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What do a dog school principal, an old man with two shadows and a blue-eyed Japanese fortune-teller have in common? They’re all characters inhabiting Hiromi Kawakami’s delightful and haunting world in her latest collection of stories, “People From My Neighbourhood.”

Through interlinking vignettes, Kawakami’s narrators regale readers with tales of small-town Japan over many years, and the stories are as inventive as they are entertaining. Ranging from the familiar to the fantastic, short stories of five pages or less present a unique fusion of neighborhood drama, folk mythology and magical realism.

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