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People from My Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami
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People from My Neighborhood

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People from My Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami
Paperback $15.95
Nov 30, 2021 | ISBN 9781593767112

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  • Nov 30, 2021 | ISBN 9781593767112

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“Twenty-six tightly drawn narratives that feature Kawakami’s signature unsparing and clever prose . . . An offbeat and energetic look at the magical and mysterious elements that can arise in the most normal circumstances.” —Annabel Gutterman, TIME

“An enchanting origami of linked stories, most no more than three or four pages, set in a neighborhood of eccentrics whose better selves betray them . . . Kawakami’s characters tread the shimmering line between the absurd and hyperreal, vivid as Japanese block prints.” —Hamilton Cain, O, The Oprah Magazine

“Beguiling, with a strangeness that feels culturally rooted.” —Sunday Times
“Offers a delicious combination of intrigue, magic and comedy, like an unusual but satisfying snack. Kawakami continues to show off her prowess as a sharp-witted writer with a keen eye for the unexplored mysteries of humanity.” —Japan Times
“Tempting as it is, People from My Neighborhood is not a book to rush . . . The interlinking short stories in this collection are fairy tales in the best Brothers Grimm tradition: naïf, magical and frequently veering into the macabre . . . in a world where much is insubstantial . . . Kawakami’s clean narrative style is very much her own.” —Financial Times

“Hiromi Kawakami’s delightfully quirky writing shines in this slim collection of microfiction, translated by Ted Goossen . . . An author who has been compared to Gabriel García Márquez and Italo Calvino, Kawakami deftly interweaves the mundane with the magical and the mysterious with the playful.” —Rosa Cartagena, Bitch

“Kawakami offers a series of impressions—fragments of lives that are just slightly off-kilter from the everyday . . . The pleasure of reading People from My Neighborhood lies in the uncanny, the feeling of recognizing something familiar that isn’t quite right, or something that could be real (such as chicken hell) but isn’t (as far as we know).” —Lisa Butts, BookBrowse

“Beloved Japanese novelist Hiromi Kawakami returns with this delightful collection of twenty-six interlocking short stories—small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, as the writer puts it—set in a world that blends the mythical with the mundane. If months of lockdown has you yearning to find the magic in the everyday again, Kawakami’s book has arrived just in time.” —Chicago Review of Books

“I love miniatures, the way big ideas are shrunk to digestible bits and dollhouse-size designs, where everything is there—just smaller. In thirty-six stories in 120 pages, Kawakami performs this Shrinky Dink macro-to-micro transformation, which, surprisingly, also gives rise to ever expanding mysteries . . . Each tiny tale is sheathed in a veil of cellophane that, when unwrapped, holds multitudes. Kawakami’s prose also contains that same depth amid brevity.” —Kerri Arsenault, Orion Magazine

“It would be fair to describe the stories as surreal. But as the pages slid by, I found myself thinking . . . how could I talk about my neighbours without this level of surrealism? I know so little about who they really are. I see their lives in flashes, out of context, on guard and on display. They are the perfect subject for the genre. And what’s more, when I was a child, didn’t I imagine them as caricatures—witches, old men, seers, rebels, charlatans? It’s as though People from My Neighborhood reminds us of how we once perceived the world.” —The Arts Desk

“A gleeful tone of wonder, matter-of-fact domestic compromise, fey visitation, and cheek-by-jowl coexistence of the mundane and the fabulous carries through . . . the collection . . . Evokes Italo Calvino’s worldly fabulism and Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s Grimms-ian domestic surrealism, but with a cultural lexicon that is distinctly Japanese. An engaging and winsome book that charms without diminishing the precise unease created by Kawakami’s spare prose.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Magical and engaging . . . This thought-provoking, offbeat collection is worth a look.” —Publishers Weekly

“Weird, wonderful, and surprisingly funny. Readers who appreciate the fairy-tale feel in the stories of Helen Oyeyemi will find that here, in this wholly original collection.” —Booklist

“No one writes like Hiromi Kawakami. In People from My Neighborhood, Kawakami reminds us of what a gift and a rarity it is to read her work. Her characters love, lose, grow, and fall, while Kawakami paints murals of their lives with the deftest of hands. The depth and complexity of these stories is simply beyond, and Kawakami’s prose, from cover to cover, couldn’t be a bigger joy to live with. It will always be a mystery to me how she pulled it off, but People From My Neighborhood is a world unto itself—and we couldn’t be luckier to get to read it.” —Bryan Washington, author of Memorial and Lot

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