finally available in English, translated by the celebrated Asa Yoneda.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE PREMONITION
A Library Journal Most Anticipated Book of the Year
PRAISE FOR BANANA YOSHIMOTO
“A sure and lyrical writer . . . Yoshimoto transforms the trite into the essential.”
—The New Yorker
“Ms. Yoshimoto has an effortless ability to penetrate her characters’ hearts.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Banana Yoshimoto is a master storyteller . . . The sensuality is subtle, masked, and extraordinarily powerful. The language is deceptively simple.”
“There is no such thing as a stock character in Yoshimoto’s fiction. She writes utterly without pretense.”
—The Washington Post
“Yoshimoto’s characters possess a discerning maturity for people in their early twenties, which lends a fantastical, almost timeless quality to the narration . . . Her ability to make everyday events seem romantic is a rare gift.”
—Meg Cohen, Harper’s Bazaar