Park Life
Author: Shūichi Yoshida
Specifications: ISBN  978-4163211800
176 pages
13.6 x 19.0 cm / 5.4 x 7.6 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Bungeishunju Ltd.
Tokyo, 2002
Agents: Bureau des Copyrights Francais
Awards: Akutagawa Prize, 2002
Translations: French, Korean
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Country Languages Publisher Title ISBN Translator Affiliate Link
France French Edition Philippe Picquier Park Life 978-2877309622 Gérard Siary et Mieko Nakajima-Siary
South Korea Korean
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The prizewinning title story in this collection is set in Hibiya Park, an urban oasis of more than 160,000 square meters located in the center of Tokyo. The first-person narrator works for a company that sells bath gels and other products. One day a woman on the subway speaks to him, mistaking him for someone else. She spends her lunch break each day in the park, a cup of Starbucks coffee in hand, and says she has been watching him for some time as he sits on his favorite bench.

The two have no other connection than those supposed encounters in the park, a place where working people take a break from their day with no interference from others. As they converse, the barriers between them gradually come down. One day the woman invites him to a photography exhibition. The pictures are of her hometown in its past. After viewing the photos, she announces: "I've decided." But the story offers no clear indication of what she has decided, or what sort of relationship the two will go on to have, if any. This finely restrained touch reveals no more than is necessary in this gem of a tale exploring the delicate distance between city dwellers who are never even named.

Paired with the title story is Furawazu (Flowers), a mid-length work portraying a man who leaves his native Kyushu behind to come to Tokyo with his wife.

Contact: Bureau des Copyrights Français / Corinne Quentin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)