Published: 4 August 2016
Trade Paperback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 256 pages
The Nakano Thrift Shop
Published: 4 August 2016
Translated by Allison Markin Powell.
When Hitomi takes a job on the cash register of a neighbourhood thrift store, she finds herself drawn into a very idiosyncratic community. There is Mr Nakano, an enigmatic ladies' man with several ex-wives; Masayo, Mr Nakano's sister, an artist who has never married; and her fellow employee Takeo, a shy but charming young man. Every day, customers from the neighbourhood pass in and out as curios are bought and sold, each one containing its own surprising story. When Hitomi and Takeo begin to fall for one another, they find themselves in the centre of their own drama - and on the edges of many others.
A tender and affecting exploration of the mystery that lurks in the ordinary, this novel traces the seemingly imperceptible threads that weave together a community, and the knots that bind us to one another.
‘The Nakano Thrift Shop is really a love story, albeit a very offbeat one... A gentle book, full of charm [and] radiating leftfield charisma’ Anna Fielding
‘A charming read from the bestselling Japanese author Hiromi Kawakami’
‘A novel about identity, loneliness and about non-conformism. With Kawakami's writing raising questions about sex and identity it is no surprise that her novels are so popular in structured, and often formal, Japan. This is a great novel and a highly accessible introduction to Japanese fiction.’
‘Charming’ Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘Highly enjoyable and surprisingly accessible. Significant praise should be given to Allison Markin Powell's excellent work in translating the book’
‘Hitomi takes in her town's characters and dramas - and finds love - from behind the cash register.’
‘Kawakami is one of Japan's most popular contemporary novelists and, thanks to the Allison Markin Powell's translation, we get to enjoy this meandering and innocent novel... A tenderly handled mystery and a fractured love story. Delightful’ Rachel Howdle
‘One for the holiday suitcase’
‘Subtle, graceful, wise and threaded on a quirky humour, this exploration of the connections and disconnections between people kept me smiling long after the last page’ Julia Rochester, author
‘The delightful nature of the story comes from the magic of the ordinary and the everyday goings on in the shop owned by the enigmatic Mr Nakano.’
‘The ever-readable, ebulliently-imaginative Japanese novelist burst the four small walls of Nakano-san's bric-a-brac shop with this tale of unusual, unrelated but inextricably intertwined characters.’
‘Written in quietly understated prose infused with a gentle humour, Kawakami's novel is an absolute delight. The four principal characters are wonderfully driven - eccentric, idiosyncratic and thoroughly engaging. [...] I loved it - a welcome antidote to the twenty-four-hour misery cycle that is our news at the moment, and a reminder that joy can be found in the most prosaic of lives.’