Lizard

( 1 )

Overview

I shall refer to her as Lizard here, but not because of the small lizard tattoo that I discovered on her inner thigh.
The woman has round, black eyes that gaze at you with utter detachment, like the eyes of a reptile. Every bend and curve of her small body is cool to the touch, so cool that I want to scoop her up in my two hands.
This may bring to mind the image of a man holding a bunny or a chick, but that's not what I mean. What I imagine is ...

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Overview

I shall refer to her as Lizard here, but not because of the small lizard tattoo that I discovered on her inner thigh.
The woman has round, black eyes that gaze at you with utter detachment, like the eyes of a reptile. Every bend and curve of her small body is cool to the touch, so cool that I want to scoop her up in my two hands.
This may bring to mind the image of a man holding a bunny or a chick, but that's not what I mean. What I imagine is the strange, tickling sensation of sharp claws scampering around in my palms. And then, when I open up my hands to take a peek, a thin, red tongue lashes out. Reflected in those glassy eyes, I see my own lonely face, peering down, looking for something to love and cherish. That's what Lizard feels like to me....

The author who beguiled readers with her international bestsellers Kitchen and N.P. returns with a collection of short stories graced by the same ethereally mesmerizing style that made her previous works so memorable. "A sure and lyrical writer . . . Banana Yoshimoto transforms the trite into the essential. This is her odd and charming art."--Cathleen Schine, The New Yorker.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Japan's Yoshimoto (N.P.) delivers an engaging, rather lightweight collection of six stories chronicling the romantic adventures, spiritual yearnings and familial troubles of a hip set of young, Japanese professionals. Each story is told in a spare, quizzical, highly conversational style, through the eyes of characters who encounter odd coincidences and spiritual epiphanies while attempting to negotiate life's turning points. In the title piece, a man salvages his relationship with his lover, an antisocial acupuncturist with mysterious healing powers whom he calls Lizard, by making a pilgrimage to an ancient temple and sharing disturbing childhood secrets. In ``Blood and Water,'' a woman flees her parents' Buddhist sect in a provincial village, falls in love with a man in Tokyo who makes amulets and gradually comes to terms with her own religious aspirations. ``A Strange Tale from Down by the River'' is an allegory about a woman who abandons a life of shallow sexual exploits, recognizes her own spiritual affinities with the natural world and gets married. A lesser effort from Yoshimoto, yet there's a fleeting pathos to these offbeat tales of a contemporary Tokyo interpenetrated by the routines of modern office life and the animistic forces of the ancient world. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Enormously popular in Japan, Yoshimoto has gained an American audience with her hip novels Kitchen (LJ 12/92) and NP (LJ 1/94). Her first collection of short stories will appeal strongly to "X-ers." Articulate and young but already jaded and wistful urbanites populate these reflective tales of relationships and discovery. Lacking faith, hope, and a substantive cultural context, the protagonists compensate with self-scrutiny and emotional intrigue. Sometimes they stumble upon magic, as in the figure of the enigmatic healer Lizard or a trenchant shape shifter on a commuter train. Unfortunately, between writing and translation, Yoshimoto's concepts consistently outshine her execution; facile descriptions and narratorial overinterpretation weigh down these thoughtful stories. For young adult and fiction collections.-Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671532765
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 996,777
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Banana Yoshimoto was born in 1964. She has won numerous prizes in her native Japan, and her first book, Kitchen, has sold millions of copies worldwide. She lives in Tokyo. Kitchen and her highly praised novel, N.P., are both available from Washington Square Press.

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Table of Contents

Newlywed 1
Lizard 19
Helix 53
Dreaming of Kimchee 69
Blood and Water 93
A Strange Tale from Down by the River 123
Afterword 175
Afterword to the American Edition 179
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