This vintage Banana Yoshimoto novel from 1990 is the tale of four confused souls spending a magical summer in Tokyo. Airy and urbane, it follows three women and a guy as they each sit in cafes having rambling confessional conversations, feel lost looking at the deep blue sky and show up drunk at their lover’s house late at night to resume the rambling conversations. Ah, to be 20 and melodramatic!

The story starts with a Japanese writer who kills himself after “N.P.,” a book of short stories written in English, is published. When the translator, Shoji, works on an ominous bonus story, he too chooses suicide, apparently haunted by the subject of incest.

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