“Goodbye Tsugumi,” by Banana Yoshimoto

Novel, 1989

A story of friendship between the narrator, Maria, and a curious, forthright and bullish friend in a Japanese seaside town. This is a book where the character of Tsugumi is writ large and plays a pivotal role in Maria’s life, and which seems to lurch about, precariously grabbing attention from family members, a suitor and a rather dispiriting group of local antagonistic kids. The intensity of the relationship burns bright, and as the characters are growing apart, their straining but unbreakable bond is reflected in the seaside town and the closure of Tsugumi’s parents’ hotel. A brisk and lively read, in which Tsugumi’s character is always pushing and snapping, but remains strongly compelling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s