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英文版 対岸の彼女 - Woman on the Other Shore

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英文版 対岸の彼女 - Woman on the Other Shore [ハードカバー]

角田 光代 , Mitsuyo Kakuta





第132回(平成16年度下半期) 直木賞受賞


This compelling novel, widely acclaimed for its perceptive portrayal of the everyday lives and struggles of Japanese women, struck a deep chord with readers throughout Japan. In 2005 it won the prestigious Naoki Prize, awarded semiannually for the best work of popular fiction by an established writer.

Sayoko, a thirty-five-year-old homemaker with a three-year-old child, begins working for Aoi, a free-spirited, single career woman her own age who runs a travel agency-housekeeping business. Timid and unable to connect with other mothers in her neighborhood, Sayoko finds herself drawn to Aoi's independent lifestyle and easygoing personality. The two hit it off from the start, beginning a friendship that is for Sayoko also a reaffirmation of what living is about.

Aoi, meanwhile, has not always been the self-confident person she appears to be. Severe classroom bullying in junior high had forced her to change schools, uprooting her and her family to the countryside; and at her new school, she was so afraid of again becoming the object of her classmates' cruelties that she spent most of her time steering clear of those around her.

The present-day friendship between Sayoko and Aoi on the one hand, and Aoi's painful high school past on the other, form a gripping two-tier narrative that converges in the final chapter. The book touches on a broad range of issues of concern to women today, from marriage and childrearing to being single and working for oneself. It is a universal story about both the fear and the joy of opening up to others.


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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.5  2 件のカスタマーレビュー
9 人中、9人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 Great book about female relationships 2007/8/21
投稿者 Alt Man - (Amazon.com)
I read Kakuta's novel while in Japan with my Japanese wife on an extended stay. We actually read it at the same time - she in Japanese and me in English. The novel offers a compelling double narrative. As it traces the struggles of a housewife (Sayoko) to find a social place where she's accepted and that's satisfying to her, it simultaneously flashes back to the junior high school days of Aoi, a female entrepeneur of the same age. These two women eventually meet, and the novel looks at how their current relationship is affected by the failed female relationships of the past. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I liked the exploration of relationships and could relate to a lot of it even though I'm a guy. The book reveals a lot about Japanese culture and relationships, even though I don't think you have to know a lot about Japanese culture to appreciate this novel (though Bruce Feiler's book Learning to Bow about the Japanese junior high school system helped me to understand the clannish nature of Japanese junior high schools that both girls experienced). Anyway, I'd recommend this book to anyone. I hope more of Kakuta's works are translated into English (or that I become literate in Japanese!).
6 人中、3人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Highly recommended read 2007/10/5
投稿者 Claudia Cornwall - (Amazon.com)
I have always had a fascination of Japan, the society and her culture since I visited a few years back. Good Japanese fiction and films have a long time left a lasting impression on me and this book is no different.

It depicts and covers a motley crew of issues in Japanese society ranging from the sometimes "archaicsm" of mentalities towards child rearing, working married women and the challenges, stigmas that single, unmarried women face. The relationship between the 2 women is touching as they find common solidarity in spite living different situations.

A highly enjoyable read as I finished the book from page to page in 1 day .I am looking forward to future translations of Kakuta's work in the English language.
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